Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 93
The second competition was archery. Each soldier shot three arrows, and any arrow that hit the target’s center was worth one point.
In other words, in this competition, the highest score each guard station could get was thirty points, and the lowest score was zero.
While everyone was resting, the palace servants had already moved fifty-two archery targets in groups of two, which were arranged at a certain distance to the south of the martial arts arena.
Each guard station used two archery targets, and the commanders lead the team to the corresponding position.
This dynasty’s requirement for soldiers’ archery was that they could hit the target at a distance of fifty steps. In the martial arts examination, the requirement for martial artist was eighty steps.
The distance for this martial arts competition was sixty steps.
The soldiers usually practiced archery at the guard station using straw-man targets. As long as they hit the straw-man, whether it was the head, chest or limbs, they would be considered qualified. Although the distance of the martial arts competition was similar to that of ordinary drills, the center of target was only the size of a pancake. If a soldier was not diligent in practicing, it would not be easy to hit the heart. This could also reflect the strength of a guard station.
On the high platform, Emperor Jingshun touched his beard.
The archery competition was the simplest, but it was also very pleasing to watch those tall and upright soldiers lined up at the front, pulled their bows and shoot arrows in turn, and the arrows whizzing past.
Soon, Emperor Jingshun set his sights on Daxing Left Guard again.
The first soldier from Daxing Left Guard that came on stage was still Gao Dazhuang. With his bean sprouts figure, Gao Dazhuang became the first soldier whose name was remembered by Emperor Jingshun in today’s competition.
When Gao Dazhuang took the arrow from the quiver, the soldiers from several nearby guard stations subconsciously looked over, including those who were supposed to shoot arrows. They wanted to watch Gao Dazhuang’s performance before starting.
Qin Wei and others also felt excited.
Their commander, the Prince Consort, was really not afraid of losing. He didn’t arrange any special training for them. In the past three days, Gao Dazhuang had really been cooking in the kitchen and only slept with them at night.
It was said that before Gao Dazhuang fell ill, not only was he extremely powerful, but he was also a good archer and specialized in heavy bows. Now that his divine power had gone and he had been idle for more than three years, was his accuracy still there?
They were curious but didn’t dare to ask this question, for fear of poking Gao Dazhuang’s scar and making him uncomfortable.
Chen Jingzong stood on the side, watching with a leisurely attitude, as if he didn’t care whether Gao Dazhuang hit the target or not.
The competition used ordinary bows and arrows, even though Gao Dazhuang was not as strong as other soldiers at this time, he still had the strength to shoot a few arrows.
He took a stand.
The first arrow hit the target, but it was outside the center.
There were some voices coming from the other guard station’s soldiers nearby. Gao Dazhuang seemed not to hear it, waved his hand and took out the second arrow.
This time, he hit the outside part of the center, which counted as one point!
Qin Wei and the others were overjoyed!
Gao Dazhuang’s third arrow hit center bullseye!
Although only one point was counted for any part of the center, this last arrow was enough to prove Gao Dazhuang’s exceptional archery!
Gao Dazhuang turned around with a smile and handed the bow in his hand to Qin Wei.
The nine people on the Daxing Left Guard were as happy as Gao Dazhuang, but other guard station’s soldiers who were on the first round next to him were secretly sweating. Gao Dazhuang could shoot so well. If they don’t perform as well as Gao Dazhuang, wouldn’t they become a joke?
These people took action one after another.
Some people hit the target two times, more people only hit one time, and there were also people who missed all the three shots!
The faces of several commanders standing nearby were all darkened. Their dark faces put even more pressure on the soldiers on the next turn!
Emperor Jingshun snorted, looked away, and continued to look at the top guards, including the Jinyiwei.
Wan Yi was muttering something in a low voice. Hua Yang lowered her head slightly and found that the little girl was helping Daxing Left Guard count the points.
The second test ended quickly. The ten soldiers of Daxing Left Guard hit a total of twenty arrows, adding up to twenty points, and ranked seventh again.
Wan Yi was very happy: “As long as they don’t perform too poorly in the next competition, Fourth Uncle should be able to get top ten this time!”
From the bottom to the top ten all at once, in Wan Yi’s opinion, her fourth uncle was already very powerful!
Hua Yang smiled: “Just wait and see, the third test has always been the most interesting among the ten events.”
Wan Yi was a little confused. Isn’t it hand-to-hand combat wrestling?
Imagining two soldiers with red faces and rough necks beating each other, Wan Yi was not very interested and only cared about the situation on her fourth uncle’s side.
The third round was hand-to-hand combat.
It sounded like wrestling, but if two people fighting individually, then 260 people would have to compete round by round, and the speed was too slow and it couldn’t be finished in half a day.
Therefore, hand-to-hand combat was a melee battle. All two hundred and sixty soldiers stand in a circle at one go, and anyone could fight whoever they want. When there were only twenty-six people left in the circle, the competition was declared over, and for those twenty-six people, each person counted as five points. If ten of them were from the same guard, the guard would be able to get a full score of “fifty points”, which was almost equivalent to the sum of the full scores in the first two tests.
For the sake of fairness, all soldiers in this competition must take off their coats to prevent some soldiers from being afraid of the reputation of other guards, such as Jinywei.
After all, so many soldiers had just met today, and they were all busy competing. They didn’t have time to remember the looks of the soldiers in the other guard station. They basically recognized the guard station by looking at their patches.
The half an hour rest time was also the time for the commanders to arrange tactics.
Jinyiwei’s commander Liu Shou, Jinwu Vanguard’s commander Qi Jin, and Yulin Left Guard’s commander Lu Wangshan stood together.
In the past five years, these three guards have always occupied the top three positions. Jinyiwei was firmly in the first place, Jinwu Vanguard and Yulin Left Guard took turn on second place and third place.
The Jinyiwei represented the emperor. The commanders of other guard all gave Jinyiwei face and asked the soldiers to give way to the Jinyiwei. Jinwu Vanguard and Yulin Left Guard formed an alliance with the Jinyiwei. Thirty soldiers gathered together, even if there were no patches, their identities were clear, and the soldiers from other guards simply gave up on these thirty people.
This would lead to the result that the three guard stations would occupy thirty places at once. If the other guard stations try to fight, they would eventually be thrown out of the circle due to being outnumbered.
In this case, why bother thinking about any tactics? Just mix in the crowd and pretend to be hard-working to show to the emperor a few times, just to make the emperor happy!
When Qi Jin was talking to Liu Shou and Lu Wangshan, he glanced at Chen Jingzong from the corner of his eye.
Chen Jingzong was surrounded by ten soldiers from Daxing Left Guard, forming a small circle of his own, talking in a serious manner.
But the last battle was about numbers. No matter how united Chen Jingzong’s ten people were, it would be useless without an alliance.
Liu Shou also glanced at Chen Jingzong.
Chen Jingzong was the prince consort and the emperor’s son-in-law. If Chen Jingzong came to him to form an alliance, he would definitely give Chen Jingzong face and let Chen Jingzong take second place this year.
But Chen Jingzong had no intention of forming an alliance, and he didn’t even understand the look he gave him. Liu Shou represented the emperor, how could he take the initiative to win over Chen Jingzong?
Fortunately, only Jinyiwei, Jinwu Vanguard, and Yulin Left Guard could score points in the third round. The scores of other guards in the previous two rounds were the final scores. Chen Jingzong’s seventh place was already respectable, even could be said impressive and not embarrassing for the emperor.
Lu Wangshan was thirty-nine years old. He smiled and squeezed Qi Jin’s shoulder: “Last time, I let you get the second place. This time can you let us keep a few more people?”
After two tests, Yulin Left Guard temporarily ranked third in total points, only three points less than Jinwu Vanguard.
Of the twenty-six places, Jinyiwei would account for ten, leaving sixteen. If Qi Jin was willing to let Yulin Left Guard keep nine people, and Qi Jin only left seven, Yulin Left Guard could overtake them.
Qi Jin smiled and said, “How about you and I leaving eight people each and tying for second place?”
Lu Wangshan was startled for a moment, then laughed: “Okay!”
After all, Qi Jin was the empress’ nephew, and he was young, so it was understandable that he wanted to take second place one more time.
After discussing a location for the thirty men to gather, the three commanders went to explain to the soldiers separately.
Until the two hundred and sixty soldiers took off their coats and were led into the red circle drawn in the middle of the martial arts field by the palace guards, Qi Jin did not find that Chen Jingzong had any contact with the commanders of the other guards.
The red circle was very large, and the two hundred and sixty soldiers crowded in the middle one layer at a time. They were all tall and when standing densely together, it was difficult to find other soldiers in the same guard station in a short time.
When the time came, the drums beat loudly, and the third round officially begins!
The soldiers subconsciously spread out first to put distance between themselves and other soldiers.
Everyone on the high platform could see clearly that a group of soldiers rushed through the crowd who had not yet taken action and quickly gathered on the southeast side of the red circle. There were exactly thirty people.
The thin and weak Gao Dazhuang didn’t run anywhere. As soon as the drum sounded, several soldiers from other guards nearby looked at him maliciously. After all, everyone knew that he was Gao Dazhuang. But Gao Dazhuang suddenly covered his chest and screamed, fell to the ground, and rolled in pain!
The soldiers who had stretched out their arms and were preparing to remove Daxing Left Guard first:…
Was he too cowardly and scared to the point of fainting, or even dead?
No matter which one, they silently took back their hands.
Some soldiers rushed toward the scream with anxious expressions. The surrounding soldiers guessed that they were all from Daxing Left Guard. After all, something might have happened to Gao Dazhuang. Who dared to stop the Daxing Left Guard at this time?
The uninvolved soldier stood there for a moment, and quickly reacted, first leave this place to find his brothers of the same guard station!
Everyone was running, and thought that people who stayed in the center of the circle were just a few, but there were actually quite many of them. In the end, there were forty-nine people surrounding Gao Dazhuang, and counting Gao Dazhuang who jumped up, it was exactly fifty people.
These fifty people were all from the five guard stations from the bottom of the last martial arts competition, and they were also the five guard stations next to each other on this formation, namely the last place Daxing Left Guard, the second from last Yanshan Guard, and the third from last Fujun Vanguard, the fourth from last Wuxiang Right Guard, and the fifth from last Jiyang Guard.
There were no patches, and Emperor Jingshun didn’t know the forty-nine people except Gao Dazhuang, but he had already reacted and said to Chen Tingjian in surprise: “When did Prince Consort form an alliance?”
The emperor also paid attention to his son-in-law’s movements when he was resting just now. He was always with Gao Dazhuang and the others.
Chen Tingjian guessed: “It’s far away, maybe he secretly made eye contact with the other four commanders.”
The crown prince said: “It may also be that the soldiers in the five guards passed the message to each other. Everyone stared at the commander and ignored the soldiers.”
Chen Tingjian nodded approvingly: “Your Highness’s words is reasonable.”
The crown prince smiled and said: “Even if other guards are in alliance, they have to agree on a meeting place. Daxing Left Guard has Gao Dazhuang, and everyone knows it, so it’s more convenient to gather!”
While they were talking, fifty people including Gao Dazhuang had already started to attack the surrounding loose soldiers!
Even if there were ten soldiers of a guard station gathered together, how could they be the opponent of an “army” of fifty people?
These fifty people were like a strong wind, sweeping all the loose soldiers in their path out of the circle. Some soldiers were unwilling to give in, and when they were about to get out of the circle, they pulled one to “die together”, but they couldn’t hold back the opponent’s big numbers. Gao Dazhuang even cleverly hid behind each time, letting them to “die alone” in frustration!
There was also another group in the circle, which was the thirty people from Jinyiwei, Jinwu Vanguard, and Yulin Left Guard!
Twenty-six commanders stood on the outside side of the circle. They all saw the strategy of Chen Jingzong’s five commanders to unite from the beginning!
One of the commanders who was destined to be eliminated said as if watching a good show: “Sir Liu, Sir Qi, and Sir Lu all have elite guards. I wonder if today we can show His Majesty how to use few to defeat many.”
Of course Liu Shou had to be modest. He looked at Chen Jingzong and said with a bitter look on his face: “Prince Consort has a good plan, definitely can win the first place this year.”
Chen Jingzong smiled and said: “It’s too early for you to say this, Sir. We are justover here. Although there are many people, the outcome is really not certain.”
Liu Shou looked at the circle. At this time, there were only eighty soldiers left inside, fifty on the left and thirty on the right. They were about to fight head-on!