Chapter 210: The Strategist Who Smashes Wine Cups
The soldiers who had successfully sheared a row of pillars in half for the first time also heard her praises. They all leapt up and cheered with joy. They had been caged beasts for over a month at this point, and this group of hot-blooded men could no longer suppress the rage inside of their hearts.
Bai Xiangxiu was extremely excited as well. She yelled loudly at them, “You are the best!”
“Wooo!” The soldiers greatly appreciated the encouragement. They all roared back with excitement after hearing her praise. They all knew that this was a strategist hired by the general. Why wouldn’t they be happy when they received such praise?
Long Heng frowned. Wouldn’t this make them overzealous? However this seemed to reveal new sides to his wife. She almost seemed to have endless amounts of vigor now. It was hard to take his eyes off of her.
Song Jiaoyue was watching everything from a roof of a building in the distance. It felt like he was in a dream. It was genuinely hard to take his eyes off of her when she shone as brightly as that, despite knowing that she was now inseparable from Long Heng and was doing all this for the sake of her husband. However, he still couldn’t forget her.
He clenched his fist tightly into a ball. Beside him, Yu Kuang abruptly asked, “What is your relationship with her?”
“But your expressions…”
“A past that I unintentionally destroyed with my own hands.”
“You don’t need to know.” Song Jiaoyue turned and left. He was determined to help them to the best of his abilities. He couldn’t let her efforts go down the drain.
Long Heng was soon done preparing for the battle. He gave them a single day to rest, planning to start his offensive in one day. He’d already prepared a special strike team for the night operation. Since they were martial arts experts and extremely deadly in their own right, Song Jiaoyue and Yu Kuang had been assigned to the strike team as well. They would leave the city at night via a secret passage and converge in the morning to attack the enemy.
Long Heng would have to wait until morning to lead the troops into battle, because the enemy troops would never want to engage in battle at night. The battle would not begin again as long as the flag of truce was hung up high. Unless of course, a surprise attack was in the works. But who would expect a surprise attack directly from the front!?
They enjoyed a sumptuous dinner the night before the big battle. The soldiers usually in charge of cooking had also participated in training so Bai Xiangxiu took it upon herself to prepare dinner. She had nothing much to do anyways. It was very rare for a strategist to end up in the kitchen, so the soldiers followed her commands as easily as on the training field. Using her own money Bai Xiangxiu bought two pigs off the local citizens. She had the kitchen slaughter and cook them for the soldiers. She went through a lot of trouble to acquire and prepare the two pigs.
How could Long Heng and the soldiers possibly have the time to prepare all this? They were all very surprised when pork was served on their table. Long Heng was taken aback as well. He immediately asked Bai Xiangxiu, “You’ve spent all day preparing this?”
“Yes. I’ve prepared this to boost morale because every single one of you will be risking your lives in the battle tomorrow.”
“Many thanks to you.”
“I’ve bought some wine as well. However, they’re not allowed to drink too much. Everyone only gets one bowl of wine.”
The soldiers were all very excited. It’d been more than a month since they last tasted wine and meat! Moreover, everyone was allowed one bowl of wine! That amount almost seemed astronomical when they were at war.
The imperial court was finding it very troublesome to transport rations to the army these days, let alone wine. Moreover, Long Heng had always been strict with them and never allowed them to drink as they pleased. The soldiers were all very grateful towards the strategist with the scholarly aura for providing such luxuries before a battle. Even Prince Rong was singing her praises. Royal prince or not, he also hadn’t had meat in over a month either. It’d been quite a agonizing experience for him as well. He was happy to be able to eat some meat even though he wasn’t going into battle tomorrow. Moreover, Madame Xiu was famous in the capital for her culinary skills. So, the pork meat was extremely succulent and delicious.
“I propose a toast.” Prince Rong raised his bowl of wine high above his head. The rest of the soldiers followed suit. Long Heng also joined in, “We will defeat the enemy tomorrow!”
“Defeat the enemy!!” The deafening cheer touched Bai Xiangxiu deeply. She suddenly raised her bowl as well. Long Heng put his hands on her shoulder, but she paid him no heed. She downed the bowl of wine with the crowd and then smashed the bowl onto the ground.
“…” Long Heng was speechless. It was really difficult to keep up with his little wife sometimes, especially when she went off the deep end like this.
And so… Bang! Bang! Bang!
The sound of shattered clay reverberated through the air. The soldiers had followed her lead to smash the bowls into the ground too. Long Heng resignedly followed suit as well. He’d think about the expenditures later. These bowls were something that his estate could still afford to replace.
Bam! He then saw Bai Xiangxiu fall back onto her seat. She seemed very drunk. Why drink so much if you can’t hold your liquor? She shouldn’t have strained herself like that. He continued to look out for her while he finished his meal. Song Jiaoyue and Yu Kuang would have to leave after dinner.
Bai Xiangxiu was a little tipsy as she sent them off alongside Long Heng. She even clapped their shoulders hard and said, “Good luck my dear friends! Show them no mercy! Murder! Burn! Steal! Do them all! hiccup…”
Long Heng immediately covered her mouth with his hands and said, “Take care, everyone.”
“We will. You’d better take her back to her room. She seems really drunk,” Song Jiaoyue laughed softly. This girl was really too full of surprises. She really seemed to put herself in all sorts of hilarious positions.
Long Heng nodded. He grabbed Bai Xiangxiu by her shoulder and slowly supported her all the way to his quarters. He couldn’t possibly lift her up and carry her like a bride when so many eyes were on them. He didn’t want to start any rumors.
Bai Xiangxiu wasn’t done muttering nonsense even when she was in the bedroom. Long Heng eventually looked at Shu’er and said, “Leave. You don’t have to wait upon us.”
Shu’er left the room in a hurry. Your Highness, is that really such a good idea when tomorrow is the designated day of battle?
Long Heng had arrived at the conclusion that the only way to make her stop would be to tumble in the sheets with her. She’d be quiet once she was asleep. In fact, this one little trick had never once failed him.
Bai Xiangxiu was given a brutal workout that night. By the time they were done, she was sleeping like a baby. She didn’t even have the strength to lift up her arms. Long Heng was incredibly satisfied. He went out to check on the soldiers after putting his clothes back on.
Long Heng knew very well how to take care of his body. He came back after he was done with his duties and slipped into bed beside Bai Xiangxiu so that he would be able to focus on the battle tomorrow. The next morning, Long Heng was long gone by the time Bai Xiangxiu woke up. Before he’d left, he’d spent some time caressing her tiny face, traces of regret in his eyes. He’d been a little too excited the night beforeand had been a little too rough on her. She likely wouldn’t wake up until much later. He quietly wished that the enemy would already be defeated by the time she woke up.
Unfortunately, Bai Xiangxiu was awakened by the ear-deafening war cry that rose when they opened the gates. Ignoring breakfast, she immediately put on her clothes and ran to the city walls to take a look. The soldiers wanted her to move to a safe distance because there was a chance she could be struck by a stray arrow on the city walls.
Shu’er tried to stop her too. “Please don’t go up the walls, mistress. I won’t be able to answer to His Highness if anything happens to you.”
“I just want to take a peek. Don’t worry, I’ll be extremely careful.” Her legs had gone soft due to the scent of blood that filled the air. However, she gritted her teeth and kept walking. Perhaps due to the constant scent of blood that she’d been surrounded with the past few weeks, her phobia of blood had actually taken a turn for the better.
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