Joy of Life - Chapter 524 - Chase (2)[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:39]
Chapter 524: Chase (2)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
A white milk-like fog lay on the surface of the ocean. It was silent all around. Only the faint sound of water lapping at the side of boats came through. The sound became clearer and clearer as three black ships gradually emerged like spirits through the fog and revealed their entirety.
Xu Maocai stood at the head of the boat. He was conveying something in a low voice to a subordinate officer. The group of three boats were following orders as they went north along the seashore. Before too long, they had reached the designated location. From there, it were still about 20 li to Danzhou. The Overwatch Council’s white-sail ship was stopped on the dock in the south of Danzhou.
With the cover of the thick fog, these three boats were able to come near the Overwatch Council ship. However, this added unknown troubles to their search. The naval soldiers knew that the black-clothed man who had escaped in the night from Dong Mountain was their current target, Fan Xian. They were unsure why their superiors had sent them to the south of Danzhou. They didn’t know that Yan Xiaoyi had determined that after Fan Xian escaped, he would, at the first possible moment, make contact with his trusted aides on this white-sail ship.
Fan Xian wore a slightly loose uniform of a trusted soldier. He bundled up the black night walking clothes and his equipment. He hid in the front cabin of the battleship and was not worried that he would be discovered by someone on the boat. He peeked through the gap in the window toward the outside with slightly narrowed eyes. In his heart, he was worried about the boat on the other side of the fog.
Three boats sailed north on the ocean, maintaining the optimal distance from the seashore. Xu Maocai once again tried to get closer to the shore but worried that too large a movement would raise the suspicions of the seekers. Thus, during this hour, Fan Xian had no way to escape ashore.
Fan Xian had thought about escaping alone, but he couldn’t let go of his subordinates in the south of Danzhou. There was still a small group of the Qinian Unit on the boat and Hong Changqing, whom he liked very much, was still on the boat handling affairs. At this moment, the three battleships giving chase had surrounded them. If he ran now, what would he do about his subordinates’ deaths?
He didn’t know whether or not Yan Xiaoyi was on these three boats. A wave of anger and helplessness surged in his heart. He had always thought his luck was extremely good. He had only discovered now that such a thing as luck was a double-edged sword.
If he didn’t show himself, the Overwatch Council boat would certainly become the navy’s main target. No one on the boat would be able to survive.
If the three boats were all controlled by Xu Maocai, Fan Xian would, of course, have a much better way of dealing with it. The problem was that Admiral Qin Yi did not make such a mistake. The three ships were all transferred over from three different officers.
Fan Xian did not think that Yan Xiaoyi would be so neglectful. If he thought that after Fan Xian had escaped he would go in search of the Overwatch Council branch in the south of Danzhou, why would he not follow him?
He sat in a chair by the window and adjusted his breathing. He knew he was about to face a difficult dilemma. Yan Xiaoyi moving troops to attack the south of Danzhou was using his subordinates’ lives to force him to show himself. Yan Xiaoyi probably already guessed that he was hiding on a boat. He just didn’t know which one and couldn’t make the Jiaozhou Navy lose face by coming to do a search.
Fan Xian also did not know which boat Yan Xiaoyi was on. It would be good if he knew.
The white fog grew thicker. The ocean wind also grew stronger, gradually dispersing the white cloud-like fog to either side. Through the window, one could faintly see the cliff and green trees on the shore. Stopped quietly on the seaside, the white-sail ship, which was as beautiful and lovable as a virgin and had accompanied Fan Xian for so long, also gradually came into view.
Fan Xian’s heart tightened. The cliff and trees on the shore were tempting to him. If he abandoned ship and directly ascended the cliff, even if Yan Xiaoyi was on the ship right now and gave chase, he was 60 percent confident that he could escape, mingle into the sea of humanity, and head straight to Jingdou.
The allure of the ship was even stronger. The lives and deaths of the subordinates on that boat were very important to Fan Xian. When all was said and done, as a person of two lives, he still had not achieved Chen Pingping’s realm. He had to board that ship and warn his still deeply asleep subordinates before the rebel army began their attack.
On the three naval battleships, the sound of tightly strung rope began to ring out. No matter how tight Fan Xian’s heart was, he knew the catapults on the ships were being prepared. The people on the white-sail ship in front had clearly relaxed their guard because they were deep within Qing territory. They had no important figures to protect, so they did not notice the unusual movements on the sea.
Fan Xian’s pupil’s contracted slightly. He flicked his fingertips, calling Xu Maocai back into the cabin. In a low voice, he got ready to gamble.
The three ships proceeded along the shore in a line, slowly surrounding the Overwatch Council’s ship. When they were still some distance away, Xu Maocai’s battleship was suddenly struck by a wave. Problems appeared with the helmsman’s control, so the angle of the head of the ship veered a little.
The rebel officers on the other two boats furrowed their brows slightly, thinking, Captain Xu had long experience with battle situations, yet he had made such a mistake. Seeing that it had not alerted the target beside the shore, they didn’t think too much about it.
It was the negligence of a moment.
A muffled clapping sound rang out, like the movement of heavy machinery. Immediately after, a severe and piercing cry rang out from seashore covered by white fog.
A number of sharp rocks flew out from the catapult on Xu Maocai’s ship. The massive weight flew across the sky above the water with terrifying speed. Enveloped by soft threads of cloth, the smashed toward the battleship closest to the seashore without any warning. A few giant booms rang out.
One piece of rock smashed into the side of the battleship right on the water line, leaving a gaping dark hole. Another piece smashed into the main mast on the battleship. With a sharp crack, the thick main mast snapped in half leaving a sharp and towering splinter. The large sail fell down with a crash and knocked down countless naval officers. The knots on the sailcloth became aimless ropes in an instant and were swept across the ship by the mast. Ripping through the air, it swept past the dazed naval officers and broke them at their waist.
It could only be said that this rock had amazing luck. In just an instant, it caused heavy injuries and death on that battleship. Countless pieces of bloody flesh and red water sprayed out.
Since these boats preparing for a secret attack, when they were secretly attacked by their own people, everything seemed sudden. There was no time to put up defenses. Seemingly in that instant, the three battleships stopped at the same time and slowed. Only the terrifying sound of enormous stones falling through the air could be heard.
“Release the arrows!” Xu Maocai yelled in a low voice with an ashen expression. Following his orders, countless flaming arrows flew out at the same time toward the already heavily damaged ship.
The flaming arrows fell like drops of rain. It was unknown whether the captain on the boat was dead or alive. There was absolutely no one organizing a counterstrike much less providing aid. In just that instant, the entire ship burst into flames. The sails above the ship became the greatest support for the flames.
Xu Maocai’s expression was complicated. The people on the battleship were all his colleagues. If it had not reached the most dangerous moment, he would not have chosen this method of a sneak attack. If he had not been part of the Jiaozhou Navy for 20 years and all the officers on this ship had not all been his trusted aides, he would not have been able to organize the entire ship to attack within a short amount of time nor think the results would be so good.
He watched the white-sail ship near the shore with furrowed brows. From the unusual movements on the ship, he knew the Overwatch Council people had already reacted. He had completed the task he promised the young master.
He slightly clenched his right fist and made a gesture behind him.
On the right of the battleship that had suddenly made a despicable sneak attack, the crossbow used for close distance attacks on the ocean was suddenly activated. With a muffled sound, the entire battleship shook slightly. The crossbow with a hook sped out and struck directly on the Overwatch Council ship by the shore.
The distance between the two ships was bridged by the rope behind this enormous crossbow.
The Qinian Unit members of the Overwatch Council ran bravely to the side of the boat and tried to chop through the rope. However, they heard the sound of an arrow banner of command from within the sea fog and turned and ran. With incredible speed, they abandoned the ship and ran down the gangway that faced away from the water like countless shadows. They disappeared into the fog on the shore. They moved quickly and left one dumb-founded.
This was the reason the Overwatch Council was so powerful. All of the secret agents of the eight bureaus had the same reaction to the sound of an arrow banner of command deeply ingrained in their hearts. There was no need to ask anything. They only needed to follow the order.
The ship on the ocean burned hotly. Occasionally, a wretched cry rang out. The ship that made the sneak attack stopped on the ocean and was connected to the white-sail ship beside the shore. After the people on the Overwatch Council’s ship ran away with startling speed, they left behind a dead boat. While the ship at the back increased speed.
A glimmer of fear flashed through Xu Maocai’s pupils. He watched as the completely undamaged naval battleship suddenly put on speed. With astounding speed, it charged forward from the lower left corner directly into the territory of the Pin family, putting itself between his own ship and the shoreline. He could also clearly see that the ship was already making preparations for an attack.
Earlier, Xu Maocai had tossed out all the rocks and flaming arrows in exchange for such a battle result. Seeing the other party preparing to make an attack now, his first reaction was…
“Turn back! Reverse…”
Before the words “reverse the oars” had left his mouth, Xu Maocai stood with his mouth open unable to utter a single word. A gust of wind had forced itself between his lips and rendered him mute. It was wind from arrows.
A foot kicked squarely and viciously against Xu Maocai’s hip bone. The powerful strength sent him flying. He crashed into the ship railing and rattled free a few planks of wood. It was because of this that he, fortunately, escaped the rain of arrows that fell down.
Just as Xu Maocai’s body was kicked slightly askew, the wave of arrows brushed by his cheek. The wind on the arrows was as powerful as the wind through the mountain woods, but there was not much sound. It was all sinisterly quiet.
A faint whistling sound rang out.
Xu Maocai lay on the shattered wooden panels and looked in a daze at the scene in front of his eyes. He was so terrified, his body began to tremble.
Five naval officers bore dainty little holes on their bodies. They maintained their final expression before death, standing with their mouths open in shock. Blood flowed rapidly out of their throats, chests, and heads.
A delicate black arrow was pinned to the wooden board of the battleship. The feather vibrated at a high speed and made a buzzing sound. Blood dyed the feather. With a dripping sound, a drop of blood fell down.
A single drop of blood. A ground full of dead people. What kind of arrow was this?
Taking back the foot he had used to kick Xu Maocai, Fan Xian knew that he had lost his gamble. Yan Xiaoyi was indeed on the ship, but not on the one on fire that Xu Maocai had put everything into attacking. He knew his location was already known to Yan Xiaoyi. There was no use in continuing to hide.
He narrowed his eyes slightly and looked at the battleship that maintained its high speed as it headed toward the official ship by the shore. Looking at Governor Yan in light-black armor holding the bow silently like a god, he flipped his hand and put the light side of the Overwatch Council robe on.
He turned his head to glance at Xu Maocai, who had already lost an ear and had half his face drenched in blood. His right foot wearing calf-skin boots was already stepping on the rope connecting the two ships.
With a shake of his body, the disguised Fan Xian followed the rope in the fog and slid toward that direction. His body was slightly bowed, like a leopard cat. Soundlessly, he entered into the white fog.
With a whistling sound, an arrow did not fly toward Fan Xian body as it disappeared in the fog. Instead, it shot toward the robe from the crossbow on the right side of the ship. In a flash, the sharp tip of the arrow cut through the knot in the rope.
The rope between the two boats fell weakly into the water, but there was no sound of a person falling into the water.
Yan Xiaoyi silently put away his longbow. He looked at the ship beneath his feet as it moved at a startling speed toward the Overwatch Council’s official ship.
On the other end of the fog, Fan Xian had already climbed up the broken robe like a spirit and floated into a cabin he was familiar with. He didn’t have time to check whether his subordinates were injured and couldn’t care about the fact that less than an arrow’s flight toward him, the giant naval battleship was heading straight for him.
He ruthlessly kicked the chest in the cabin. With a snap, the solid and strong wooden chest was broken into wood shards by the endless Tyrannical zhenqi in his body. Silvery light shot in every direction.
One-hundred and thirty-thousand liang of snow-white silver poured out from the chest like a ripe pomegranate being split open.
It revealed a corner of the long and narrow black chest.