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Nightfall - Chapter 1059

Published at 22nd of July 2019 04:00:04 AM


Chapter 1059: 1059

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The setting sun looked like blood. Hua Ying, the general of Tang's Vanguard Brigade stood in the whistling wind and looked toward the settling dust afar. He was finally relaxed and almost fell down. Situ Yilan steadied him.

On the fields hundreds of miles away from Guhe, bodies were scattered everywhere. North wind had been blowing for a whole day and took away most of the bloody smell. But it was still scarlet between Heaven and Earth.

They started preparing for the battle early in the morning and launched the charge around noon time. It was not until dusk that the result was drawn. The Tang army was no doubt the victor.

The Golden Tribe Royal Court suffered heavy casualties. Chanyu was in a coma. The priests who participated in the battle were all killed. The young former slave A Da survived because he was called back by the national master at the last moment to help escort the severely wounded General Bule and the remaining troops to retreat. 

General Xu Chi had prepared seven hundred heavily armed cavalrymen at the edge of the battlefield, just to kill this young man.

The Golden Tribe Royal Court was completely defeated. They retreated to the north. Some Tang soldiers went to pursue them while the rest stayed to clean up.

It was the most brutal field battle throughout the last thousand years. The battlefield was extremely bloody. Broken limbs were everywhere, as well as disemboweled bodies. Dark blood flooded. Flies and mosquitoes were haunting and groaning was heard throughout the fields.

The Tang's medical unit was scanning through the fields constantly. The cavalrymen carried stretchers to deliver their wounded comrades back to the barracks. The most severely wounded soldiers were sent back to the Guhe station in carriages for further treatments. People were in a rush to save more lives.

Apart from saving their own fellows and collecting armor, they had another important mission, which was to take care of the surrendered and enemies who could no longer fight. Hundreds of Tang soldiers walked through the fields with their horses but somehow they did not gather any captives.

A grassland barbarian was lying on the field, staring at the grey sky in despair. His chest was slightly rising and falling and his face was stained in blood. A shadow fell on his face and followed by a blade.

A cavalryman of the Golden Tribe was pinned by his dead horse. His broken ribs pierced through his lungs and he was vomiting blood. He did not die immediately and kept moaning in great pain. 





When he saw those Tang soldiers holding sabers coming toward him, he became relieved instead of scared. He tried to beg in his own language. Most of the ordinary soldiers from the Northern Battlefront Army knew some barbarian language. The approaching Tang soldiers understood what he was saying. They looked at each other and hesitated. Then Wang Wu limped over, raised his saber emotionlessly and chopped the head off the dying cavalryman of Golden Tribe.


One of the soldiers said, "We just did not want to relieve him immediately."

"I don't even care whether he was relieved or not. I chopped his head not to be merciful. It's just… there are many more heads we have to chop off. I have no time to waste with you." Upon saying so he led his warhorse and walked toward somewhere else on the meadow with more bodies. Right after him there was a carriage piled up with chopped heads of the grassland barbarians.

Wang Wu and his fellow soldiers were indeed reluctant to relieve those wounded barbarians. But they had to do so not because of mercy, but that they needed these heads. They needed to chop their heads not because they would like to claim their contributions but because the General had commanded them to take every single head off and collect them. As for captives… there would be no captives tonight.

Hua Ying looked around the field, the bleeding setting sun and the blood stained world. He smiled in satisfaction and started coughing blood immediately. His beard was stained. As the general of the Vanguard Brigade, he definitely contributed the most in the battle today. But he did not care at all. And he knew that he would no longer need the fame from now on. 

"I suppose you know exactly why I have been serving so hard in the battlefront throughout these years," he spoke disjointedly, exhausted yet refreshed.

Situ Yilan kept quiet and helped him sit onto the ground.

The Hua family followed Li Yu. They played an ugly role in the scramble of the crown years ago. But they were defeated by Ning Que and the Empress. Hua Shanyue was killed and the Hua family declined immediately.

After this battle, probably no one would remember that. Except for Hua Ying.

"The Academy… or Mr. Thirteen, was indeed ruthless." Looking at the bloody scenes around, Hua Ying shook his head and recalled the miserable ending of the Hua family as well as the dozens of young people from Gushan Commandery who were sent to the battlefront and died. 

"If only he could have handed the wild horses to the Northern Battlefront Army earlier, or if only he could have let the general and me know ahead, I suppose there would be much less casualties throughout the past three years."


Situ Yilan said nothing.

As a student of the Academy as well as Ning Que's previous classmate and current follower, she did not agree with Hua Ying. But she could not explain it right now because the Tang army had indeed paid great prices in the past three years due to the lack of warhorses. And so many had died today too.

"However… I like it." Hua Ying suddenly laughed.

He said sentimentally with pride, "The Golden Tribe, was indeed powerful… His strategy cost the least casualties… However, how ruthless he had to be throughout these years? Only in this way could we have won the war at the lowest cost. I admire him, and am sympathetic for him too."

His words seemed illogical and complicated. But Situ Yilan understood.

Hua Ying looked toward the grassland in the dusk, the settling dust and the retreating enemies far away hunted by the soldiers from the North Battalion. Eventually his eyes closed. He was still smiling in satisfaction. It was no doubt a most charming scene for a Tang general to see the Golden Tribe being completely defeated and the arrogant Chanyu and mysterious national master retreating like homeless dogs. He could finally die in satisfaction upon seeing the victory.

Situ Yilan placed her fingers in front of his nose and kept silent for a long while. Then she pulled back her hand, laid his body onto the ground and called some surgeons to attend to him. 

She stood up in the whistling wind.

The flag of Tang Empire was partially burnt in the brutal battle. The burned part was black but the golden threads underneath were still shining in the dusk, as if it would last forever.

She stood by the burned flag, looked around then turned to the north.

The remaining troops of the Golden Tribe Royal Court were heading north. The Northern Battlefront Army had defeated the main forces of the Royal Court. But they had not wiped them out.

Before he died, Hua Ying did not give her any instructions, nothing like never to let Chanyu go. It was because he knew clearly that the Golden Tribe Royal Court would never have a second chance.

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For the grassland tribes had come too far to the south. If only the grassland people had stayed along the seven cities instead of venturing to the south so aggressively, they would have a much greater chance to retreat to the grassland even if they were defeated and they would have been able to survive like they did throughout the hundreds of years.

It would be impossible to fight or even to pursue on the grassland once the summer came. The Tang army would never be able to wipe out the enemies by then. But now the grassland tribes had come all the way down to the south of Xiangwan Plain. How could they ever get back?

Situ Yilan did not believe that the grassland barbarians could make their way back. She would never allow it.

She stared at the dust blowing in the north and said, "Take a break, then go pursue them."

...

...

It was very noisy inside the barracks of the Vanguard Brigade. The smell of anesthesia powder was distinctive. And in the barracks to the east with furnaces, sounds of pounding weapons were heard constantly. But the people were not talking.

After a whole day of brutal fighting, the generals and soldiers were extremely exhausted. The Tang army also suffered heavy casualties. Even General Hua Ying had died of exhaustion. They were unexpectedly rescued from a desperate situation and eventually won the battle. It was indeed cheerful. However people were pretty silent.

The flattest area of the meadow behind the barracks of the Vanguard Brigade was blocked. It was even quieter than anywhere else. Therefore the sounds of the black donkey eating the grapes were very distinctive.

The Fourth Brother came to the shabby cart and introduced his Brother and Sister to the black donkey, "This is my Sixth Brother and Seventh Sister. I was enrolled earlier, so I'm the Fourth."

The black donkey still acted reservedly. It nodded silently but thought secretly, Fortunately it was not the eldest three. Otherwise should I bow to them as they were enrolled to the Academy earlier than I was?


The big black horse shook his head and ran cheerfully toward him. It looked around but could not find the familiar figure. So it lowered its head in disappointment.

"I have no idea where the Youngest Brother is." The Fourth Brother explained, "… In fact no one knows where he went ever since he left Chang'an."

During the brutal battle, the mysterious national master never showed up. He backed up Chanyu at the beginning. And in the end he escorted the best and most loyal thirty thousand cavalrymen to retreat to the north.

Perhaps it was also the reason why Ning Que never showed up in the battle. No one knew where he went. Like he did in the previous spring, he disappeared again.

The big black horse was a bit upset. it walked to the top of the meadow and stared silently at the setting sun. It knew that the sun was going to be devoured by the dark deep ocean in the north.

...

...

The never setting sun on the grassland used to be the emperor of the Wild Kingdom. Later on it was the former Great Divine Priest of Light who established the Devil's Doctrine. Then it was the current Chanyu of the Golden Tribe Royal Court.

Chanyu had always regarded himself as the sun, which would always rise again the following day. But today he was worried that he could never get up again.

Thirty thousand of most loyal cavalrymen escorted him back to the City of Wei. General Bule was recovering gradually under the help of the priests. The former young slave A Da stood silently by his bed. He was still powerful and had many powerful followers, as well as the national master.

But he still felt like he was suffering under the coldest sea and would be suffocated at any time because he was very scared.

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