ROHYX Chapter 435 : Fierce Battle (3)

🦊: This extra chapter is brought to you by Speracles, Au and Caitlin Webb. Thank you for completing my January 2023 extra chapter goal on Ko-fi. 🍵💃🏻

Edited by Tenkä.

That night, Xu Wu went to General Zhao and told him about Yuxi's speculation. Of course, like last time, he said it was Huo Changqing's.

General Zhao then did not want to think too much and only asked Xu Wu, "Did your Yifu[1] say how sure he was?" This was no child's play. Everyone knew that fighting in a war was a matter of fighting spirit. If the soldiers' spirits were lifted by the first roll of the drums, they would be drained by the second and exhausted by the third[2]. If they let this information out and the northern barbarians did not retreat within the allotted time, the consequences would be unimaginable.

Xu Wu replied, "Ninety per cent! My Yifu[1] said that as long as we can withstand the attacks, the enemy will definitely retreat." Even if the enemy had other grain supplies after their granary was burned, with so many men to feed, they could only hold out for three days at most. However, as this was a sensitive time, Xu Wu let General Zhao weigh it himself.

General Zhao nodded his head. "I got it."

As soon as Xu Wu left, General Zhao went to Qin Zhao and told him the situation. "I want to spread these news so that all the soldiers know what's happening." Once the soldiers clearly knew the enemy's circumstances, they would be more courageous in killing them.

Qin Zhao hesitated. "What if I forbid you to?"

General Zhao stared at Qin Zhao and said, "With the current attack by the northern barbarians, it is obvious that we cannot wait for reinforcements to arrive, and we can only last five to six days at most. Therefore, it would be better to let the soldiers know that the barbarians can only fight for five more days so that their morale can be boosted and we can be more assured". General Zhao predicted that these northern barbarians could only hold out for three days without enough food, but if he extended the time to another two days, it would give their side more breathing space.

Qin Zhao knew there was no better way to do it now, so he nodded and said, "All right."

The northern barbarian army continued its assault for two days and two nights without any sign of retreat. Fortunately, the other side had been told that if they persevered for the next five days, the enemy would be driven to the point of sickness from the lack of food. Therefore, since all the soldiers knew the score, they didn't turn to despair. No one should underestimate this situation. Sometimes, one's morale can make or break a war.

Xu Wu heard some news from outside and informed Yuxi. "Madam, many officials from Yu City fled last night with their families and children." The officials that Xu Wu was talking about were all civil servants.

Hearing this information, Yuxi asked, "Did Tongzhi[3] Xia also flee?"[T/C]

Xu Wu nodded. "Basically, all the officials of Yu City have fled." Those creatures were cowardly clinging to life and fearing death[5].

Yuxi didn't care as she said, "If they've run away, let them. This bunch of trash couldn't help even if they stayed in Yu City." If these officials had been willing to come forward, it would not have been their (Yuxi's and the others) turn to organise the women, children and elderly to help the soldiers fighting a bloody battle at the frontline.

Xu Wu had no reaction to her words.

At this time, Mama Xi came in and said, "Madam, Chief Lian is outside asking for an audience." Chief Lian was sending something into the residence. It was not food, of course, but the poultry raised on the farm. Yuxi had asked someone to bring all the fowls from the farm into the city a few days ago.

When Chief Lian walked in, he did not dare to look up at Yuxi but knelt on the floor and kowtowed to her three times before saying, "Madam, all the slaughterable poultry have been delivered. They have been given to Steward Han." This meant that the smaller ones that hadn't grown up were still on the farm.

Yuxi slightly nodded in gratitude, "Thank you for your hard work."

Chief Lian said hastily, "It's not really hard work. It's just that the amount we sent was not much." The chickens, ducks, pigs and other livestock raised on the farm were only meant to supply the Yun Residence. If all this stuff were sent to the frontline, the people there would probably only be able to eat a bowl of soup.

Yuxi said, "It's not much, but it is a small token of our appreciation." There was nothing else she could do other than make this small contribution.

Even Chief Lian, who had retired from the battlefield, knew that this contribution, though not much, could still warm the hearts of the soldiers on the frontline.

Yuxi asked, "Are the children on the farm doing well?" Now, in times of crisis, she had no time to focus on them.

Chief Lian nodded. "They are all well." Because of the war, no one knew what would happen, so he now fed the children with wowotou and a bowl of plain porridge every day. It was not that Chief Lian treated them harshly, but since the current situation was still unclear, it was safer to save some of the food.

Yuxi nodded. "It's good that the children are well. By the way, how is Fu Qingluo doing on the farm?" At first, Fu Qingluo shouted that women were no worse than men and that she wanted to go to war to kill the enemy. As a result, when Zijin went to the battlefield, Fu Qingluo was nowhere to be seen.

Chief Lian was silent for a moment before he replied, "Da Nainai[6] Fu came with her children to find Eldest Miss Fu six days ago, and then Eldest Miss Fu left with Da Nainai[6] Fu." Da Nainai[6] Fu was the usual weak woman who would feel insecure about running away with only her daughters. Fu Qingluo had martial arts skills, and the guards around her were not inferior either. Therefore, she and her children would feel much safer with Fu Qingluo by their side.

Fu Qingluo was reluctant to leave at first; after all, she was doing a task assigned to her by Yuxi. But in the end, under the onslaught of tears and pleas from Da Nainai Fu and her two nieces, she left with them. However, Fu Qingluo took only some female guards with her, leaving half of them behind.

Yuxi skipped over the subject as she said, "You should go back now! If Yu City is breached, take the children and hide them to ensure their safety." At that time, a secret passage had been dug in the farmland in case of an emergency. However, only a few people knew about it.

Chief Lian kowtowed to Yuxi three more times and vowed, "Madam, don't worry. I will keep those children safe."

Yuxi sighed but said nothing.

After another day of fighting, the attack from the northern barbarians not only did not abate, but it intensified. As the soldiers on the walls struck down one, another would climb up. Those who had never been on a battlefield would never know the cruelty of war.

A noob translator, きつね, translated this noob translation. Please read this chapter at If you read this in another location other than site stated, it has been taken without the translator's permission. Please don't support this kind of act.

With a swing of her sword, Zijin chopped off the head of another northern barbarian soldier. In these three days and two nights, her eyes had become so red from killing that she didn't even know how many people she had killed.

Yu Zhi was a little anxious as he urged, "Zijin, let's go down and rest! You can't go on like this!" For the past three days and two nights, Zijin had only eaten a bit of food absentmindedly and hadn't had time to take a breather. He couldn't carry on like this, let alone a woman like Zijin.

Zijin replied at the top of her voice, "I can hold on." As she did so, her broadsword sliced through the head of another northern barbarian soldier who had just rushed up.

Yu Zhi knew that reasoning with Zijin would get him nowhere, so he simply grabbed her by the shoulder, pulled her aside and said, "You're not made of steel. Even if you don't want to sleep, come down with me and eat something. Only when you are full can you continue to kill the enemy." He was afraid that if this continued, Zijin would die of exhaustion.

Zijin still refused to go down.

Yu Zhi said coldly, "Zijin, you promised Madam that you would return to her alive. If you go on like this, you won't need the barbarians to kill you; you'll collapse on your own. Come down with me and go back up when you've eaten enough."

At Yu Zhi's urging, Zijin finally followed him down the city walls. One by one, large cauldrons were set up beneath the walls. These cauldrons were all steaming white vapour, but of course, they were not for cooking but for boiling water. Once the water boiled, it was sent up to the wall platform and poured over the barbarians, enough to make them suffer.

Yu Zhi led Zijin into the cooking area. Seeing several steamers of white, plump baozi[7] and mantou[8], Zijin's stomach rumbled, and she couldn't help swallowing. It was the first time she had been so hungry since she met Madam.

A short, scrawny man came up to them and said, "You two, come with me." These baozi[7] and mantou[8] were for soldiers, not ordinary people. One look at Yu Zhi and Zijin, covered in blood, was enough to know their identity.

Zijin walked around a fenced area, a sign that no one else could enter. Each site had already been designated, whether the place was for boiling water or cooking, so you couldn't walk around randomly. Otherwise, instead of helping and keeping things orderly, you would just be causing everyone extra trouble.

Zijin walked up to a steamer of baozi[7] and, ignoring the servant in front of her, grabbed one, stuffed it in her mouth and ate it in one big gulp. She swallowed it so fast that she choked.

Yu Zhi, who was eating more politely, saw this scene and gently patted Zijin on the back. At that time, a woman brought over two bowls of soup and said, "Have some warm soup!"

Zijin took a big gulp of the soup and swallowed it down with the baozi. When she finally felt better, she said to Yu Zhi, "You should hurry up and eat too. Don't mind me."

Yu Zhi nodded, took a sip of the soup and commented, "This soup seems like chicken soup." It tasted a little bland, but his guess would not have been wrong.

At that time, Zijin's mind was so full of thoughts about killing the enemy that she didn't pay attention to what kind of soup she was drinking and urged, "Let's eat quickly. We have to go back up and kill the enemy after this!"

Seeing her reaction, Yu Zhi persuaded her: "Take a break first! Even if it is just a short nap. You haven't slept for three days and two nights. You really need to rest before you continue fighting."

Yu Zhi had an unyielding attitude when he suddenly added, "That won't work. Let's rest for half a shichen[9], and I'll wake you up when it's time." He didn't want Zijin to be exhausted to death.

At Yu Zhi's insistence, Zijin finally gave in. "Fine."

There was a special resting place for the retreating soldiers. After Zijin and Yu Zhi had filled their bellies, they went there to rest. But before she closed her eyes, Zijin was worried they might not wake up in time, so she called one of the children who had come to help them and asked him to wake them up half a shichen[9] later. The boy readily agreed.

When the time came, the child woke Zijin, but Yu Zhi was still fast asleep! She wanted Yu Zhi to sleep a little longer while she went to the battlefield alone. But Yu Zhi held her hand tightly. Since she couldn't get rid of it, she could only wake Yu Zhi up.

Although it was the middle of the night, torches were lit up and down the walls, making the atmosphere seem like daylight. Zijin and Yu Zhi soon walked up to the wall platform and began another round of fighting.

After killing the enemies until almost dawn, Zijin asked, "Yu Zhi, don't you feel that these northern barbarians are not attacking as fiercely as they have in the past few days?" Their attacks seemed to have suddenly weakened.

When Yu Zhi heard this question, he said happily, "Didn't we hear that the northern barbarians' provisions were burned? They must not be able to feed themselves anymore!" This thought filled Yu Zhi with a fighting spirit. As long as they held out a little longer, they could achieve the ultimate victory.[T/C]

Footnotes Full List
  1. adoptive father
  2. This part, 'spirits were lifted by the first roll of the drums', is one of the Chinese chengyu (four characters idiom), taken from Cao Gui's words in the Battle of Changshao. It means to press on to the finish without letup. It's equivalent to the English expression, 'strike while the iron is hot'. To understand the whole sentence, you should try to read the wiki page on Battle of Changshao.
    Map showing the Battle of Changshao between Qi and Lu states
    SY, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. an old word for deputy prefect during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
  4. 🤔 Who is this Tongzhi Xia? I know that Yu City has Tongzhi Hong. How many deputies did a prefect have back then?
  5. Chinese idiom: only interested in saving one's neck
  6. da=eldest, nainai=a young mistress of a family
  7. steamed stuffed bun
  8. steamed bun
  9. 2 hours. Half a shichen is 1 hour
  10. When I read the next chapter, this paragraph gives me the feeling of the calm before the storm. Won't the barbarians become more desperate the hungrier they get?

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