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Chapter 254 “Feign one thing while doing another” (Part two)
Meanwhile over at the General’s manor, Rugaard with his sour face did not give much heed to his men; instead, he waved them down and only left his most trusted confidant to stand guard while he entered the inner quarter.
Technically speaking, the inner quarter could be called a forbidden zone here.
As someone that originated from the Snowy Mountain, Rugaard specifically laid countless magic traps around the area. If an outsider were to intrude upon this place, well…. You get the idea.
Quietly walking over to a room alone, Rugaard angrily kicked open the door to only leave everything inside intact. He may be furious, but he’s no fool to go smashing his own furniture’s. Breathing in deeply to calm himself, he then slowly walked over to a cupboard and pushed it aside to enter the secret passage.
Drip drip, woosh woosh…. The sound of dripping water and moving air was easy to discern in this damp tunnel.
If Du Wei was here, he’d be surprised to discover the layout and architecture of this passageway was exactly the same as the maze under Anglia City!
As Rugaard went deeper and deeper, he finally came to a stone door. With a twist of the secret knob, a shrill of painful howl immediately blasted out. Based on the emotion of that voice, the owner must be in a lot of pain.
Rugaard’s mood was bad to begin with but with that commotion, his face became increasingly gloomy. Sliding through the crack that opened up, he slid himself into the chamber.
Inside, the ground was covered in bloodstains while a naked and bloodied man rolled around in agony. Not only that, every muscle on his body – including the face – was already distorted to the point where the flesh and skin was ripping in many places!
Father … … Father … … Please, stop me!
The painful cries was from no other, it is Cybuster, the young general that dominated the battle today!!
Right now Cybuster’s appearance was nowhere close to being the mighty warrior he once was. If anything, he was more like a lost dog moping around in a back alley.
With muscles ripped and blood oozing from every part of his body, only the word “grotesque” could be used to describe him.
Reaching the limit of his pain, Cybuster tries to clench his fist but could only fail in his feat. Unable to do even that, he can only feebly roll around on the floor again out of agony.
“Control!!!” Rugaard majestic voice resounded across the chamber: “Control!!! Don’t use brute force; use your inner strength to control this body! You can do it, my son, you can do it!”
Incited by Rugaard’s words, Cybuster suddenly started to bellow out a crazed laugh: “Quit your nonsense you old bastard! All you ever do is say those comforting words! If you keep yapping by my ear, I will kill you!”
The next moment, this tyrannical voice suddenly took on a pleading sheepish tone: “Father…. Knock me out, hurry….. I can’t control him…… Knock me out, he’s about to come out! He’s coming out…..”
With his hand’s trembling, Rugaard silently walked over to his son’s side and squatted down with a complicated expression.
“You … … You! Old thing, go to hell!!” Cybuster suddenly went mad and ruthlessly threw a punch at his father with his left hand. But just when it was about to land, Cybuster had a change of emotion again: “Don’t hurt him!!”
Using his right hand, Cybuster mercilessly pounded it against his left hand and deflected the punch that was about to land on Rugaard’s left shoulder.
“Cybuster!! You are my son! You can control him! If you can control him before, you can do it again!” Rugaard sucks in a deep breath and gently places his palm on top of Cybuster’s disfigured forehead. Slowly, beams of white light squeezed out and gradually seeped into Cybuster’s head.
From heavy panting to a gradual calm, Cybuster’s face suddenly went into a frenzy change. From violent pain, to a coward pity, then to erratic laughter, Cybuster’s face finally settled on a pale calm that left him exhausted.
Who knows how long had passed; Cybuster suddenly lets out a long breather and slowly sat up. Breathing in a few times, the unsightly wounds all over his body rapidly began to heal and in no times at all, no traces of those wounds could be found.
In his eyes, whether it was the violent craze or cowardly pity, none of it could be seen anymore. Instead, only the unnerving cold calm from before the battle took place could be found.
“Father.” Cybuster suddenly sighed: “You used that type of magic again. You should be aware that such spells will decrease your life expectancy with every use.”
Rugaard remained silence for a moment before breaking out into a smile: “I’m old already, even if I die … … There will be you to inherit my all.”
“But … … I still couldn’t make a complete fusion. If in the future you are no here and I still couldn’t perfect my fusion, then……” Cybuster shakes his head to remove that thought.
“You are my son.” Rugaard’s eye suddenly showed a touch of pride: “You are a descendant of the Snowy Mountain Sect. If I say you can do it, then you will succeed!”
“But … …” Cybuster chuckles: “I’m very worried… … Let’s say if one day, I really can’t stop myself and kill you, what should I do?”
“Kill me … …” Rugaard suddenly burst out into a fitted laugh: “Among the thousand year lineage of Snowy Mountain, I’m not the first to offer up their life for progression. Since I’m not the first, I won’t be the last either.”
After resting for a while, Rugaard pulls out a bottle and poured a drop of liquid onto his finger. Drinking that strange content from his finger tip, he lets out a soothing sigh: “Are you feeling better now?”
“I think there’s no problem.” Climbing up, Cybuster pats the dirt off his body and walked up to a cupboard in the chamber. From within, he takes out an iron mask that was usually covering his handsome face: “I think there’s no problem…. It’s just that I think I’ve been using my abilities too frequently.”
After a pause, he suddenly lets out a gentle sigh: “Father…. How far am I from achieving a ‘perfect body’?”
By early next morning, Du Wei was already knocking at the General’s manor.
After a night of adjustment, Rugaard seems to have regained perfect control over his emotions when they met. One old and one young fox exchanging blows, their words may be friendly and kind on the surface, but every letter contained lethal blows that was sharp enough to kill.
Like this, Du Wei and Rugaard negotiated for a whole morning while Hussein waited outside the study room. It’s not that Hussein didn’t want to go inside too, he couldn’t because of Du Wei’s instruction: “No matter what happens and no matter what you hear, don’t worry and don’t act rashly.”
Sure enough, when a loud hollering cry came from within the study room, the nearby bodyguards nervously charged in to only be driven out by Rugaard’s roaring voice.
It wasn’t until noon did the two fox come out of their duel. While Du Wei had an obvious fake smile, Rugaard was clearly gnashing his teethes and fuming in anger.
“Since it’s like this, General Rugaard won’t need to escort me. I will leave by the afternoon… You know, there are prairie horsemen lurking about in my territory. If I don’t go back soon, who knows what kind headache will be waiting for me.” The cheekier Du Wei got, the angrier Rugaard became.
Turning greenish red, Rugaard bites his next words out: “Then I won’t show you the way!”
Not even bothering to say farewell, the general slams the door behind him.
“What did you discuss with him in there?” Asked Hussein.
Seeing Rugaard disappear into the study room, Du Wei’s smile also disappeared: “Aigh… Let’s talk on the road. Negotiating with this old fox isn’t easy. Many times during our negotiation, I can tell he was ready to draw his blade at me! But whenever he wanted to, his anger would suddenly subside for some odd reason.”
Although Rugaard said he won’t escort him, there was still a unit of heavy armored troops awaiting them outside.
However, the most important part wasn’t the soldiers; it was the three thousand horses and weapons promised to Du Wei from the bet before. Aside from that, there are also the female slaves saved from the hunt. It’s a shame that not all of them were saved, but some was better than none.
Using the cavalry troops to lead the way, Du Wei could finally let out a sigh of relief as the fleeting image of Watt City disappeared from his sight.
“What did you really say to Rugaard?” Hussein was also inside the carriage with him.
Du Wei eyes beamed a mysterious light: “The Northwest Corridor!”
Hussein blinked and blinked.
“Aside from being the only portal connecting the prairie desert to our territory, it is also our biggest weakness! The reason those prairie horsemen was able to sneak in is because the guards posted there turned a blind eye…. Humph, if they continue to pull that every so often, we won’t last for long! Therefore, I requested it be returned to us. This way we won’t have to worry about the prairie natives sneaking in.”
Hussein sighed: “Will Rugaard really hand such an important location back to you? You know, as long as he holds the Northwest Corridor, it’s akin to taking our throat as hostage!”
“He has no choice but to let go.” Du Wei smiled: “This is the biggest reason for my coming to Watt City. During the entire morning, I used both coercion and inducement during our negotiation. In fact, I practically used every method in the book and some. Fortunately I was certain he didn’t want to rebel, otherwise, he might have really killed me. Besides, he must make some kind of goodwill gesture to appease those in the capital. He may have killed Gold Wolf Head, but that’s not enough. My suggestion to him was to hand over the Northwest Corridor so the Northwest Army can avoid responsibility for this event. However, I may have phrased my words a little too straightforward. When he heard my proposal, Rugaard immediately jumped up and pounded the table…… Ha-ha, it was great watching him swear to heaven that he is absolutely loyal to the empire.”
After a pause, Hussein suddenly asked: “Oh yes, where did you send Philip off to?”
He … … I sent him out of the city earlier this morning…. Hmm, I had him go meet Governor Bohan.” Du Wei grinned: “Enough, once we are at Helan City, I believe Bohan will send for us to meet him at the governor’s manor. Only then will our business on this trip finally come to an end.”
After all that, Du Wei leaned against a corner of the carriage and began to meditate due to fatigue.
He’s really drained today. Looking at it from another view, the negotiation with Rugaard was no different from a soldier fighting in a war.
Moreover, on several occasions, Du Wei clearly sensed the opposition had already reached their limit. What he didn’t understand though was why Rugaard would always suppress that anger whenever he touched the cord……
There’s no way Du Wei would relent. Retrieving the control of Northwest Corridor was an absolute must for the stakes are way too high. Furthermore, he even went as far as to indirectly threaten Rugaard that he will mobilize troops to retrieve control of that place if he must! Either you rebel now or you hand it over!
Under such conditions, Du Wei finally forced Rugaard to compromise on the matter.
But when Du Wei saw Rugaard’s faint smile after agreeing to his demand, he seems to get the idea the old guy was looking at him like a joke was about to unfolding.
Simply put, the Northwest Corridor was nothing more a large canyon terrain that has a width as wide as ten miles!
Such a broad channel was no easy to task to guard, this was even more true if he wanted to station a garrison force there!
Firstly was that Du Wei’s troops lacked the resources. Secondly, there’s no direct water source in that area. If he wanted to station tens of thousands of troops there, he will need to transport astronomical amount of water from afar. There’s no way he could do that for the supplies alone would drag him down!
Yet such a difficult geographic environment was his only portal into the prairie…..
Sending troops won’t work but not sending won’t do either, what a dilemma.
Rugaard … … You want to see me make a joke out of myself? Fine, then let’s see who gets the last laugh!
Two days later, Du Wei and his men arrives at Helan City where Governor Bohan and the Northwest Army marked their border.
From here, the Northwest Army’s one thousand horsemen escort took their leave and handed off the job to Bohan’s garrison cavalries that had been awaiting Du Wei.
Aside from Bohan’s men, Philip was also in the mix. By the time Du Wei attempted to get off his carriage, Philip had already come up to make his greeting.
With a face full of smile, the young Philip speaks: “Duke, Governor Bohan is very interested in the ‘win-win’ proposal you asked me to pass on. He’s waiting for you in the governor’s manor.”
Watching Philip’s fatigued getup, Du Wei sighed: “You’ve worked hard.”
Indeed, Philip’s maneuver of moving ahead and convincing the stubborn old man was taxing on his weak body.
Du Wei then turns to Hussein and winked at the Saint Knight: “Look Hussein…. We will soon have plenty of recruits!”
However, Phillips subsequently gave out a wry smile to dampen the mood: “Duke, I fear things may not be as optimistic as it sounds….. Because Bohan raised a condition that might cause us some difficulty!”
“Condition?” Du Wei frowned.
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