Chapter 214: Punishment from Staves, Husband and Wife Suffering Together
“I’m sorry,” Bai Xiangxiu didn’t say anything else, but could only apologize.
“Mm. But you must be careful of that child. Although he may appear well-behaved, he becomes very violent whenever he discovers that the thing he wants has been taken by others. When he was little, he went so far as to fight with his senior brothers and sisters over a toy. He was only a few years old at that time, but he beat them until they coughed out blood.”
“What? He fights people? How is that possible?”
“Yes, so you must be careful.”
“He isn’t dangerous, right?”
“In truth, my understanding of martial arts is inferior to his.”
“What?” It looks like the child wasn’t easy to deal with. They chatted for more than half a day as Yu Kuang kept her company. It didn’t take long for an official summons came from Prince Rong. Naturally, Prince Rong understood Chen Tao’s thoughts. The news had spread everywhere already because of him. If not, Prince Rong could have helped her conceal some of it. He hadn’t expected that the woman would seek responsibility for all offenses when life and death were staring at her in the face. But it also made sense, she’d come to Ning City because she’d been concerned. Her decision had also helped them greatly. Prince Rong didn’t make things difficult for her. He prepared a specific room for her to wait for Long Heng’s arrival.
Long Heng rushed back the moment he received the news. He stomped his way to Prince Rong’s place, his expression a study of frost, and raised a cupped fist salute to greet him. Prince Rong was sitting in the top seat, while Chen Tao and Lin Qianzi sat to the side. Long Heng took a glance at Bai Xiangxiu. Although they didn’t interact, their hearts seemed to know what to do. “This incident has nothing to do with this lady of the inner residence. I told her to come because I know how widely learned she is.”
Song Jiaoyue had come along with Long Heng. He was standing quietly behind the latter, but suddenly stepped forward at this time, “Yes. Prince Li’s only intentions were to break through the horse formation. This humble servant is the one responsible for bringing Madame Xiu here.”
“Prince Rong, please allow this subordinate to say something. Madame Xiu is clearly a woman who lives secluded in the inner residence. The most she would know about formations are from what Prince Li has told her. How can she actually be knowledgeable on this subject?” Chen Tao snickered lightly. There were too many loopholes in their statements.
Bai Xiangxiu retorted, “In the books, the linked horses formation is called the chained horses formation. Luckily for us, the enemy hadn’t deployed the full form of this particular formation. There’s also another method to break through it. However, it was inappropriate to be used here, which was why we used the sickles. And actually, if we hadn’t been under siege, we could have dug traps from below. The horses would’ve been mired in the holes, and the charge would’ve been broken.” She paused to take a breath and then continued, “Not only that, I also know many other formations. The Seven Star Mallet for instance, Seven Slaughter Formation, Blade Net Formation, Big Dipper Formation, Four Quadrant Formation, and Four Wonders Formation…” It was unknown whether Bai Xiangxiu had been provoked or that she simply wanted to prove her knowledge, but all the generals and soldiers were stupefied from all the formations that Bai Xiangxiu was reeling off. Although they’d grown up studying formations, they had never heard of so many before!
Bai Xiangxiu struck out her chest and lifted her head in order to maintain her confident posture. She had a “I know more than you, so what are you going to do about it?” expression on her face. Long Heng, on the other hand, was rocked with awe. He had no idea that his wife was just posing, and was only naming formations that she’d heard of and didn’t know of. It was impressive enough for a woman to be able to name all of them, not to mention her look of complete confidence.
She continued, “You all normally just use the Crane Wing Formation in battle, and switch to the Fish Scales Formation if you’re attacked.” Long Hong had taught her this bit, and she was currently bringing it out to show off a bit. Yet Prince Rong was already applauding, “What a fantastic female strategist. Prince Li, you are blessed to have such a woman by our side.”
Others may not believe her, but Prince Rong was a believer. However, Chen Tao crinkled his brows, “So what if she knows formations? She still violated an army law. She must be punished accordingly.”
“Oh? So based on City Guard Chen’s words, you’re saying she should have allowed the military to remain trapped and not make a move? Or allow the strategist to release his poison and turn everyone into corpses? City Guard Chen, don’t forget that you were the one most afraid of their strategist!”
Long Heng’s dismissive laughter made Chen Tao feel very uncomfortable. He raised his voice, “And what of the relationship between the enemy state’s strategist and your concubine?” “What!? We got rid of the strategist thanks to Madame Xiu,” Song Jiaoyue blurted out as soon as he snapped out of his shock.
“Oh? Is that so? Then that is a great merit indeed.”
“She seduced him, didn’t she? Remember, the strategist is a big pervert,” Lin Qianzi suddenly interjected. Chen Tao sneered and seemed to look down on Long Heng. Although Long Heng was furious, he tried his best to suppress his anger. Surprisingly, Bai Xiangxiu was the one who took to the field this time as she pointed at Lin Qianzi, “Excuse me, Miss Lin. I was disguised as a man the entire time. How would I have seduced him? But, I could understand if that person was you. After all, you’d been in that army camp for so long. Who knows who you might have seduced? In addition, how do you know the strategist is a pervert?” She blinked her eyes and sighed. Her lively attitude appeared on her elegant face and warmed the hearts and eyes of all the men around.
Prince Rong lightly coughed as he looked at Lin Qianzi, “Miss Lin, please do not speak casually of army matters.”
Chen Tao stated coldly, “Regardless of how big of a contribution she may have had, army regulations cannot be broken.”
Prince Rong agreed, “City Guard Chen’s words are true. I will personally report Madame Xiu’s contribution to the emperor. But Long Heng, do you admit that you are guilty?”
“Indeed I am guilty. Please punish me, Your Highness.” Long Heng lifted his robe and knelt down, awaiting for his punishment.
Prince Rong proclaimed, “Since you both managed to save Ning City and led the charge, I will first punish you by a hundred beatings of the stave. The emperor will decide the rest after we return to court.”
“Understood.” Long Heng stood up to leave the room. Based on his martial arts abilities, he wouldn’t be severely injured from a hundred canings.
“A moment.” Bai Xiangxiu suddenly called out, surprising everyone. This is already the lightest punishment. What else does she want? “I was the one who was first at fault. Prince Li was only involved because of me. Please split the hundred beatings between us and allow me to take fifty of them.”
“What?” Prince Rong’s brows furrowed together as Bai Xiangxiu continued, “We are currently in the midst of a war. What if the enemy troops seize this opportunity to attack us knowing that our general lies injured? Please allow me to undertake half of the beating so his injuries wouldn’t be as severe.”
“Absurd!” Long Heng shouted. She was such a weak woman. How would she be able to take the military cane? She didn’t have any martial arts abilities that she could use.
But Bai Xiangxiu refused to back off, “This wasn’t your fault to begin with, and you have responsibilities right now.”
“You….” Long Heng had no idea of how to deal with this latest turn.
Song Jiaoyue stood up as well, “This humble servant also has an official position in the capital. Long Heng wasn’t the only one who violated army regulations. I deserve to be punished as well. Please allow me to take the fifty beatings for Madame Xiu!”
Another voice rang out before Prince Rong could even think of a response, “This humble servant also took part in this. Please also split the punishment with me as well, Prince Rong.”
“And you are?”
“Wulin Alliance Head, Yu Kuang.”
Prince Rong finally understood why Long Heng had entrusted these two with the raid. It was the wulin alliance head!