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Chapter 246 - A Blade Hangs From The Sky!
The tall man, acting as the leader, said, "It’s not that the brothers are unwilling to serve the nation, it’s just that…" He sighed and said, "There’s no need for the pension in the form of silver taels. We brothers will be forever grateful for Marshal Tie’s order today. We bid you farewell."
As he finished his words, he brought his brothers out of the military base.
The four hundred and seventy-one men who had chosen to start over from the bottom stood quietly, using their stares to send their comrades, who had opted to leave, away.
Just like Tie Zheng had said, those who stayed had no regrets, while those who left harbored no shame – everything was a personal choice stemming from individual intentions!
Tie Zheng redirected his gaze to the ex-leader of the janissaries, the latter straightening up and said, "Do not blame us, Marshal Tie. We, as Marshal Yang’s janissaries, will be uneasy even when the entire northern troop won’t be dissatisfied at Marshal Tie if Marshal Tie were to take us in as your janissaries. We’re willing to kill the enemies and bathe in their blood, we don’t mind starting over again. Actually, it’s more than enough for us as long as we can still fight on the battlefield."
Tie Zheng sighed; he knew the implied meaning behind the janissary head's words.
Although he had stated clearly that these janissaries were not involved in the conspiracy against the Nine Supremes and should not be accused nor punished, Yutang’s army and the rest of their comrades had no idea of the reason within. If they saw that the janissaries who had followed a traitor were now serving the new marshal of the northern troop, how could they not feel resentment?
Oh, so those who had committed mistakes could still enjoy their initial privilege – there was simply no such reason!
"Alright, I respect your individual choices."
Tie Zheng said, "All of you collect your booklet later, you’re all to start over from the lowest rank in your military status. I shall reiterate this – we are to go through the journey in the future together and not speak of the past!"
"From now on, the northern troop bears the name of Tie!"
Tie Zheng’s chin was slightly raised, his tone soft but firm as he said, "Pass on my command, the northern troop shall set up a training camp. Double up the original training content of the northern troop!"
"Expand the training base of the northern troop at once!"
"I want to see thirty thousand trained men joining the war at the northern border within a month. If the replacement troops do not achieve the war requirements, the training leader shall be executed!"
"For any commotion that happens within the northern troop base in Yutang, the main generals shall all be executed without exception."
"Mobilize a ten thousand-men army to follow me towards the northern border tomorrow!"
"I, Tie Zheng, shall subdue the northern border of the empire, and I will not return without victory!"
On the afternoon of that day, Tie Zheng patrolled the area of the northern troop base for the first time, gathering the higher ranked generals together for a briefing.
Later that night, the eastern troop assembled one thousand men according to the list of names Tie Zheng had requested and sent them to report to the northern troop immediately. They were then deployed home to reunite with their families.
The next morning when dawn had just arrived, Tie Zheng led ten thousand soldiers to officially make their way towards the northern border.
It was also the third fraction of the same night that seventeen of the twenty-nine men who had been Yang Botao’s janissaries slit their own throats in front of the ruins of what had been the marshal’s residence.
The whereabouts of the other twelve men were unknown.
If Yang Botao had died a wrongful death or from any other reasons, the people who would die in the same way as his seventeen janissaries might only increase in number.
On the other hand, if Yang Botao’s treason and betrayal of the Nine Supremes were true, then there would only be these seventeen men who perished here.
Even then, these seventeen corpses who stood straight had still stirred some agitation up in the capital city.
Qiu Jianhan had personally given the order to bury them in elaborate funerals, sighing, "Such good men, yet this is their end. It’s a pity. Sigh, no matter what reason it was for Yang Botao to have harmed the Nine Supremes, his achievement as a troop’s marshal has indeed been impressive."
Back in the afternoon where Yun Yang had chased after Yang Botao all the way out of Tiantang City.
Initially, Yun Yang had thought that the unearthing of Yang Botao’s betrayal towards the Nine Supremes and his act of treason would render him useless to the Four Seasons Tower, as they could no longer utilize his skills. Be it inside or out, there was no chance of him coming out unscathed, whether it was to Yutang, Four Seasons Tower, Nine Supremes, or Yun Yang himself – death was the only way out.
In spite of this, the Four Seasons Tower’s combat repertoire had lent a helping hand unexpectedly. The many experts of the seventh peak and above who had died in this combat were all because of Yang Botao. It was unreasonable, defying the Four Seasons Tower’s normal code of conduct.
Unless… Yang Botao had something about him that neither he nor the Empire of Yutang knew about. It would be unknown if such a feature was about his status, background, origin, or regarding something confidential, but since it was worthy of the Four Seasons Tower’s attention – then where Yang Botao was about to go next must be some sort of base for the Four Seasons Tower! That would be what Yun Yang would value, so how could he miss it?
As Yun Yang maneuvered both his manifestations of wind and cloud, it looked like a chilling breeze rushing after the clouds in the sky but it was actually Yun Yang’s cloud form moving by himself as the wind followed rapidly.
It was also due to this that Yun Yang realized the answer to a question he was previously stumped by.
Yun Yang had always been confident about his own safety. Even if the Four Seasons Tower had possessed the power to immortality, it could not have set the spiritual sealing formation it did at Tianxuan Cliff within a night at Tiantang Square. As long as he kept away from being involved in the fight during the day of the open trial, he did not have to fear any ambush with the five powers of changing his form he was equipped with.
What puzzled Yun Yang instead was why the Four Seasons Tower was so confident as to allow the open trial to go on so smoothly without intervention. Could it really be just to have Supreme Wind appear in public?
If that were to be true, did that mean they also had the confidence to kill Supreme Wind right when he appeared?
What would they use to complete the execution?
Before going to Tiantang Square, Yun Yang had not been able to figure out the answer. However, when he arrived at the square, Yun Yang had sensed a threat coming from the higher boundaries of the sky.
The sense of danger was unprecedentedly strong, more so that the one he had felt from Ling Xiaozui previously. In other words, the source of this threat would be a superbly skilled expert who might even exceed Tenth Perfection!
Yun Yang was not afraid at all, however. His cultivation base had improved vastly; he was no longer comparable to himself when he had faced He Hanqing much earlier. He was prepared to leave by turning into the wind too, being able to do so with just a thought – anyone could only continue to hope to catch him.
Yet when he had followed the expert who had saved Yang Botao and made his way out of the city, Yun Yang had finally realized what it was that he had been so wary of – perhaps, he should call it what the Four Seasons Tower’s ultimate trick to kill Supreme Wind was!
It was the green shadow of a saber who had been tailing his wind manifestation.
If it had not been for Emmie’s support in increasing his deific consciousness’ observation skill, he would not have discovered the hidden saber in the sky!
The simultaneous cultivation of his power separated a force into a gust of advancing wind while his physical form blended into the clouds among the sky, moving along with the breeze. As for the saber light, it had been following the gust of chilling breeze ceaselessly.
Yun Yang had changed the speed of the wind several times, switching between fast and slow gusts but the saber light had maintained its pursuit. It must have utilized some sort of principle or method to lock down the force of his conjured wind.
Yun Yang felt a jolt of surprise.
This was the Four Seasons Tower’s ultimate weapon of execution!
If he had really been eighth brother Supreme Wind and could only manifest into wind, the hidden saber light could have exterminated the manifestation of wind – as long as his mystical Qi cultivation base was expended while being hunted like this, he had to return to his human form eventually, and that would be when he would be killed instantaneously!
Thinking about it, Yun Yang had a flashback to the time when he had killed Mi Kongqun. Mi Kongqun had said something to him before he died, "Right… Careful… A blade hangs from the sky!"
Yun Yang had not understood what he meant all this while.
A blade hangs from the sky?
How could there be a blade in the sky?
He got it now! There was indeed a blade in the sky! – it was an infallible formless saber.
Right now, this saber would be the tool that the Four Seasons Tower intended to kill him with!
Yun Yang believed that his wind manifestation was entirely locked down in the eyes of this saber, he had become the meat on the chopping board – helpless against what the saber could do to him. As long as the saber lay in wait, he would be able to wait for the wind to return to its human form and make certain who the target was. He would also be sure if the target had any other support before he finalized his ultimate operation to wipe all of them out.
"Why is he not making a move now though? Pursuing me for so long might incur other turns of events. Even if my cultivation base was weak and I didn’t notice it right away, it’s not likely that I’ll remain ignorant forever. On the contrary, if he slashed through my wind manifestation, I won’t be able to escape from his manipulations and will definitely be caught. Why waste so much effort? Even if he could lock down the wind entirely, he wouldn't be able to destroy it completely."
As Yun Yang pondered, he came up with a conclusion.
"Is this blade in the sky a person? Or is it only a blade controlled by a person?"
In front of him, the person who had saved Yang Botao from the open trial was still carrying the latter and advancing speedily. His speed did not slow down at all throughout the rescue and they were already two hundred miles away from Tiantang City...
The person was still running forward with all his might.
A mountain was in front of them, dense with thick forests.
The man’s speed was swift, throttling forward at full speed. Yun Yang had even seen the man spitting blood throughout the process, but his speed escalated in a tiny increment instead of decreasing.
It meant that the man had performed some sort of self-mutilation to forcefully urge himself forward and maintain his high speed. He was practically toying with his life.
Was Yang Botao that important or…
Yun Yang suddenly jerked up. "Could it be that somewhere in front is where their real trap lies? Was everything that has happened in Tiantang Square only a smokescreen? That’s right, it is indeed easier to lay an ambush at isolated places like these…"
"If so, the price paid for this trap and the work done prior to this is commendable indeed!"