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Chapter 512- The Craziness of Religion
Ever since the Shanhai Military pushed out the military rank system, the ranks to the soldiers were like their lives and honor.
The soldiers did not expect Commander-in-Chief Baiqi to act so generous; he actually promoted all of them by one grade; this was such a great reward.
When Er'lai saw their reaction, his mood was also extremely good. He laughed, "My boys, let's go and eat some meat. If we head there too late, the good meat would be gone!" As he spoke, he walked toward the camp.
The mountain barbarian warriors, who were lying lifelessly on the city wall, suddenly felt a surge of energy; they ran faster than even rabbits toward the camp.
Er'Lai let out a devil-like laugh at this sight.
Compared to the festivities in Mulan Stronghold, the south camp of the Taiping Country was bitter and sad.
The pain and successive failures they experienced while attacking, along with the enemy capturing deputy general Li Xiucheng, had caused their strong and resolute mental strengths to wane.
After backing down from the battlefield, Li Xiucheng's remaining forces went to the commander tent and shouted, demanding that General Yang Xiuqing send troops out tomorrow to save Li Xiucheng.
The insolence of these soldiers utterly infuriated Yang Xiuqing.
The soldiers that led this movement were captured and given twenty strokes of the whip.
Observing their general's fury, the Taiping Country soldiers felt emotionally cold. The entire camp remained silent, and no one dared to make a sound. When the soldiers ate their meals, they also did not dare to speak out loud.
Yang Xiucheng locked himself in his tent and did not meet anyone; he did not even eat dinner. Only at 9 PM did he suddenly inform all the generals to gather for a meeting.
A short while later, the generals gathered in the commander tent, their hearts pounding out of their chests.
The ones to lead were naturally Lin Fengxiang and Chen Yucheng.
Lin Fengxiang, who led the left troops, was a famous general of their north advancing army. He was also born as a farmer. He joined the Taiping Army as a member of the Palace Guards and climbed the ranks to Jinghu Lord.
Back then, the north advancing army of the Taiping Country fell into a terrible situation because they went too deep in without enough grain. Moreover, it was winter. Year 1854, they backed off to Fu City, where Ji Wenyuan died, and they retreated again to Dongguang Lian Town.
Year 1855, 2nd month, the Qing army attacked Lian Town. Commander Lin Fengyang fought and dealt heavy damage to the enemy. In the 3rd month, Lian City was lost and Lin Fengxiang was captured. Later, he killed himself in Beijing. At that point, he was thirty-one years old.
After which, Hong Xiuquan granted him the title of Qiu King.
Although Lin Fengxiang was not of noble birth, he was calm in battle, and he could lead the troops into battle and command them effectively. Hence, he was an important general in the ranks of Taiping Country.
The general of the right troops, Chen Yucheng, was a young general that was as famous as Li Xiucheng. Similar to other generals of the Taiping Army, Chen Yucheng was also a Hakka person. He was given the title of Ying King after his valiant fights and battles.
Chen Yucheng had moles below both of his eyes, so his foresight was as strong as those with four eyes.
Year 1862, Taiping Country traitor Miao Peilin tricked him and sent him into the Qing camp. In front of the enemy, he was righteous and did not give in, choosing to kill himself. At that point, he was only twenty-six years old.
Chen Yucheng was also one of the few amongst the Taiping Army proficient in martial arts skills. Since a young age, he had trained his spear art. As a result, he was given the title of 'Thirty Brilliant Back Spear Thrust.'
The two of them, one left and right, while the other generals sat based on their positions and rank.
Yang Xiuqing, sat at the front, completely expressionless. He looked around and said, "The failure today isn't enough to decide the outcome. We still hold the advantage and the initiative of the battle."
After these words, Yang Xiuqing paused, like he needed to boost his own confidence before spoke the next words out loud, "As such, we mustn't feel demoralised, and we can't have any other thoughts that we shouldn't have. I'll start this off with something that sounds bad, but no matter what the price, we must take it down."
"We pledge our loyalty to the king till death!"
The soldiers replied in unison, filled with passion and eagerness.
One had to say that Hong Xiuquan's brainwashing was simply too amazing.
On this matter, Ouyang Shuo was far off him.
Amongst the Taiping Country, be it generals or soldiers, they were all passionate believers of the world that Hong Xiuquan described.
The strength of belief was exceedingly terrifying.
Although the Taiping Army had suffered successive defeats in three years, this strength allowed the army's morale to remain unaffected, and they were still raring to go.
"Great!" Yang Xiuqing suddenly got up and said, "Since that's the case, tomorrow, we will go all out. If one hole can't break it open, we will break two, three holes. Even if the Mulan Stronghold is made of copper and iron, it can't block our determination."
"Fight till the end!"
When the generals heard these words, they felt grew crazier and more passionate. Even Lin Fengxiang and Chen Yucheng felt their blood boil.
Of course, at this time, the generals obviously did not mention the captured Li Xiucheng. After all, to the generals of Taiping Country, the moment they were captured, killing themselves was the best choice.
No one expected him to survive.
The king had mentioned that if the soldiers of the army died loyally, they would receive immortal life in their heavenly country.
For this reason, the actions of the remaining Li Xiucheng troops infuriated Yang Xiuqing. These soldiers had touched a huge scar and wound of the army.
"Go and prepare!"
Yang Xiuqing did not gather the generals to think of a strategy. He only wanted to raise their morale. As for tactics, apart from forcing the attack, there was no other way.
After sending them back, Yang Xiuqing led out a long sigh.
Yang Xiuqing was clearer of the situation than anyone else.
If this carried on, even if they managed to take down the stronghold, they would still lose half their troops. After taking it down, a huge army definitely awaited them behind the mountains.
For a port, to sacrifice so much, was it worth it?
Hong Xiuquan's decision left Yang Xiuqing feeling highly doubtful. He admitted that building warships could show the strength of the cannons.
But, weren't they rushing it?
The advance of the west troops were not as smooth as they had imagined. After obtaining a few victories at the start, they now faced the stubborn defence of the enemy.
The west troops were in a stalemate.
At this point, to sacrifice the south troops for no reason was not worth it. Be it reinforcing the west troops or attacking the north, both were great choices.
Yang Xiuqing could not understand why the king would not bend.
In truth, when he first appeared in the wilderness, he could sense the doubt and wariness of the king.
This kind of doubt made no sense to Yang Xiuqing.