Changning's Imperial Army - BestLightNovel.com
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To be on the safe side, Shen Leng decided to get his men to board the two Fei Yu s.h.i.+ps to lead the way for the Xiong Niu. A Fei Yu s.h.i.+p was thirty over meters long, but for both s.h.i.+ps to carry more than 120 soldiers, naturally they were unable to move. Hence, Shen Leng only brought half his men with him. One s.h.i.+p had around thirty odd people on board.
Du Weiming and w.a.n.g Kuohai took their men and boarded Fei Yu 2, whereas Shen Leng brought three ten-man squads with him and boarded Fei Yu 1. One s.h.i.+p was behind the other. They maintained a distance of approximately two hundred meters with Xiong Niu.
w.a.n.g Gendong instructed all the soldiers on Xiong Niu to be on high alert and n.o.body was allowed to take it easy. The soldiers on the s.h.i.+p took turns to be on duty, as well as rest. Even when they were sleeping at night, they were not allowed to remove their armors and gears.
They cruised along the Grand Ca.n.a.l for two days safe and sound. w.a.n.g Gendong's tensed heart started to ease a little. However, they were less than a day away from reaching the official replenishment dock. He was hoping that Shen Leng's preposterous conjecture was wrong.
At night, the three s.h.i.+ps were docked at the river bank. The big s.h.i.+p at the back continued to maintain the same distance from start to end. Even at night, they were not gathered together.
Nothing happened at night and on the second day, at daybreak, they began to set sail again. Just like before, the two Fei Yu s.h.i.+ps were in front opening up a route for Xiong Niu, which was following behind. At noon, they finally arrived outside of the official replenishment dock. Everything seemed normal, with s.h.i.+ps coming and leaving. Nothing seemed to be amiss.
The two Fei Yu s.h.i.+ps approached the dock first. The nearby merchant s.h.i.+ps quickly made way for it. Not long later, Xiong Niu arrived at the dock.
Shen Leng jumped onto the pier from Fei Yu and anch.o.r.ed the s.h.i.+p properly. Thereafter, he called out to his men to move the supplies onto the s.h.i.+ps. His Majesty had always pampered and doted on the Navy, as though it was his youngest child. Not too long ago, he sent an imperial decree stating that the Navy s.h.i.+ps were allowed to receive as many supplies as they want to at any official dock, without the need to make any purchase. All the people working at the dock had to do was to sort out the list of supplies before reporting straight to the Ministry of Revenue.
A local soldier wearing the military officer uniform came running over. Ordinary people would think that a military officer was of a higher rank than a battalion commander. However, when the local soldier saw Shen Leng, he seemed more like lower ranked official. He was particularly humble and courteous.
The local soldiers were locally trained and their funds came from their respective counties. Jiangnan was very affluent. Their local soldiers there were well-armed to the teeth. However, local soldiers were only local soldiers after all. They were not considered to be in the military. Hence, their status was way beneath that of actual soldiers in the military. Furthermore, for hundreds of years in Great Ning, the local soldiers had never once taken part in any battle before. When it came to combat abilities, they could not even come close to combat soldiers.
Moreover, local soldiers who were military officers were not included in the nine rank system as government officials. As for Shen Leng, he was a Seven pin battalion commander. In terms of ranking, he was on the same rank as a county magistrate. He was half a rank higher than the county deputy who was the commander of local soldiers in each county.
Hence, most of the time, the local county magistrate was extremely unhappy with regards to this, as he was in charge of hundreds of thousands of people and yet he was of the same rank as a battalion commander who was only in charge of a hundred odd people. It was truly rather vexing. Most people were envious of Great Chu of the previous dynasty, as their emperor stipulated that military officials of the same rank was in fact of a lower status than their civilian counterparts.
On the other hand, Great Ning was pro-military. Even if they were to enjoy peace and security for hundreds of years, it would not change.
"Greetings. My name is He Zhanyun. I am Ningwu county's military officer."
The man named He Zhanyun cupped his fist and bowed.
Shen Leng quickly supported his arms and said, "We are both soldiers of Great Ning, there's no need to be this formal."
"Please go in to take a rest. I will prepare all the supplies you need as soon as possible. How may I address you?"
"Navy battalion commander, Shen Leng."
After hearing those words, the look in He Zhanyun's eyes changed slightly. However, he kept smiling to conceal it. "Please take a rest inside. I will get someone to pour some tea for you."
Shen Leng nodded. "Alright, I will go in and take a seat. My head is hurting a little from all the swaying and rocking of the s.h.i.+p."
He Zhanyun courteously led Shen Leng into the guest room to rest. w.a.n.g Kuohai and Du Weiming brought their men to the pier to await the supplies. Shen Leng did not allow Chen Ran to leave the s.h.i.+p. His other soldier, Li Tuming, was waiting on Fei Yu 2 as well, with a few other men, and did not get off the s.h.i.+p. If anything were to happen, the two Fei Yu s.h.i.+ps were their way out.
Shen Leng entered the guest room alone. Two muscular-looking local soldiers waited in the room and poured some tea for Shen Leng. Thereafter, they stood by the door its left and right respectively, like door G.o.ds. However, door G.o.ds were normally on the outside. Since when were they on the inside?
"Battalion commander , you mentioned earlier that your name is Shen Leng? I might not be old but I sure am muddle-headed," said He Zhanyun with a half smile.
Shen Leng nodded. "n.o.body gave you a portrait?"
He Zhanyun was taken aback. "I don't understand what you're trying to say."
Shen Leng looked at the tea. "This smells fragrant. If I drink it, will I die or will I faint?"
He Zhanyun looked more and more worried. "I don't understand what you're getting at, battalion commander."
Shen Leng tapped his finger on the handle of the chair rhythmically. "You people are really daring enough to attack the official dock. Did you kill all three hundred soldiers here? Such a heavy crime, I'm afraid you'll implicate all nine generations of your family. Attacking the soldiers to take over the dock itself is already an act of rebellion."
He pushed the cup of tea towards He Zhanyun. "Seems like you're feeling hot. Your forehead is filled with beads of sweat. Here, have some tea to cool yourself down."
He Zhanyun took a deep breath. He held onto the shaft of the sword. "How did you see through it?"
Shen Leng pointed to the uniform of one of the local soldiers at the door. "Ningwu county is extremely wealthy. How is it possible that they'll make uniforms that don't fit their soldiers? I happened to hear that the first-in-command of Lian Yunzhai is He Lian, and the second-in-command is Bai Zhanyun. And military officer He Zhanyun…which one are you? Most importantly, I already expected you people to launch a sneak attack on the dock. Hence, I instructed my men to rush here in a bid to warn the local soldiers here to increase their defense. However, I'm still too late."
Bai Zhanyun stood up abruptly. "So what if you saw through our plans?"
Shen Leng shrugged. "Don't you know the first law of Great Ning?"
Bai Zhanyun scoffed. "I don't need to know."
"You should know it."
Shen Leng crossed his legs, as though he was not bothered by everything that was happening at all. He looked up at him slightly. "A rebel will be sentenced to death."
"Kill him!" bellowed Bai Zhanyun.
The two fake local soldiers immediately charged over. One of them swung his sword at Shen Leng. Shen Leng flipped backwards and grabbed the chair with both hands. The water bandit missed. Before he could react, Shen Leng had already swung the chair towards him.
The chair struck one of the water bandits in the head hard. Countless splinters p.r.i.c.ked into that fella's face. In the next second, a broken leg of the chair came swinging forth and pierced the water bandit in the throat. Blood spurted out immediately like a waterfall.
The other water bandit went pale with fright. Instinctively, he swung his sword but Shen Leng extended his left hand and grabbed his wrist. He lunged forward and rammed his shoulder against that water bandit's armpit, dislocating his arm.
He took the water bandit's sword and pierced it into his heart. Thereafter, Shen Leng gave chase to Bai Zhanyun who had already fled out the door.
When he pushed the door open and stepped out, a dozen feather arrows came shooting at him. Shen Leng took out his scabbard and blocked all of them. His black cord sword was too heavy, it was not suitable for agile movements.
Shen Leng grabbed the scabbard and twisted, and a fine string with a small hook at the end shot out. After it flew, out the hook opened up and became a three p.r.o.ng metal hook that hooked onto Bai Zhanyun's shoulders. Shen Leng exerted his strength and dragged Bai Zhanyun towards him.
He used one hand to grab Bai Zhanyun by the nape. His entire body was being blocked by Bai Zhanyun. The dozens of water bandits surrounding the guest room did not dare to make a move.
"Shoot him!" yelled Nie Yuan as he walked out from behind the group of people. However, when they saw that Bai Zhanyun was being captured, who would dare to make a move?
"Kill that person and be rewarded with two hundred taels of silver."
Nie Yuan increased the reward. But n.o.body dared to release the arrow.
Nie Yuan's face went pale. He kicked the water bandit next to him and at the same time, he grabbed the bow from his hand. He took two feather arrows from that water bandit's quiver and took aim. He released the arrows and they shot out at almost the same time.
Both arrows pierced Bai Zhanyun in the heart. Bai Zhanyun's body stiffened abruptly and lowered his head to look at the arrows that were still trembling on his chest. Thereafter, he lifted his head and looked at Nie Yuan. "You…are actually this ruthless…"
Nie Yuan scoffed. "If you're alive, I still have to arrange a backup plan for you. Too troublesome."
He tossed the bow back to the water bandit he kicked earlier. "Kill them and be rewarded with wealth and glory. If you don't kill them, all of you will die without a doubt!"
Under pressure, one of the water bandits gritted his teeth and shot an arrow. Because he was nervous and scared, the arrow flew half a meter away from Shen Leng. Shen Leng sighed softly. He used his finger to dab some blood from Bai Zhanyun's body and drew a red circle on Bai Zhanyun's head.
"Aim here, thank you."
Nie Yuan turned around and looked. The Navy soldiers on the pier had started to charge over. He instructed loudly and the water bandits that were in hiding earlier shot their arrows at them, temporarily blocking the soldiers from advancing. They were more worried about the hundreds of elite soldiers on Xiong Niu. Hence, most of their arrows were used to seal off the area where Xiong Niu was docked.
Numerous and closely packed feather arrows shot out and yet not a single person got off Xiong Niu.
"Don't delay any further. The faster you kill them, the safer it will be."
Nie Yuan walked farther away and stood there. He reached out his hand and one of his subordinates handed him a three stone bow…it was an iron tire bow. It was much more powerful than the ordinary boxwood bows. Even ordinary strong men were afraid of using this three stone bow.
The dozens of water bandits that surrounded the guest room immediately shot the arrows in a disordered manner. Most of them had never used a bow and arrow before. Their bamboo bow could not even come close to the boxwood ones used by the local soldiers. Only a few of them could aim and shoot.
Shen Leng glanced over and saw that none of his men were injured or dead. They were only being blocked and unable to advance from the pier. He heaved a sigh of relief to himself and drew an even larger red circle on Bai Zhanyun's face disdainfully.
One of the iron feather arrows flew over like a meteor. Shen Leng instinctively lowered his head…pop! The arrow shot through Bai Zhanyun's head, poking out from behind it. If Shen Leng did not react fast enough, the arrow would have pierced through Shen Leng's head.
"Charge forward and kill him!"
Nie Yuan knew that those people had terrible shooting skills, hence he might as well instruct them to charge at him to kill him.
At this moment, there was no turning back for these water bandits. They cried as they charged towards Shen Leng.
Shen Leng kicked Bai Zhanyun aside and he flipped himself back into the guest room. After he entered the room, an arrow followed closely behind him and flew into the room. Shen Leng wanted to dodge it in midair, but he did not have enough time. Hence, instead of dodging it, he forcefully turned around in midair and drew the black cord sword from his back before swinging it!
The black cord sword struck the arrow with precision and accuracy, breaking it into two!
Shen Leng landed onto the ground and kicked towards the back, kicking the table in the direction of the door. The water bandits who just entered the door flew back out upon impact.
Shen Leng charged out from the back window and headed towards the pier…A few hundred meters behind the pier was a small hill that was only dozens of meters tall. The trees on the hill were verdant and lush. From the looks of it, he wanted to escape into the forest.
Nie Yuan took a few steps forward and pointed upwards. One of his men ran to him and knelt down before extending his arms. Nie Yuan leapt up and stepped onto his trusted aide's hands. His trusted aide used all his might to prop him up and Nie Yuan immediately leapt onto the roof of the guest room. He located Shen Leng's back view and shot an arrow at him.
The arrow was too fast and powerful. There was no way of dodging it.