Sha Po Lang

Chapter 34


Chang Geng rushed to catch him in fright, but as he accidentally touched his back, he found that Gu Yun’s clothes felt as if he just got fished out of the water – his back has been soaked through with cold sweat.


Only after trying the sixth key that Cao Niangzi finally managed to open the door of the prison cell: “Hurry, Hurry out.”

The people inside were already in a state of fear. As they caught sight of the rod in his hand, the group of people instantly shrunk back in fright.

In the cell, an elderly man about sixty who seemed to be their leader trembled as he spoke: “Young general, we are only Mechanics captured here by the rebellion force, we are not their followers, the young general must report this to Marquis Gu.”

Cao Niangzi quickly hid the iron rod behind his back and said: “My master was fully aware of that, he still has things that need the a.s.sistance of you all.”

Thus on this inconspicuous boat, a group of barefoot Mechanics supported each other out of the cell, then jumped into the sea and swam in all directions. The guard who was slowly gaining his consciousness ended up taking another hit in the face.

Cao Niangzi finished his mission, rubbing his waist and looking down at the guard – when beautiful men fainted, they appeared like a mountain of treasure that just fell down, very pitiful; how come when it was the ugly ones’ turn to faint, their eyes must roll all the way back to their skull like this?

He shook his head and thought: “How illogical.”

Then he pinched his nose and dragged the guard into the cell, locking the door. Achieving grand success, he immediately ran off.

At this time, in the cabin of the main fleet, Gu Yun, with only two teenagers beside him, stood calmly with both hands behind his back, looking at the group of fully armed private soldiers in front of him.

A person’s temperament at the age of fifteen or sixteen would, of course, be far different compared to what they would become after being honed on the battlefield countless times. It might not be obvious at first glance, but as long as their appearance did not undergo drastic changes, their facial features would more or less stay the same.

As Huang Qiao heard Gu Yun spoke, he was already half-surprised, half-suspicious. After staring at him for a long while, he suddenly shuddered and took a step back: “You, you are…”

Gu Yun held the dagger taken from the Dong Ying warrior just now, casually measured its weight, then used the cloth for blindfolding to tie his hair back and smiled: “What an honor, it seems that Commander Huang still recognized me.”

Huang Qiao who just now was still displaying his might, recruiting talents, in the blink of an eye, he seemed to have been struck by a spell, uncontrollably stuttering: “Gu, Gu…”

Gu Yun replied: “Mm, Gu Yun, long time no see.”

A ‘clang’ sound rang out before he even finished – one of the private soldiers had dropped his weapon in fear. The atmosphere in the cabin was ice cold. Only the woman dressed in white playing music in the corner did not seem to pay this situation any mind, the melody continued to flow smoothly without missing a beat. The song of Jiangnan fishermen sounds particularly off in this occasion.

“Impossible!” The middle-aged man who was arrogantly running his mouth just now instinctively called out, “The Marquis of Order was exterminating bandits in the northwest, how could…”

“You should read more if you intended to rebel,” Gu Yun looked at him with all seriousness, “The Eastern Sea had never raised ‘Eagles’, but shouldn’t you have heard of it before?”

He was not done yet but various screams suddenly sounded outside the cabin. Someone brought out the lights to get a clearer look, only to find two or three ghost-like shadows pa.s.sing by outside, quickly swept by the main fleet, taking lives as they landed.

“Black Eagles! There are Black Eagles!”

“No…Impossible! Shut up!” Huang Qiao shouted. “How can there be Black Iron Camp and the Marquis of Order in the Eastern Sea?! Impossible! Shoot the arrows! Use Baihong arrows to shoot down these phony!”

“Master, be careful!”

An Eagle swept over the top of his head, arrows flying down like rain. The one who intended to start up the Baihong bow was forced to cover his head and run for his life in the midst of pursuit of countless arrows.

All four sides fell into chaos, the lady musician in the corner of the wall remained as steady as before, fingers gliding on the strings, changing the song to Shi Mian Mai Fu*, very fitting for the scene.

*Ambush from ten sides, a pipa solo piece

Huang Qiao widened his eyes: “Even if Gu Yun is here, what could he possibly do? I don’t believe he can bring with him the entire Black Iron Camp far away from the desert! Kill him! Let me see who else could that dog emperor rely on!? Come forth!”

The group of soldiers drew out their weapons at once, murderously glaring at the three people being surrounded in the middle.

Ge Ban Xiao was stunned, under the cover of the music, he secretly pulled Chang Geng: “Big brother, he is right! What could we do?”

Chang Geng didn’t have time to answer, Gu Yun had already knocked on the head of Ge Ban Xiao, he calmly smiled: “Yes, I only have with me a few Eagle guards. Commander Huang is very courageous, well said!”

Ge Ban Xiao blinked: “Big brother, no, that’s not right, the Marquis is very stable.

Chang Geng: “…”

A row of soldiers took out their weapons – some stepped forward, some stepped back, lining up into the formation of a sea wave. But even after moving back and forth, no one dared to come forward.

Ge Ban Xiao was already very confused, thinking to himself: “In the end, does he have people or not?”

Although Chang Geng did not dare to call himself smart, but he did usually think a bit deeper than Ge Ban Xiao. Unexpectedly, at this moment, he was just as confused as the other boy, he thought: “In the end, is he deaf or not?”

Marshal Gu who was as difficult to read as a maze laughed brightly, striding towards Huang Qiao, simply ignoring the hesitant soldiers around him: “If I remember correctly, Commander Huang’s Teacher – Cheng Zhilu, seems to be an Uncle of Wei w.a.n.g? Why, that year when the former Emperor pa.s.sed away, Wei w.a.n.g was not able to use the Imperial guards, now he wants to take the sea route instead?”

Chang Geng suddenly remembered – when Gu Yun took him back to the capital that year, he had brought along with him half of the Black Iron Camp, let them station outside, their swords pointed directly at the capital. When they both rushed to the palace, they had an encounter with Wei w.a.n.g and the Crown Prince – who was now the current Emperor – both kneeling down in front of the chamber of the Former Emperor, Gu Yun even stopped to greet him.

Thinking about it now, that greeting hid a much deeper meaning.

Turned out, Wei w.a.n.g had already intended to rebel at that time, but was stopped in his track thanks to Gu Yun rushing back to the capital?

When Huang Qiao heard this, he seemed to have been struck by lightning, he immediately a.s.sumed his conspiracy had been uncovered.

Then the emperor had long noticed the ambitions of Wei w.a.n.g, either they have been exposed on the capital’s side, or there were traitors from their own side – but this was no longer important, he only knew that Gu Yun had come, he was done for.

Of course, even in death, Huang Qiao would have never realized that Gu Yun was purely using his general impression of the relations of some of the military commanders in the imperial court, conveniently using it to his advantage.

Ge Ban Xiao eyes widen, he thought: “What? So the Marquis was soon aware that Wei w.a.n.g wants to rebel!”

Chang Geng’s hand pressed on the sword at his waist.

Huang Qiao knew that he was already doomed, the only option left for him was to risk his life. He immediately screamed and rushed towards Gu Yun.

In the corner of the cabin, several puppets, with the purpose of decoration, screeched at the same time, roaring and raising the weapons in their hands.

Chang Geng swept from Gu’s back and blocked Huang Qiao’s sword before Gu Yun made a move, speaking in a low voice: “Allow me to experience the Master’s martial arts skills.”

With their master taking the lead, the little soldiers behind did not dare to retreat no matter how frightened they could be, rushing into the small cabin altogether.

Ge Ban Xiao hurriedly searched around himself, did not able find anything to defend himself with, then he quickly followed suit after Gu Yun.

Gu Yun held the Dong Ying blade in front of him, casually driving back a sword swung at him. He smiled and said: “Shh, can’t you all hear it?”

His unpredictable acting skills were even more incredible than the real martial art skills in his hands, everyone couldn’t help but try to listen.

Chang Geng’s long sword crossed the s.p.a.ce between Huang Qiao’s blade. The young boy jumped up with a blank expression, kicking at Huang Qiao’s waist, he screamed, falling over at the feet of a puppet.

The iron monster could not differentiate between friends and enemies, attempting to slash anyone it could see. Huang Qiao struggled to get away.

The sound of music in the cabin had not stopped – no one knew what the woman was thinking, changing the song from Shi Mian Mai Fu to Feng Qiu Huang*.

*Phoenix courtship, another pipa solo piece

The sea waves moved lightly outside, Black Eagles roared as they flew past, Gradually, the faces of everyone changed.

They heard shouting, whistling and the beating of battle drums!

It seemed that there were thousands of troops surrounding all four sides.

Huang Qiao’s heart was submerged in fear. At that moment, he couldn’t help but recall the terrifying legends of the Black Iron Camp.

That year at the northern border, with endless snow blizzards, the savanna that could swallow one whole run for thousands of miles, wolves and sheep shivered in fear together, the fierce wind brought with them the ghostly army of the underworld. They wore black armors, white mists rolled behind them, breaking through the wind, charging forward. Demons were in fear, G.o.ds were frightened…

At this time, suddenly, the light from rows of large Dragons gradually dimmed, more and more ships were powered off, there seemed to be an invincible monster in the dark, swallowing the battleships that were unable to fight back. Both the soldiers and Dong Ying warriors alike fell into a state of chaos. A large firework exploded in the air, illuminating half of the sky. Someone with sharp eyes exclaimed: “The Black Iron Camp!”

In the residual light of the fireworks, a team of soldiers donned in dark Heavy Armor have boarded the ship, the person leading them turned around, his gaze appeared to contain electricity.

Chang Geng jumped off the ground, slashing down at Huang Qiao. Ge Ban Xiao’s eyes moved back and forth, he took out a small iron ball and rolled it at Huang Qiao’s feet: “Big Brother, let me help you !”

The iron ball seemed to be able accelerate by itself. Rushing underneath Huang Qiao, Commander Huang’s footsteps were instantly turned into disarray. Struggling to block a few slashes, Chang Geng successfully delivered a blow to his wrist, he screamed as he fell to the ground.

And the small iron ball rolled directly out of the crowd, came off the deck, made a whistling noise as it flew up, and exploded in the air.

Chang Geng twisted his hand and inserted the sword scabbard into the chest of a puppet approaching him. As soon as he pressed it, the puppet let out a few clacking sounds then stopped dead in its track.

Chang Geng: “Yifu, the traitorous leader has been restrained.”

Gu Yun laughed: “The leader is still in the capital.”

He then proceeded to walk out of the cabin without paying anyone any mind, but no one dared to stop him either.

Numerous Black Eagles were hovering on the deck, Gu Yun brought out an iron plaque the size of a hand and threw it up. A Black Eagle soldier grabbed hold of it, standing on top of the high mast, he unloaded the tong hou equipped on the Dragon and raised his voice: “The rebellion leader has been captured, the Black Tiger Emblem is here, to all Jiangnan Naval soldiers present, if you see this, abandon the dark to come to the light, your previous wrongdoings will be pardoned, the continuing offender will be executed on the spot!”

The Black Tiger Emblem was given to the Marquis of Order by Emperor Wu. In critical moments, it could command the seven major military factions. There were three in total: one in the hands of Gu Yun, one in the imperial court, and one in the hands of the Emperor.

More than thirty Mechanics who were previously locked up have cut off the power of all the Dragons. No one was able to contact anyone. More than half of the private soldiers in the rebellion force were the Navy brought by Huang Qiao, the other was the unauthorized soldiers they recruited.

Upon hearing the Eagle soldier call for surrender, they instantly broke into a commotion. Some was stubbornly resisting, some defected on the spot. But the majority of them were at a loss for what to do. The frightened Dong Ying people had to take the initiative to act first in order to gain the upper hand, suddenly attacking comrades from their own side.

The main fleet was brightly lit, Chang Geng pushed out a tied up Huang Qiao. The rebels on the ship saw their advantage had been lost and immediately threw down their weapons.

The unaffected musician lady was still playing her instrument, she has changed through various number of songs, all of which were very well performed.

Gu Yun’s face appeared calm and steady under the faint glimmer of light, Chang Geng looked at him in confusion. On one hand, he was certain that he must have been through this kind of situation many times before, on the other, he could not help but wonder where the Black Iron Camp soldiers came from.

Two or three Black Eagles were easy to hide, but can the same be said for Black Iron Camp soldiers?

Moreover, how did he manage to bring the soldiers here from the northwest desert?

Was he only pretending to be deaf? Or was he pretending to hear clearly?

For a moment, even Chang Geng couldn’t help but feel that Gu Yun already knew very early on that Wei w.a.n.g was eyeing the Eastern Sea, he was only waiting for them to be ready for harvest all at once.

A familiar rumble came from afar, Yao Zhen had finally mobilized the Jiangnan Naval troop. Giant Dragons went out to sea, the figure of a Kite had already become visible in the distance.

Gu Yun and the Black Eagles in the sky relied on simple hand gestures to communicate. One of them received his order, carried the Black Tiger Emblem and flew towards the Kite, welcoming the troops brought by Yao Zhen.

Huang Qiao closed his eyes tight – their opportunity was gone.

The endless music finally stopped, the musician walked out of the cabin holding her instrument, glancing at Huang Qiao all tied up.

Huang Qiao glared at her and shouted: “Chen Qing Xu, even you would betray me?”

Chen Qing Xu casted him an unfathomable look and walked past him with a blank face. Her face resembled a mask – expressionless when pouring the wine, expressionless while playing music, expressionless while a fight broke out, expressionless even when being questioned.

She slowly walk towards Gu Yun and greeted: “Marquis, sir.”

Gu Yun put away his arrogance from just now: “Thank you Miss Chen for your a.s.sistance, might I ask what your relation with Master Chen Zhou is…”

Chen Zhuo was the old doctor who had prescribed him his medicine many years ago.

“That is my grandfather,” Chen Qing Xu then gave a suggestion. “The sea breeze is strong, The Marquis should move inside the cabin.”

Gu Yun knew she was reminding him of the medicine’s side effect of intense headache, he did not respond, only smiled.

Chen Qing Xu saw that he did not listen, she did not say anymore either, she lifted her dress to pay courtesy: “I pray that there shall be peace and prosperity, that people shall live for hundreds of years.”

Gu Yun said again: “Thank you.”

Chen Qing Xu turned to get off the ship. Perhaps already tired from playing music, she did not pay any regard to the groups of rebellion currently fighting among themselves.

Ge Ban Xiao: “Oh, there are so many people at the other end, how would that sister be able to get past them?”

Gu Yun frowned, just as he was about to stop her, they saw a Dong Ying person suddenly fly forward on the ropeway, open his mouth and spit out a hidden arrow.

The Black Eagle flying up high immediately shot at his direction, and the Dong Ying man fell into the sea. Chen Qing Xu’s footsteps shifted, appearing as if she was dancing with the rhythm of the ropeway. The Dong Ying’s arrow created a ringing sound as it collided with the metal chain, grazing past her. But her eyes had not even been lifted once, and she continued to drift away like a ghost.

Ge Ban Xiao: “…”

Of course, all kind of freaks in this world came out of Lin Yuan Pavilion.

When the Giant Kites and the Dragons arrived, the rebels had almost worn themselves out. The Eagle units kept watch of the prisoners on the main ship, while the imperial army began to clean up the aftermath.

A Black Armor soldier rushed onto the main ship. After his protective mask was pulled up, Chang Geng was shocked to find that this person was actually Master Liao Ran.

However, the master’s skill in handling the Armor was not even as adequate as the Barbarians who raided the town of Yanhui. Although he was able to achieve infinite power due to the a.s.sistance of machinery, his footstep was clunky. He was not able to properly control the amount of force, his movements resembled a large and clumsy rabbit, he barely grabbed onto the mast to stand, almost directly kneeling down.

Looking closely, the color of his ‘Black Armor’ was slightly fading away, revealing the white metallic color underneath, its body even carried a fishy scent.

Therefore, the ‘Black Iron Camp’ which had scared the rebellion force to death just now turned out to be this kind of product?

Where did the shouting come from? Created by mouth?

Chang Geng quietly ground his teeth, feeling that he had once again been deceived by Gu Yun.

Liao Ran struggled to prop up two machine arms, wanting make a few signs, but unable to control the armor well, the joints of the fingers were not able to be bent, they could only tremble like kelp, and no one was able to understand him.

He tried to sign to the point of sweating, continuing to struggle in the heavy armor.

Ge Ban Xiao said in bewilderment: “Marquis sir, the master seems to have an urgent military situation to report.”

Gu Yun turned to glance at him slightly: “It’s nothing, that idiot simply cannot get out, go help him unload the armor from outside.”

Ge Ban Xiao: “…”

The monk who was trapped in the Heavy Armor looked at him innocently. Ge Ban Xiao took in a deep breath: “Master, are you not proficient in all kinds of steel armor?”

The monk wasn’t able to speak, he couldn’t managed to use sign language either. He could only use his unusually lively eyes to try to convey his thought: Knowledgeable is not equal to mastery, a monk is not meant to be used on the battlefield.

Ge Ban Xiao and Chang Geng together helped him to remove the Heavy Armor, Master Liao Ran rolled out, he did not even adjust his appearance but immediately came in front of Gu Yun and signed with all seriousness: “Marshal, the Jiangnan Navy has arrived, Master Yao is already on the Kite, no matter what, you should move inside the cabin to rest a while.”

Chang Geng was surprised, he was able to feel something in this sentence, he suddenly turned his head and looked at Gu Yun who still remained as even-minded as before.

Gu Yun did not insist on staying either. He made a sound in agreement, observing the Dong Ying blade he had picked up before while slowly walked back. Chang Geng hurriedly catch up with him.

At this moment, the snake-like Dong Ying man used the shadow to quietly come closer to the deck, the Xiu zhong si inside the iron wristband showed a faint light.

The snake man revealed a distorted smile, and at the moment when Gu Yun was about to enter the cabin, his pair of iron wristbands both activated at the same time, shooting six Xiu zhong si towards Gu Yun.

A Black Eagle roared as he immediately flew down.

Chang Geng was taken aback and instinctively rushed forward to protect him. The force of sea breeze being cut through by the sharp weapons has already come in contact with Gu Yun.

He reached out and grabbed hold of Chang Geng, pulled him a few steps away, casting the Dong Ying blade forward . The three Xiu zhong si instantly cut the blade into three parts at collision. Gu Yun flipped his hand, his wide sleeve flying, holding Chang Geng and rolled out of the way. The Xiu zhong si cut through the black strip of cloth tying his hair, the snake man was immediately shot dead by an Eagle unit flying above.

Gu Yun simply did not put this episode in his eyes. He patted Chang Geng and said with indifference: “Just a fish that got out of the net, it’s nothing.”

He leaned on Chang Geng’s shoulder, intending to stand up. Who would have known that at this moment, his legs would stumble.

Chang Geng rushed to catch him in fright, but as he accidentally touched his back, he found that Gu Yun’s clothes felt as if he just got fished out of the water – his back has been soaked through with cold sweat.

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