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Jaya, Komeng, Ysabel, Anh, Chua, HPC, you are welcome. DongBin, Xu Xiong, wikipedia also has the map, among other things: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transi...om_Sui_to_Tang, Bocah, Lao Qianbei, to me it's a bit too unbelievable, because in just a few short months they progressed so much. But then again, it's a plot ... Here's the rest of Chapter 6.Jaya, Komeng, Ysabel, Anh, Chua, HPC, you are welcome. DongBin, Xu Xiong, wikipedia also has the map, among other things: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transi...om_Sui_to_Tang, Bocah, Lao Qianbei, to me it's a bit too unbelievable, because in just a few short months they progressed so much. But then again, it's a plot ... Here's the rest of Chapter 6.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transi...om_Sui_to_Tang
Yuwen Huaji did not expect Xu Ziling would dare to hide inside the building, he was still flying on the roof, looking for the two boys everywhere.
Inside the building cries of grief shook the heavens, about a dozen renegade soldiers were pressing down several palace maids on the floor, doing their beastly deeds.
Xu Ziling forgot their own safety, he brandished his saber with all his might, killing the renegade soldiers, but those palace maids were already at their last gasp.
Another group of renegade soldiers rushed in. Xu Ziling quietly raised another mouthful of qi to break out through the window, carrying Kou Zhong on his back.
Kou Zhong whispered in his ear, "Pagoda!”
Xu Ziling understood; he dashed toward the hiding place.
By this time most of the buildings in the palace complex have already engulfed in the sea of flame, the only people going back and forth were the renegade soldiers searching for survivors.
Xu Ziling unleashed his consummate escaping skill, fleeing high and ducking low, toward the pagoda on the southeast corner of the complex. The renegade soldiers did see them, but in a flash they already vanished, hence they did not know where to pursue.
Meanwhile Kou Zhong's breathing has become short and weak, his hands and feet lost their strength. Xu Ziling thought fast; taking advantage while the two people's chest and back were pressing against each other, he sent his true qi to enter Kou Zhong's body.
The pagoda was in sight.
Suddenly there was a cold snort coming from behind.
The two boys recognized Yuwen Huaji's voice, their soul flew away and scattered.
Kou Zhong wanted to let his hands and feet go, with the intention of letting Xu Ziling escape alive, but Xu Ziling held on to him tight, while suddenly made a sharp turn sideways to evade Yuwen Huaji's ‘splitting the air' palm strike, and then promptly entered a palace building that was still burning.
Yuwen Huaji had just scored a great victory - he killed his mortal enemy, Dugu Sheng, with one palm strike, naturally he was unwilling to follow the two boys taking risk, so he leaped onto the roof of the building, thinking that the moment the two boys going out of the building would be the moment they would lose their lives. To his surprise, however, all he saw was a ball of fire rushing upwards.
Yuwen Huaji stared hard; turned out it was Kou Zhong brandishing a piece or burning beam with all his might. At first glance he thought it was just a ball of fire, so with a long whistle he swooped down.
After receiving Xu Ziling's true qi, which complemented his own perfectly, Kou Zhong was able to recover some his strength. Upon seeing that, he looked back and laughed, "Yuwen Huagu, nice move!”
Waving his right hand, he transmitted his qi into the blazing beam to created millions of burning fragments raining down on Yuwen Huaji.
If it were only sparks of fire, Yuwen Huaji was definitely more than able to deal with it, but in the midst of the sparks was Kou Zhong's true qi, which was a different story altogether. If because of this he suffered damage on his face, the gain of killing the two boys would not make up for his losses. Therefore, he could only sigh inwardly and moved away to the side.
Just this short delay was enough for the two boys to flee into the bamboo forest under the pagoda.
Wherever the two boys went, fire sprang up everywhere.
Yuwen Huaji was so angry that he spouted smoke through his seven orifices; he knew Kou Zhong set everything in his path on fire, to block him from chasing or intercepting them. Hurriedly he gathered his mysterious power and taking advantage before the fire grew, he rushed into the woods. To his surprise, however, these past several days the weather was dry and the wind was strong, plus Kou Zhong intentionally waved the burning wood around, so that sparks flew everywhere, the fire followed the wind, the wind intensified the fire, in a blink of the eye most of the bamboo forest caught fire. Crackling noise of the fire was everywhere, forcing Yuwen Huaji to make a detour and had to enter the forest in a roundabout way.
The most annoying thing for him was that the burning bamboo created thick smoke, making it difficult for him to estimate the two boys' position.
Suddenly a loud laughter coming from above, Kou Zhong was quacking like a duck as he said, "Yuwen Huagu, we'll let you keep your stinky head for the time being, but just be careful! Don't let anybody else take it before we fight you.”
A whooshing noise suddenly filled the air; by the time Yuwen Huaji cried out inwardly, there was a ‘splosh!' of the water from the moat just outside the imperial city wall. By the time Yuwen Huaji reached the top of the wall, he saw under the illumination of the blaze that the water in the moat was as flat and smooth as a mirror; the two boys have disappeared without any trace.
Looking back, he saw the entire imperial city was like a sea of fire, thick smoke hid the starry sky above.
"Muddleheaded ruler is dead!”
The entire Jiangdu was boiling.
The big fire of the imperial city painted half of the sky above this great city bloody red.
From time to time renegade soldiers on horseback galloped by and cried out, "Muddleheaded ruler is dead!”
Some people went into hiding in fear; but some others set off firecrackers in joyous celebration. The young and the strong swarmed toward the imperial city to look for Yang Guang's dead body, they wanted to burn and peel it to vent their anger, or perhaps they were hoping to get a bit of share of the treasure the muddleheaded ruler left behind from the hands of the renegade soldiers.
The official storehouse was broken and looted bare.
Some renegade soldiers even took advantage of the situation to break and enter common people's houses to rape and plunder, so that a clash ensued. The entire city of Yangzhou was in chaos, Yuwen Huaji and his party were helpless to exercise control over it.
Dripping wet and cold, Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling had to do their utmost just to crawl out of the moat, and groped their way toward the aqueduct outside the city.
On the streets, mobs of people allied themselves with each other, carrying clubs, staffs, swords and spears; as soon as they saw a Sui soldier alone, they would swarm toward him and beat him up, without the slightest care whether the soldier was actually the hero who had helped killing the fatuous ruler. It was a clear display of their bitter hatred toward Sui army and the government officials.
Xu Ziling was straining to carry Kou Zhong on his back walking along the street, pushing his way through crowds of spectators bustling with noise and excitement.
A burst of applause and cheers shook the heavens, turned out a squad of about twenty Sui soldiers were being dragged down from their horses by the masses and were beaten half dead.
Kou Zhong groaned, "That section of river course was really hard, and I have no true qi at all; my body feels light and fluttering, and I seem to lose all my strength. Huh? You, this kid, are not injured at all, why does your footstep also seem floaty?”
With a bitter smile Xu Ziling replied, "You have the nerve to say that? You, this kid, is so heavy. You don't know how hard it is to carry you on my back.”
Kou Zhong knew that Xu Ziling has exerted too much strength; struggling hard to separate laughter from his coughing, he said, "You, this kid, really know how to crack a joke. Ay! This time we failed to harm Yuwen Huagu, and nearly lost our little lives instead; we are definitely out of luck thoroughly.”
Xu Ziling glanced around at the chaotic situation; he noticed that some houses at the west side of the city had just started to catch fire. He said with a heavy voice, "Yuwen Huagu will not benefit too much advantage from this, to control this terrible mess is not easy at all; and don't forget that Ol' Die and Li Zitong are waiting around here, glaring like a tiger watching its prey!”
Kou Zhong's legs gave up, he nearly fell to the ground, his whole body was exhausted as he was holding on to Xu Ziling for dear life. The two boys strained hard just to walk several steps forward; finally they could not take it anymore. Entering a small alley, they sat down on the ground with their backs against the wall.
After catching up their breath, Kou Zhong said, "We might not be able to rely on that water route, can't say for sure, but Yuwen Huaji might be waiting for us there to walk right into the trap.”
This moment about a hundred or so renegade soldiers arrived; as soon as they saw the armed mob, they immediately attacked. The battle cry shook the heavens, everybody fell over each other whether to evade or to run away. It did not seem like an organized attack, rather, it looked like these renegade soldiers' spontaneous act of retaliation.
Watching people desperately running to the other end of the alley right in front of his eyes, Kou Zhong's spirit was aroused. "I dare say that all the city gates are wide open,” he said, "I don't believe no Sui soldiers will take this opportunity to flee.”
Xu Ziling was trying hard to gather his true qi, but he could not succeed. He mused that if they met even an ordinary Sui troop, they would suffer calamity. Sighing, he said, "So what if the gates are open, do we have strength to walk out? How's your injury?”
Kou Zhong laughed and said, "After we get out of the city, let me, Zhong Shao, strip naked and have you count how many cuts are there on my body, I guarantee it will scare you. Fortunately Laozi [I, your father] have deep power, the cuts can automatically fuse together to stop the bleeding, otherwise I would have died from hemorrhaging alone. The most formidable thing was that Yuwen Shiji's sword; he could pierce the true qi protecting my body. But at least this young master returned the compliment by giving him a kick; otherwise, how could you knock him down? Quickly thank me.”
Xu Ziling roared in laughter. "You, this fellow, will never concede,” he said, "Were it not for me, you, this kid, would have become minced meat sauce.”
Kou Zhong joined him in laughter. Wiping the tears from the corner of his eye, he said, "Why is it that even after we failed and were wiped over the floor, and now whether we will live or die is still hard to forecast, we could still be this happy?”
Xu Ziling craned his neck to look at the street where there was no lantern and no burning fire. The chaotic street just a moment ago has become as quiet as the ghost place, except for unceasing shouting and screaming from the distance. Breathing a sigh of relief, he said, "The reason is very simple: because we are still young. As long as we still have days ahead of us, and we don't die, even if we are a bit late, we can always find Yuwen Huagu to settle the old account clearly.”
Kou Zhong acted as if he was deep in thought concerning this matter; and then, propping himself against the wall he stood up shakily, and spoke with determination, "Even if we have to crawl, we have to crawl out of town. If we don't leave now, there is a good chance we will never leave.”
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