Chapter 1172 – Setting Off
Gu Yanying spent the day choosing almost a hundred captains for five man squads and ten man units. She made sure these squads and units would be punished if even one member made a mistake. Then she executed a few people to demonstrate the strict and impartial military law, which was very heavy-handed. However, it did make the atmosphere change, where they seemed to bear some resemblance to an army now. Everyone witnessed the might of this “greatest in the world”.
Around dusk, she ordered everyone to adjust where they stayed, turning the town into a military camp. She enforced a strict curfew and ordered the swordsmen to patrol the place, killing anyone who broke the curfew regardless of the reason.
The sky had only just begun to darken, but the town was already pitch-black. Only the large courtyard half-way down the mountain continued to shine with light. Li Qingshan stood by the railing of the pavilion in the courtyard and peered off into the distance. “Is this a little too strict?”
“A combination of reward and punishment allows you to control others. You’re the hero king, so I’ll have to play the villain! And I can’t win people over like you do. I need to use the power of law to quickly build an army.”
Gu Yanying focused as she painted the image of a ballista.
“Heh, I’m the spiritual leader. I’m supposed to be leading the army as well, but seeing how pitiful you are, I’ll leave this job to you.”
“Thank you for your great kindness, my king, but I only find it troublesome!” Gu Yanying said without even looking at him. “Once we establish the army, you won’t have to be bound to my side anymore. You can go off to do whatever you want to do.”
“Hehe, I’ve waited long enough.” Li Qingshan looked back and saw how she was still wearing the silver hawk mask. He made his way over and helped her take it off. “You don’t need to wear this thing here!”
Gu Yanying had just finished her final stroke. She eased up and smiled. “From today onwards, only you are allowed to see my face.”
Li Qingshan smiled. “Isn’t that the kind of thing where you have to pledge yourself to me after I see you?”
“Just seeing it is fine. Learn to be satisfied.”
Yuan Feifei’s voice rang from outside, “My king, society leader, Feifei is here.”
Yuan Feifei pushed through the door and bent over, smiling at them. “Why have you called for me, my king? Are the dishes to your liking?”
“I want to know exactly what you are dissatisfied with that you’d try to poison us.” Gu Yanying did not look at Yuan Feifei as she gently blew the ink dry.
“What! There’s poison in the food? Society leader, you have the wrong person! How could I ever do that?” Yuan Feifei called out in face of the injustice.
“You know extremely well that I’m not talking about today, nor am I talking about the food,” said Gu Yanying.
“Then I’ll only be all the more clueless. I’m devoted to the society leader and the king. Please examine this matter carefully!” Yuan Feifei knelt on the ground and said emotionally.
“Oh? She was the one who poisoned the alcohol?”
Li Qingshan recalled this. Back then, they had only just left the mountain. In order to preserve their morale, he had not investigated the matter.
“I have been a White Hawk commander for all these years after all. This is as obvious as it can get.”
“Then kill her!” Li Qingshan was just as casual and unfazed as when he drank the poisoned alcohol the other day. “Hah, no wonder you removed the mask. So whoever sees your true appearance must die!”
“It’s just a joke. Are you really going to take that seriously?”
Yuan Feifei turned paler and paler, and she trembled harder and harder. Suddenly, she slammed her head against the ground. “I- I had a momentary lapse in judgement. Please forgive me, manor lord!”
“If it’s happened once, then it can happen twice. Let’s do this! Don’t even think about running. You can’t escape from the protectors of the left and the right’s pursuit. Only by killing me will you have an opportunity to live.”
As soon as Li Qingshan said that, a streak of light shot straight for his throat. Yuan Feifei’s face was twisted with viciousness. “Die!”
“What kind of shitty swordsmanship is this supposed to be?”
Li Qingshan was unfazed. When he reached “shitty”, he had already gripped Yuan Feifei’s neck with his large hand. The sword stopped before Li Qingshan’s face, unable to advance any further.
Crack. Li Qingshan let go, and the corpse collapsed on the ground. He was still very curious about why she had tried to poison them, but the minds of women were unfathomable. He had no reason to probe too far into the matter!
“Your strength sure is recovering slowly. You better not let me overtake you.”
Gu Yanying smiled. Li Qingshan had killed Yuan Feifei in a single strike, basically no different from crushing a bug, but his actual strength was around the same as her or even slightly weaker. It was just that their differences in other areas were far too great.
“I’ll obtain new power very soon.”
Li Qingshan was confident. When he entered the estate, he sensed a treasure buried beneath this place.
On the same night, Feihong took over as the caretaker of internal affairs.
Crack, crack. The river of ice leading out of the mountain gradually melted away. The chilling spring breeze gained some warmth as well. The grass emerged from beneath the snow tenaciously, heralding the arrival of spring.
Murderousness filled the mines. The miners trained night and day, gradually becoming soldiers. They became much more austere.
Gu Yanying set up stops at the various exits and locked down the entire place to prevent any information from leaking out. However, once the river completely thawed, all the weapons and ore they had accumulated should have been transported over the entire river downstream. Then they would bring in food and new workers. It would definitely be impossible to keep all of this a secret by then, and the Ma family would launch a counterattack very soon. Everyone was aware of this, so they endured the training that was even more brutal than working in the mines.
However, they did not go without entertainment. They did not gather together to watch shows. Instead, they listened to Li Qingshan’s speeches on the Legend of the White Ape King. He would stand on the platform in person every single day, explaining the complicated, profound swordsmanship in the sword manual in a single and direct manner. At the same time, he would spread his ideology. “Why do we fight?” “Who is our enemy?” “Victory to the revolutionaries!” “This is a path that opposes the heavens!”
Every single time, he would leave them in an enthusiastic uproar, not only uniting everyone, but also silently destroying any feelings of objection to the strict military law, preventing them from becoming too tense in this aspect.
The Divine Talisman of Great Creation would gather a large quantity of power of belief everyday as well, more than ten times faster than when they were in the mountain manor. Consequently, he was no longer in danger. Li Qingshan was basically raring to go. Once the river thawed, that would be the time they struck.
Rumble! Like claps of spring thunder, it filled every corner of the mines. The river had begun to thaw.
On the empty land outside the town, thousands of soldiers stood in formation, every single person dressed in armour and wielding weapons. They were completely silent, having established the basic form of an army already. They had constructed a platform for acknowledging general in the centre of the land.
With the sounds of the river shattering, Gu Yanying climbed up the platform step by step in armour. The clanging of the armour seemed to merge with the shattering sounds.
A pair of hawk eyes swept across the entire place, and the brutality of hell arose spontaneously. Everyone held their breaths involuntarily. None of them would ever imagine that the “greatest in the world” was originally a description of her appearance.
At this moment, a burly figure suddenly leapt out before everyone, climbing up the platform in just a few steps like he was riding the wind. Everyone immediately erupted into cheers, completely forgetting about her might. They cried out, “Hero king!”
It was Li Qingshan. He held a banner in his hand and swung it forcefully, planting it on the platform. The banner waved in the wind, depicting the head of a hawk that bore some resemblance to her mask.
Everyone’s eyes were drawn to the banner. The banner was the soul of the army.
Li Qingshan clasped his hands towards her. “General!”
The eight commandants chosen from the entire army for their skill stood forward and dropped down on one knee. They clasped their fists. “General!”
The entire army answered as well. “General!”
At that instant, a colossal aura gathered on her body, turning into tangible energy that filled her surroundings. This was the school of the Military’s methods of gathering the morale of an army, bearing the same principle as the Divine Talisman of Great Creation. They both borrowed the powers of others to fend off the might of the heavens.
Gu Yanying could not help but become slightly excited as well. With a clang, she drew her sword.
“The river of ice has already shattered. Today, we set off!”