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Chapter 24 – One Person Supporting An Army

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Author: Cherish the World Original Source: SFACG
Translator: raltzero English Source: Re:Library

Fang Lita handed military authority back over to Fang Thirteen.

Even though Fang Lita, who had just suffered a crushing defeat, still appeared overly suspicious of everyone, he should have had more or less the self-awareness that he wasn’t fit for leading an army and thus decided to hand back control of the army to his older sister. What’s worth mentioning is that Fang Lita isn’t a complete beginner when it comes to managing the military aspect. Since he’s read so many books on the art of war to his older sister, he’s learned things to some extent and so has some ability to be an armchair strategist. But in terms of actual battle, it’s the difference between earth and heaven when comparing him to Fang Thirteen.

But even if Fang Lita did immediately hand over the situation for Fang Thirteen to control, the difficulty of executing a “one turn offensive” to turn the situation around is as difficult as ascending the skies.

The original ten cities have become five while the morale of the army has dropped by a significant margin, and the remaining five cities have a populace that feels anxious and alarmed. On the other side, there is a well-trained and powerful army stationed outside the city. The northern Abyss City is still eyeing the cities covetously while southern West-Resisting City has fed horses and soldiers sharpening their blades in preparation for battle. Under this sort of situation, is there really a way for Fang Thirteen to turn the situation around?

She still hasn’t given up.

In the past, we would occasionally be able to have some meat and fish dishes, but now the food had become extremely plain and simple. These days, Fang Thirteen would frequently be sitting on the dining table during midday eating a dry and rough millet pancake. It was unknown as to how many times that savoury pancake had been baked, but it was enough times to cause the originally soft texture to turn into a flavorless rock. Whenever it was difficult to swallow, she would pick up the cup next to her, drink, and keep a small mouthful of water in her mouth for a bit before slowly swallowing it.

As for me, my midday meals these days were still as per usual. It was from Tila that I learned that even though Fang Thirteen was eating much less than before, she would exhort Tila to not lower my diet. It was exactly because of this that I had complicated feelings. Fang Thirteen, who was doing her best to save even a few coins more by eating less, did she ever think that her little brother was gorging himself in delicious chicken drumsticks every day at midnight and not even cleaning it off, instead giving it two gnaws before throwing it to his tail-wagging pet dog?

Because Fang Thirteen’s meals were handled by Tila while Fang Lita had four to five private specialized cooks by his side, Fang Thirteen would probably never have the chance to know this bit of information. After all, Fang Lita would hypocritically run over every day when it came time to eat and grab a millet pancake to gnaw along with his older sister as he adopted a wretched appearance. But it wouldn’t even take two gnaws before he slid it into his sleeve and shipped out a full appearance, then returned back to his place to secretly eat some good stuff.

Fang Thirteen had already told me several times with a very ashamed mood:

“Jade. On behalf of Sky Star City, I apologize to you. You have clearly been believing in Zhao Chen, believing in Sky Star City, and believing in me for you to stay here. But from the moment you came here, not only did you not have a smooth and steady life, you had to live an exhausting life all along……”

I would then cup her cheek gently like how I would to a treasure and answer:

“This isn’t considered anything exhausting. Don’t worry, everything will become better. I’m still waiting for that day you become Sky Scheming Mansion’s top general so that you can confer the title of Sky Scheming Mansion’s first deputy general onto me.”

Only then would she giggle, place her delicate hand on top of mine, and reply:

“Mm. Thank you……”

She latched onto my hand as if she were grasping her last straw.

In return, I tried my best to transmit more of my warmth to her.

Fang Thirteen was always in her wheelchair, sometimes in the front lines, sometimes sitting inside the City Lord’s mansion’s courtyard drifting into space.

She spent nearly every second of her time thinking about things. She would wake up extremely early in the morning and sleep very late at night. It was even to the extent that she would even often sit behind her table for an entire night. Since she couldn’t see, she had no need for lights. Many years of experience had given her the skill of being able to roughly portray what she wanted whenever picking up the pen. There are touch-typers when it comes to typing on keyboards, no-scopers when it comes to playing FPS games, but Fang Thirteen was even more special. Her skill could be considered blind writing and blind drawing. The only issue was that her accuracy was a little worse than other people. The lines of her drawing would constantly be disjointed and many words would be written incorrectly.

Every day when I helped her tidy up her documents, I would understand her intent and correct the incorrect places. In the past, this matter seemed to be the military’s deputy leader’s duty. Now that I was the one doing so, she was more willing to directly hand it over to me for alteration.

The former pressure suddenly turned for the better.

During that time in the past when Fang Thirteen brought her army to West-Resisting City and West-Resisting City’s army wasn’t in a good condition, Felita and Aleya bitterly struggled to defend the city in such a chaotic situation. Now, according to reason, I ought to be raising my eyebrows in joy and blowing off steam, but every time I saw Fang Thirteen’s worried face, I would feel like a ball of heaviness had suddenly appeared in my heart.

When it was time to eat today, I carried over Tila’s dishes and moved over a chair to sit by Fang Thirteen’s side. Fang Thirteen was still chewing on her rock-solid millet pancake as usual. Her thoughts didn’t seem to be on the food, but rather on the formation diagram before her. I clamped a piece of stir-fried green bean and lift it to her lips. Fang Thirteen couldn’t see and didn’t react until the strand of green bean touched her lips. She then instinctively opened her mouth and I seized the opportunity to feed it to her.

“Thank you……you should eat a bit more, I’m not that hungry.”

Fang Thirteen slowly chewed, then bit into her pancake again.

I divided the vegetables in my bowl into two halves, half for me to eat, half for me to feed to Fang Thirteen. I would eat a mouthful, then she would eat a mouthful. Before long, the bowl of green beans was eaten clean. Although the flavor was fairly ordinary, it tasted a little better due to two people having eaten it together.

I don’t know if this is just a figment of my imagination.

I fished out a handkerchief and helped Fang Thirteen wipe the oil from the corners of her mouth. She was a little embarrassed, so she pushed on the table and slid herself a little distance away from me. Then, she spoke a little hurriedly:

“You can let Tila do that……”

I chuckled as I responded:

“There isn’t much to do right now in any case, it’s not a problem.”

Then I stopped speaking and instead sat by her side, quietly keeping her company. At first, Fang Thirteen was still acting a bit reserved, but soon after, all of her thought was placed on pondering the army formation and she would occasionally write and draw on the paper in front of her. I didn’t go disturb her, so she gradually forgot about my existence.

I suddenly discovered that when the pen in her left hand left the paper, her right hand would involuntarily slap her left arm. Whenever she was unsuccessful in penning down her thoughts or when her sleepiness started to kick in, she would use her hand to abruptly pinch her arm. And this pinch wasn’t any ordinary pinch; she would ruthlessly pinch herself for a while and force herself to stay awake. It was only when she lifted up her sleeves that I found many purple marks scattered about her arms.

While the situation outside was one of chaos with banners swaying about and cries of ‘kill!’ shaking the heavens, the inside of the City Lord’s mansion was unusually tranquil.

But the situation outside wasn’t as hopeful as Fang Thirteen believed it to be. She had to continuously transform city-guarding formations and constantly distribute troops, predict the main point of the other party’s next offensive, and adopt the best strategy to counteract it. It was like dancing at the edge of a cliff, one wrong step would consign the cities under her to death.

During this period of time, Sky Star City was temporarily fine, West-Resisting City and Abyss City’s troops were also temporarily fine.

Tila was fine, I was fine, Fang Lita, who was indulging himself in food, drinks, and sleep, was also fine.

Only Fang Thirteen, who had been malnourished for a long time, lacking sleep, and overly agitated, began coughing up blood.

The bright red liquid flowed onto a snow white handkerchief, taking its time to slowly seep into it and dry up. Fang Thirteen wiped off the bloodstains at the corners of her mouth, then once again leaned onto the table and stayed up alone through another sleepless night.


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