NovelsWd

Legend of Fu Yao

Chapter 79

As Meng Fuayo had anticipated, the Rong army did what a normal troop would against a tough enemy such as Yaocheng – start a siege.

Yaocheng had limited army provisions, which shouldn't have been the case, but King De had sent a message a few days back, informing that transportation was delayed due to the bad weather. The front line couldn't do a day without food, so King De transferred it from within the city, promising to deliver more provisions from Huazhou when it became available. However, from the looks of it, their stomachs would've digested themselves by the time help arrived.

They had enough provisions to last about ten days, but there was a more pressing issue. The Han-Rong mixed city was like a ticking time bomb, and someone within could easily set it off. Plus, they had only 800 soldiers, who were already exhausted from resisting the enemy, so how were they going to guard against the potential internal issues?

Seek help from Yuan Zhaoxu? He should have reached the eastern coast far away, and it would take him half a month to traverse the whole of Wuji. Would it be too late? Plus, didn't he have military affairs to attend to over there as well? Meng Fuyao did not want to rely on him unrealistically. It was her city, so she shall protect it.

Meng Fuyao thinned to the point where her cheekbones became clearly visible. She appeared somewhat frail as well, but her eyes were bright like the morning stars as usual. She ordered for the provisions to be rationed. She herself, ate two steamed buns a day, insistently rejecting the food Tie Cheng delivered over. Nevertheless, she accepted fruits and dried food, since she couldn't bear to let Lord Yuan Bao starve; not after he'd so cruelly been dumped.

She did not know that there was a group of people disputing over her calculations. They were secret guards allocated by Yuan Zhaoxu to protect her. That was his only order.

The guards were split in their opinions. One side felt the need to report to their master immediately while the other disagreed, stating that both armies were of entirely different strength and that the Rong army could break into Yaocheng any time. When that happened, it was their job to protect Meng Fuyao, so they mustn't go separate ways at this point. The latter view garnered more support, and those men in black continued to stay by her side quietly, awaiting the perilous situation.

Days passed, and the citizens lost hope in receiving the assisting army's help. They queued before the mayor's office, quietly waiting to collect their rations. Fights to snatch for food soon broke out on the streets, and the whole scene appeared desperate and gloomy as if there had been a soundless rain that shrouded and extended throughout the city.

Meng Fuyao locked herself in the office and refused to meet anyone except for the routine meetings regarding the arrangement of defense troops within the city. She basically stayed in all the time, the unease on her face replaced by a firm determination and calmness. On the ninth day, she suddenly called for Yao Xun to send food. Upon the delivery of a fresh bun, Meng Fuyao waved him off.

"Meat! I want meat!"

Yao Xun stared at her with his eyes wide open, not understanding what had gone over the mayor. She provided no explanation, only stuffing the bun within seconds and standing up to leave.

Midway she turned around, asking, "You've been looking wan recently. Troubled?"

In a daze and caught off guard by her question he jumped, before stuttering, "...no...no."

"Follow me. It's been hard on you," Meng Fuyao responded without looking at him. "You're a sect leader after all and stealing is your job. Following me around as a housekeeper is simply a waste of your talents. Now that Yaocheng is in imminent danger, I won't hold you up any longer. Leave if you want."

Finished and not waiting for Yao Xun to answer, she strode off.

The clear sun rays shone from the vast horizon, spreading its glory, only to be blocked off by Meng Fuyao, who raised her hand up while blinking and smiling.

Her thin palm appeared translucent under the faint white light. She tightened it into a fist as if grasping the beam of light.

That might be the last day she would get to enjoy such a beautiful and pure sunlight.

The things she were to do and the places she were to go might swallow her future like a black hole, and on the journey there, there might be even more arduous tasks awaiting her.

What was the matter, though? Wasn't being able to do what one deemed fit with perseverance a great blessing in life?

'Brave forward even if you're fighting against the odds.'

"Clap!" Meng Fuyao kicked the gate open before striding out.

Many Han citizens had gathered outside the door, helping the young and old while looking at her.

The city was about to run out of provisions, and the citizens were waiting for Meng Fuyao to come up with a plan. In their mind, this quirky mayor who had invented soccer, the waltz and all other kinds of entertainments, was unconventional and intelligent. They had faith that she would come up with a unique plan to resist the enemy.

Meng Fuyao scanned across the earnest gazes, spotting the hunger and fear in their eyes. Her mind was momentarily blocked, and while she opened her mouth in preparation to speak, no words came out.

She shut her eyes and looked up at the sky.

A light breeze greeted her, carrying a faint, sweet scent. Spring was coming...

No matter how late Spring was, the flowers on the field would always grow...

Meng Fuyao lowered her head and opened her eyes, her gaze bright and resolute.

"Dear folks, Yaoheng is in danger and an unfavorable position. The city is about to be broken through. As they say, a wise man submits to circumstances. The day the enemies break in is also the day our people will suffer terribly. I do not wish to see lives falling into the hands of the Rong army. This city... we're not guarding it any longer!"

Her voice was earth-shattering, her declaration reaching the crowd like a bolt of lighting and raising a huge commotion.

Yao Xun and Tie Cheng, who had rushed to the scene, stared at her in shock. They couldn't believe that those words had just come out of her mouth. Meng Fuyao kept her gaze away from the people as she pursed her lips tight in silence.

Some time later, a screeching howl sounded, cutting through the stunned crowd like a sharp blade.

"You selfish, shameless, despicable woman! You're selling Yaocheng out!"

"Crazy! You're crazy! You're taking our lives to save your own!"

Some even picked stones up to throw. "Smash the cheap woman!"

More people started shouting and bawling, rushing forward to plead.

"We can fight! We must guard the city! We'll climb up the houses and towers! Mayor, do not resign... King De's troop will arrive!"

The children sobbed as they approached her, tugging at the corners of her clothes and wrapping their arms around her calves, which caused tears to stain her boots.

"Mayor... mayor... no... no... you surrender, and they kill us all... please, please..."

The frail elderlies reached their thin, bloodless hands out and going on their knees to beg. "Mayor..."

The panicked crowd surged forward like a whirlpool, gushing, squeezing and clamoring. Meng Fuyao stood in the vortex, becoming the crashing point for the waves. Their heart-wrenching cries, pleas, and tears filled the air while Meng Fuyao's slim body, clasped in the middle, resembled a sinking boat amid the fury ocean.

Meng Fuyao stood straight, tears absent from her pale face. In fact, there was no visible expression in her eyes. She simply lifted her head slightly and looked far ahead. Some time later, she unhurriedly reached her right hand from behind her back.

That hand of hers was carrying a bundle, which she slowly unwrapped.

The wild noises came to an abrupt stop as dead silence took over.

In the bundle was Yaocheng mayor's official stamp, Yaocheng's household register, Yaocheng's criminal records... they were all objects representing political authority.

Meng Fuyao held the bundle of items up, dully swaying it before the crowd.

Her decision had been made and would not easily be changed.

Whatever last trace of hope the Han citizens had was shattered. They stared at the bundle, and it was no different from looking at their own head rolling.

Ignoring their looks, Meng Fuyao hurriedly walked toward the respective leaders. "Have all of you heard my words? I'll surrender the city today. Please come along."

The leaders shuddered upon meeting her gaze, automatically nodding their heads. Meng Fuyao walked off the platform without a smile.

Her inner energy oozed out like a pressing blade, knocking some Han citizens who were attempting to rush toward her. Meng Fuyao stepped ahead, leaving the people with no choice but to withdraw. This way, she slowly carved a path for herself.

More Hansmen flooded the streets in two rows, quietly looking as the mayor walked on with her fists clenched and eyes narrowed. There was menace in her eyes, and the glares she shot pierced right through the people's heart, bloodying the cool and breezy daylight.

It was a long walk. A walk of shame.

With each step she took the Han citizens behind her would curse and swear, throwing whatever they had in hand, perhaps some rotten vegetables, hardened buns or muddied stones, at her...

Meng Fuyao kept her back straight and did not turn back. Her hair was messy from stones that had been trapped in between. Her clothes were quickly stained by mud and even spit and snot. Despite having this whitish and yellowish dirt all over her, she walked on without looking.

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