Chapter 35: Explosive Fiery Cavalry

Zhen Jin was not in a rush to look for Zi Di right away. With Cang Xu following him, he arrived at the camp. Many people were lying here and there. They had recently taken the potion, and they needed comforting. 

“My Lord.” “Hail Your Lordship.” On seeing the Templar Knight, they struggled to get up and tried to salute his coming. 

“Everyone, lie back down.” Zhen Jin waved his palm in a downward motion. “Do not worry, men. The Imperial standard flies still, and the gods of the Temple too watch over us. This setback is nothing, and as long as we live, anything is possible. Follow me, and I will bring you out of this island and to glory!” 

After Zhen Jin encouraged them, he left together with Cang Xu.   

“As long as we have you, my Lord, morale will not fall. You are the pillar of hope in our hearts!” exclaimed Cang Xu. 

Zhen Jin smiled. Cang Xu’s attitude was not pure flattery, and he did have such an influence. This was what it was to be a leader. This was the effect of being strong. It is only natural. However, the most important factor is my identity as a Templar Knight. This he knew. Templar Knights had an exalted status in the hearts of the Empire’s people. 

They walked on and arrived at a nearby hillside. A crude temporary thatched house had been built here, and a circular fence surrounded it, and a few goats were within the enclosure. These goats were the heads of the flocks they had captured and possessed a Bronze vital aura. Since the exploration team was in weak health, these goats had been isolated here. Bai Ya held charge of them. Because he had not eaten the goat meat, he avoided suffering from the chaotic magic power. As a result, he was given a nickname—Lucky Boy. 

Lucky Boy Bai Ya had been quite busy these last few days. Not only had he been taking care of the goats but also the incapacitated people. Many had received his kindness, which made him very popular. Among them was Huang Zao, who had misunderstood Bai Ya, and after receiving his care, Huang Zao took the initiative to impart to him his battle qi art. 

Noticing their arrival, Bai Ya rushed to open the gate and respectfully welcomed them in. “My Lord, I’m sorry. I’ve failed to live up to your expectations. I-I haven’t accomplished anything…” stammered out Bai Ya, looking ashamed. 

Zhen Jin patted the young man's shoulder and consoled him, “It matters not. I know you have worked hard.” Although Zhen Jin was younger than him, as Bai Ya heard these words, his anxiety and worry dissipated greatly, and his shame turned into appreciation of Zhen Jin. 

“Many thanks, my Lord, you are so magnanimous!” said Bai Ya.  

Zhen Jin waved his hand, indicating for Bai Ya to withdraw.

“My Lord, excuse your subordinate,” saying so, he left the enclosure.

He had ordered Bai Ya to train these goats with the intent of taming them as mounts. If this plan succeeded, it would be of great help to Zhen Jin now and in the future. The idea of a goat cavalry was entrenched deep in his mind. He gave this task to Bai Ya because he was healthy and, as he was from a hunter’s family, had dealt with animals quite a bit, but so far it seemed that he was incapable of taming the goats. He was not disappointed as his expectations were small. This sort of thing was done by beast tamers or druids. He knew that counting on an ordinary son of a hunter was quite unrealistic. 

Zhen Jin then said, “Concerning the food shortage issue, I have already found a solution. We shall concoct potions for the goats to take, and once they spit out the magic power in their bodies, their meat will be purified.”  

Cang Xu hesitated for a moment, deliberated his words, and replied, “My Lord, I fear this method won’t work. We could expel our internal magic power because we only suffered from corrosion. However, these goats are the source of the magic power, and it is a part of them as if they were their limbs or organs. If we give the goats the potion, though it can eliminate a great deal of their magic power, there would still be some leftovers. At the same time, this would also inflict serious injury to the goats, most likely killing them on the spot.”

Zhen Jin laughed and looked deeply at Cang Xu. “In truth, these goats are victims just like us. The origin of the magic power is not in them but in the seemingly ordinary grass growing nearby.” 

Zhen Jin’s candor left Cang Xu stunned. The old scholar looked at the youth, and their gazes met midair. The old scholar blinked, realization coming to him of what Zhen Jin had meant by this.

Zhen Jin continued, “Did Mr. Cang Xu not realize this secret?”

Cang Xu’s heart trembled as Zhen Jin continued to pressure him, giving him the illusion of facing a ruthless swordsman’s unrelenting attack. The old scholar was coloured in uncertainty, and his eyes shook as he replied, “I am dimwitted and did not realize this secret.”  

Zhen Jin stared at Cang Xu for a while, and seeing that the old scholar made no further responses, disappointment came over his heart. He made a faint hmm, turned, and stepped toward the fence gate.

As he was about to open the gate, Cang Xu suddenly said, “Lord Zhen Jin, your candidness and foresight are things men can’t help but admire in their hearts. You see the greater picture as one who is a great man does, and despite your current predicaments, you still try to organize a cavalry. And indeed, cavalry is very useful as they can attack and defend very well. Having outstanding cavalry on hand will usually allow one to grasp the initiative. However, in my humble person’s opinion, these goats are not your optimal choice. You have a better choice.” 

“Oh?”  Zhen Jin put one hand on the gate and turned to face Cang Xu. “Then let me hear your opinion, Mr. Cang Xu.” 

“My Lord, although these goats are high-level lifeforms, they are not products of nature. There might be hidden dangers. Moreover, they can’t coordinate their magic power. If they are used to form a cavalry, their upper limit would be quite low. In addition, my Lord, in the future you will be the Lord of White Sands City. The surrounding terrain is flat, and there are vast forests going into the interior of the Wilderness Continent. There are no mountainous terrains, making it unsuitable to display the power of a goat cavalry,” said the old scholar with a frank certainty.  

Zhen Jin wore indifference, but in his heart, he acknowledged Cang Xu’s words. He was aware of these shortcomings, but the crux of the matter was, if not with the goats, what else could he use to organize a cavalry? He was in a state of impoverishment. Although he was a grand Templar Knight, his subordinates had all only recently come under his command, and once they left this island, whether they would continue to follow him was something to be debated.

Cang Xu asked, “My Lord, how much do you know about the explosive hoof fiery horses?” 

“It sounds quite familiar.” Zhen Jin frowned in thought, then said, “Duke Heng Le?” 

Duke Heng Le was famous for being a playboy when he was young. His parents died early on in his life, and his grandparents doted on him. He lived an indulgent life and lacked strength. However, when the Eastern nobles rebelled, his grandparents lost their lives in an ambush. In such a manner, Heng Le rose to the seat of power and became the family head. Before he could react, the allied nobles’ army launched a great attack. 

Before he could grieve, he became the commander-in-chief with the support of the family knights and led his army against the allied army. The two armies fought, and Heng Le’s knights fought dauntlessly to protect their homeland, however, they lacked the strength and were pressed back. Seeing that the general situation seemed to be on the verge of collapse, the cowardly Heng Le decided to flee in secret. 

However, in his panic, he mistakenly got on an explosive hoof fiery horse. Explosive hoof fiery horses had a violent temperament and were even crazy. If it was provoked, it would fight to its death. While fleeing, a stray arrow struck the horse’s ass. The horse immediately became furious and, ignoring Heng Le’s reining, charged into the bitter battlefield. 

The morale of his family’s army was glum but when they saw Heng Le’s “one-man charge,” they were influenced by his spirit, and roaring, launched a furious counterattack with no regard for their lives. The allied army was caught off guard, and their frontline was broken through, leading to their defeat. Heng Le won a crucial battle by accident and saved his family’s territory. Six years later, he revealed the truth in a drunken stupor, and this story spread throughout the world and became widely known. 

Cang Xu nodded. “Yes. The kind of horse Duke Heng Le rode. This humble one knows a method that can be used to nurture an explosive fiery cavalry.”   

“Are you sure?” gasped Zhen Jin.

In addition to their temper, explosive hoof fiery horses were very strong, exceeding most warhorses in height by a meter, with hooves thick and hard as steel. Its explosive strength was great. Once it took off running, it only needed a few breaths to reach its maximum speed. They also possessed considerable stamina and could be used for sprinting long distances as well as short.

Zhen Jin was a knight, and although his memory was badly damaged, he still had general knowledge. He understood how important a good mount was to a knight and how tremendously it could improve their combat ability. The fiery horse’s height could allow knights to tower over the battlefield. On the battlefield, a slight advantage could be the difference between life and death, and the advantage this horse gave was more than a slight one. 

Its hooves too were a powerful weapon. An excellent cavalryman could make their warhorse stand tall and kick with its front hooves. The hooves of the fiery horse could kick through an iron shield! And if it charged, it could deliver a terrible impact force with its hard thews. 

Such outstanding qualities had brought many nobles and commanders to try to form an explosive fiery cavalry. However, the performance of such a cavalry had always been terrible on the battlefield, and it was because the cavalrymen could not control the horses, especially when they were provoked. An explosive fiery cavalry was also easy to outmaneuver, only a little bit of provocation could bring the cavalry units rushing into the firing range of magicians. Under a magic bombardment, the explosive hoof fiery horses would actively lead their riders to their deaths. 

If met with a cunning enemy general, this kind of cavalry could even be maneuvered into attacking their allies, turning into pawns of the enemy. The explosive hoof fiery horse had many advantages but it also had one great flaw that eventually led to the concept of an explosive fiery cavalry becoming a matter of laughter. 

But now Cang Xu suggested that he form an explosive fiery cavalry unit. Zhen Jin fixed a sharp gaze at him. Although they had only known each other for a short time, he did not believe that the old man was a person who did not know propriety. 

Sure enough, the next moment Cang Xu added, “This humble one has a method that can allow cavalrymen to exercise basic control over explosive hoof fiery horses. The reason why explosive hoof fiery horses cannot be organized to form cavalry is that their temperament is too violent, but by using my method, it can make up for this flaw. It’s a battle qi art. It’s still in its early stages of development and has much room for improvement and perfecting. If Your Lordship doesn’t mind, I’m willing to offer it to you.” 

Zhen Jin narrowed his eyes and nodded. “Mr. Cang Xu, your contribution will be recorded in my heart.” 

The relationship between a cavalryman and his mounts was not a simple relationship of the former riding the latter. A cavalryman and his mount did not only interact with each other, train together, and foster a mutual understanding, but he would also instill his battle qi into his mount. Battle qi would circulate within the mount's body, allowing the mount to move faster, have a stronger defense, recover faster, have greater strength, and more. A comprehensive augmentation in all. When the cavalry charged, the battle qi would link the cavalryman and his mount even closer, thus forming a single entity.  

According to Cang Xu, he had a recently created battle qi art, and by using it, a cavalryman could control his explosive hoof fiery horse and not let it go crazy with madness. The value of this battle qi art was certainly very high. 

Cang Xu continued, “Lord Zhen Jin, although these goats have a strong vital aura, they are still monsters. They cannot coordinate their magic power nor stabilize it. This also implies that cavalrymen cannot instill their battle qi into the goat’s body. Even if a cavalry unit was formed, they would not have any potential while also having hidden dangers. It would be wiser to use the potions to eliminate their chaotic magic power and butcher them, thus obtaining a lot of food and solving our current issue.” 

Even if the goat meat was processed, there was a risk that it might retain some magic power. However, given their circumstances, who could they make their demands to?