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广东省人民政府首页  >  要闻动态  >  广东要闻

深喉在线观看jkazlz

来源: 南方日报网络版     时间:2020-07-16 01:06:05

深喉在线观看密集的流风军长驱直入,将魔族军阵杀得落花流水。一片混乱,火光、厮杀声、逃命的叫唤,惨叫声,无数的厮杀声汇集成一片洪流,喧嚣直冲天际。“陛下!”近卫旅指挥雷欧公爵领着一队装甲兽来到魔神皇面前,他的眼睛凶狠得可怕,急速地说:“陛下,救救王国,也救救您自己吧!人类还没合围,现在撤退还来得及!”看了他一眼,魔神皇淡淡说:“我怎能离开?”“陛下,现在还来得及!我准备了好马,专门给陛下您和皇子殿下、公主殿下留着的。我和近卫旅为您掩护后路!陛下,您一路请多保重了!”魔神皇脸色阴沉地看着雷欧,好久,他才出声道:“因为朕的决断,王国发起了这次西征。现在,王国一半的将士都死在了这儿,难道朕还能离开吗?朕没有脸面回去见蒙汗那些人幸灾乐祸的嘴脸,也没有脸面回见王国的子民。”“父皇!”一个清脆的女声出来打断了魔神皇,卡丹公主从后帐中走出,她正要向魔神皇行屈膝礼,却被魔神皇打断了:“什么时候了,还那么多虚礼!”“是!父皇,胜败乃兵家常事,父皇您乃国之根本,只要您健在,王国就保住了根本。。。”卡丹正说得流畅,魔神皇却突然打断了她:“卡丹,有些事你不懂。有些人是只能胜,不能败的。一旦失败,他就什么也不是!”卡丹喊道:“父皇,为什么?自古哪有不打败仗的将军?眼前的斯特林,他不也在奥斯打了败仗?在帕依被迫和我们签了城下之盟?紫川秀,他不也不同样在红河湾被凌步虚将军打得落花流水?就连号称人类第一名将的流风霜,她不也同样被紫川秀打败过?”“可他们不是神皇。”魔神皇淡淡地一笑,笑容里带着说不出的骄傲和凄凉:“这世上,只有胜利的卡特皇帝,没有败的卡特。”看到卡丹还要说话,魔神皇摇手:“雷欧,你派人将公主带出包围圈,撤退回国——这是命令,不必再争。”雷欧立即执行。公主的卫队硬推着卡兰公主上了马车,护着她向南驰去。正向东的大道已被东南军和远东军和堵死了,流风霜从西北方斜斜地插了进来,其强势的兵马正急速地向战场外围展开包抄。魔族若要撤退,唯一的出路是在流风霜和东南军合围之前从东南方撤退。叶尔马军团长生气地嚷嚷道:“陛下!请下命令吧,云浅雪那鼠辈,居然敢临阵逃脱!微臣要去拦截羽林军,要让云浅雪那无耻小人知道王国愤怒的可怕!”雷欧望了他一眼,眼中流露鄙夷。叶尔马吹得好听,去拦截羽林军,他拿什么拦截?损兵折将的第三军只是勉强还能支撑在阵地上,只是因为对魔神皇的盲目信仰,士兵们还没开始大批地逃亡。叶尔马不可能不知道,他借口出兵拦截云浅雪,其实不过是想从魔神皇身边躲开好趁机逃跑罢了。魔神皇伫立在帐篷门口,映衬外面的喧嚣和吵嚷,魔神皇的沉默具有万钧的力量。雷欧明白神皇此时的心理:比起输掉这场注定要失败的战争,云浅雪的逃跑对神皇的打击更为沉重。自己一直欣赏和栽培的重臣竟是个贪生怕死的懦夫,这让神皇深感失落。“陛下!羽林将军求见!”“什么?”叶尔马惊叫。魔神皇霍然转身,脸露喜色:“宣他进来!”云浅雪大步行进。他态度端庄地向魔神皇下跪行礼,沉稳地说:“微臣参见陛下!”“时间紧迫,羽林卿请起。”“谢陛下。”“羽林卿,羽林军如今何在?情况如何?”“启禀陛下,在卡兰殿下率领下,羽林军所部正向东南塔伦城方向转进。微臣离开时,我部遭到流风军的追击,但前方并无拦截。”“有多少人马平安脱离包围圈了?”“情况很混乱,无法统计。羽林军约有十二个团能成建制地离开,不到三万人。但还有一些第五军和第十一军的弟兄加入我们队伍,估计有四万人能闯出包围圈。”魔神皇点头,低声说:“只有四万人了吗?入关时的百万之师,到如今只剩下了四万残兵败将?”“陛下,情况应该比微臣估计得要好。人类的包围圈太大,他们的兵力不足维持,必然会有很多空隙。能突围的兵马绝不会只有微臣一部。但据情报说,帝林已拿下了达克,也正朝这里赶来。若他一到,我们就。。。”云浅雪本想说:“插翅难飞。”但他还是换了个温和的说法:“更加困难了。”魔神皇点头,突然问:“云,你为什么回来了?”“微臣无能,不能阻止皇子殿下胡作非为,已是死罪,本就惶恐无地了。若再抛下陛下独自逃生,微臣实在做不出来。”魔神皇沉默了好久,才慢慢出声:“云浅雪,你很好。”“微臣实在愧不敢当。”眼见情况如此紧急,魔神皇和云浅雪却如此平和地对话,将宝贵的时间白白浪费,叶尔马听得心里冒火,插嘴道:“陛下,情况紧急,我们还是先想对策吧?”“叶尔马,放心,你有时间逃跑的。”魔神皇淡淡说道,转身大步出了营帐。雷欧鄙夷地看了叶尔马一眼,低沉地说:“公爵,你的胆怯就象屎一般散发着臭气!”跟在魔神皇的身后,他也出去了。叶尔马膛目结舌地呆在原地,面红耳赤。大火在燃烧,天边一片火红,第三军和近卫旅的残余士兵集合在主营前。比起昨日出战前,士兵的阵列已经大为凋零,残余的士兵们身上带伤,疲倦,委顿,衣裳破烂。但他们眼睛中依然闪烁着那么一股傲气,那是一种不甘服输的愤怒,那是一种不敢相信眼前发生事实的眼神。十六军投降,铁壁军崩溃,羽林军逃亡,西南军被围歼——就在五个小时以前,以上的诸路军团都是不曾一败的强师劲旅,王国不败的象征,但就在他们的眼前,这些威名显赫的皇牌劲旅一个接一个被人类打垮、消灭。那些愚昧而单纯的魔族士兵,坚信魔族王国的强大是无可匹敌的,魔神皇的英明睿智是天生的,王国威力无穷的战争机器制造胜利就象土豆从地里长出来一般天经地义,就象太阳从东方升起一般自然而然。直到如今,成千上万的溃败士兵经过了他们阵地,他们亲眼见到那些哭喊着逃命的士兵与他们同样穿着塞内亚族的服饰,同样有着黄金族的血统战士向他们哭诉着战友如何被人类骑兵大批地屠杀的经历,眼见无敌的军团在自己眼前溃败,英勇的战士被追杀,塞内亚士兵们愤怒得胸口里象团着一团火,愤怒中又带着惶恐:难道,王国真的会失败吗?由魔神皇亲自指挥,有着那么多优秀将领,那么多骁勇战士组成的强大军团,真的会如此一败涂地吗?他们迫切地需要答案,现在,给他们答案的最佳人选出现了,魔神皇出现了!魔神皇出现在军队前面,依然神采飞扬,只是眼神中多了一种深沉的忧郁。他以严峻的眼神注视着众人:“士兵们,塞内亚的勇士们,我的孩子们,我们被打败了。”黑烟在远方冉冉升起,厮杀的声不断传来,死一般的沉寂笼罩在人群上空,没有人喊叫,没有人哭泣,士兵们只是呆呆地望着魔神皇。魔神皇就是他们的神,他们不败的信仰,他们永远照耀天空的太阳。现在,太阳熄灭了。魔神皇平静地说,那平静的声音中,蕴含着强大的力量:“从恒古以来,我们的民族一直在经受着烈狱般的苦难。饥荒,死地,战争,瘟疫,我们的国度是灾难与泪水之邦。我曾以为,我能带领你们走出这个灾难之地,结束这段沾满泪水与死亡的路程。但是,最终我们失败了。我的孩子们,你们英勇战斗,无愧于王国和亲人。因为朕的无能与鲁莽,王国蒙受了巨大的损失,你们付出了巨大的代价。朕愧对王国,更对不起那些为朕而战死的战士们。”对着面前士兵群,魔神皇弯下腰,深深地鞠了一个躬。一阵愕然的波动从人群中荡过,面对魔神皇史无前例的道歉,云浅雪、雷欧等将领们首先反应过来,连忙下跪回礼。紧接着是军官们,犹如大风吹过田野,士兵们如同被风吹倒的稻浪般一排排地跪倒。“失败并不是结束,苦难才刚刚开始。在军事上取得优势以后,人类必然谋求政治上统治我们,他们要掠夺我们的土地,奴役我们的人民,消灭我们的历史、文字和传统,谋求从根本上同化伟大的神族,将我们变成人类的附庸和走狗,让我们的子孙变成人类的雇佣军!士兵们,你们中有人战死,有人幸存。战死的人,朕将带领你们去觐见大魔神,告诉他,他的子民英勇奋战,无愧于王国威名。活下去的战士,你们有着更艰难而坚韧的任务,告诉我们的孩子真相,告诉他们,历史上曾有过这样的魔神王国,他的子民勤劳而坚韧,他的战士骁勇而忠诚,他的皇帝睿智而勇敢,国土幅员广阔,军队强大无比!在强大的魔神王国面前,所有的人类帝国都在颤抖!告诉我们的子孙,所有的人类宣传都是谎言,在团结一致的神族面前,看似强大的人类军队不过土鸡瓦狗,他们不可能永远统治神族!我们之所以失败,并非我们的战士不够勇敢,并非我们的将军不够优秀,唯一的原因,唯一的原因,是我们不够团结,卑鄙的叛徒出卖了我们的王国,而人类却能达成了空前的团结,我们遭遇了历史上最强大的人类军队。神族军队曾经无限接近胜利,虽然最终失败,但我们震撼大陆!士兵们,活下去,并且记住:想永久征服神族这样强悍的民族是不可能的,人类的统治绝不会长久,终有一天,我们的子孙会高举黄金大旗卷土重来!愿他们勇敢,愿他们坚强,愿他们有比我们更好的运气!让子孙们记住我的预言:当黄金狮子旗帜再次闪烁,我们的皇将再次出现!让他们世世代代牢记这句话:“魔神王国万岁!”“魔神王国万岁!”五万人同时呼喝应和,呼声犹如雷霆震撼,远远地回荡在大地上,压倒了远处传来的巨大战斗轰鸣声。主营前一直飘荡的王国黄金狮子旗被降下来了,看见这面旗帜冉冉落下,士兵们痛哭出声。无敌的黄金狮子旗,王国强大与辉煌的象征,终于也黯然谢幕了吗?魔神皇把柔软的丝绸旗帜折叠,递给云浅雪:“将这个交给卡兰。虽然朕这个孩子不是很成器,但这个时候,撑得起王国的也只有他了。”这不仅仅是转交一面旗帜,这更是将皇位传承给卡兰的象征。望着魔神皇英俊而和蔼的脸容,明白陛下已下定了死战于此的决心,喉头象梗着一块铁,云浅雪跪倒,他连一句完整的话都说不出来了:“陛下,请让雷欧大人承担此任务吧。请允许微臣跟随您一同战斗!”“雷欧和近卫旅走不快,会被人类骑兵追上的。云,时代已经不同了。未来的日子,王国更需要的是能审时度势、狡诈多智的政治家,雷欧这种单纯的武士发挥不了什么作用,与其让他在郁郁寡欢中落寞老死,不如让他最后辉煌一次吧。”“陛下!”云浅雪泪如雨下。他接过旗帜,小心地将它收入贴身的口袋,朝魔神皇重重磕了个头:“陛下放心,微臣一定将旗帜安全交到卡兰殿下手中!请陛下您保重!”魔神皇微笑道:“辅助好卡兰,告诉他,有事多听听他妹妹的。”这是云浅雪见到魔神皇的最后一面,魔神皇那明朗的笑容一直回荡在他的心中。这个雄伟绝世的绝世枭雄,一生无敌。即使他最后失败,但回忆起他,无论是敌人或者朋友,谁都不得不承认,他是黄金时代最恐怖,也是最伟大的战士。天色全黑下来了,惨烈的战斗却没有丝毫结束的迹象。在背后斯特林、文河和流风霜三个庞大的战斗集团压迫下,魔族已失去了战胜的任何奢望。魔神皇下令放弃一切辎重,撤退的魔族兵放火烧掉了自己的大营,目的是阻拦背后流风军的追击步伐。燃烧的大营燃起了冲天的火焰,照红了一方的天际,二十里外也看得见。就在通红火光的映照下,魔族军的突围战役打响了。在开路的装甲兽先导下,大群的魔族步兵、骑兵猛扑向远东军的阵地。这是最后的战斗了。装甲兽军团的巨大轰隆声再次响起的同时,紫川秀接到了东南军指挥部的严令:“远东军务必坚到增援抵达,绝不能放魔神皇逃脱!”一方是决意坚守,一方却是拼死逃生,那个最残酷的夜晚,喋血高地成了双方争夺的焦点,魔族军以截然不同以往的决死姿势猛扑上来,与防守高地的秀字营展开了肉搏战。因为在夜间,远程射击武器能发挥的作用很小,两军都只能依靠近身白刃战来厮杀。在夜间与急于逃生的装甲兽近身战斗,这是远东军的噩梦。血红的火光中,厮杀的人影不时闪烁,飞溅的鲜血,奔跑的身影突然地倒地,恐怖的呐喊不绝于耳,最后的勇士发出绝望的吼叫,在喋血高地阵地上,战死者的尸体在平地上垒起一座小山,仅仅半个小时的战斗,远东军就伤亡了五千多人,阵地指挥官罗杰本人被一棍敲得昏迷不醒,被部下抬下了阵地,他的部队被汹涌而来的装甲兽和魔族兵冲得溃不成军,阵地宣告失守。在那烈火漫天的激战夜晚,各处响起了激烈的锣声宣告示警。喋血高地的失守在远东军的阵地上撕开了一个大口子,从这个缺口上,魔族大军急速通过,仓惶逃生。远东军统帅部试图堵上这个缺口,白川和紫川秀带着增援部队想重新夺回喋血高地阵地,但这就好象用啤酒瓶来塞洪水冲垮的江坝一般,根本无济于事。三次反击都被魔族给打了回来,只遗下尸骸累累,装甲兽部队牢牢地控制住这个阵地,作为魔族大军后撤的通道。一次又一次反攻失败,到最后,紫川秀终于颓然地认识到,士气和体力都被严重削弱,如今正处于最低点的远东军是不可能拦得住急于逃生的魔族精锐部队的。“魔神皇军团已突破我防线,向东突围!急需增援!”向斯特林的求援信使派出去了,但在增援到来之前,紫川秀也没闲着。他发现,魔族军的行动虽然混乱,但却是有序可寻的。撤退的魔族兵马很明显地分成两部,一部分是第三军的普通魔族兵,在军官们的带领下,他们急速地小跑前进,不做丝毫停留;而另一部分是以装甲兽为主的近卫旅兵马,这部分兵马坠在大军的后面,利用各种地形就地抵抗,尽可能地阻碍人类兵马的追击。稍一思索,紫川秀立即明白过来:“因为跑不快,所以装甲兽们被留下来充当阻击的敢死队吗?”很自然地,他猜测魔神皇应该在第三军的撤退兵马中。他下令:“不要管那些装甲兽,他们跑不掉的!追第三军去,魔神皇就在前面!”在那兵荒马乱的混乱黑夜里,远东军的各层组织系统完全给打乱了,有的部队被打散,有的部队被消灭,大多数部队都是经历了惨重的减员和伤亡,被魔族冲得七零八落。要想顺当地把命令传达到各个部队,那几乎是件不可能完成的任务。紫川秀对身边的警卫们下令道:“喊吧,大声喊!让听到的部队都跟着喊:‘光明王有令:无论死活,抓到魔神皇的,赏金五百万!’”黑夜里,呼声此起彼落:“魔神皇就在前面!抓住他!”一传十,十传百,黑夜里,越来越多的部队加入了呼喝:“抓到魔神皇,赏金五百万!”呼声越来越大,最后简直是震耳欲聋。每个人都在狂热地呼喝着,眼睛赤红。这不单是为五百万的巨额悬赏激动,更因为呼声透出了一个重要的信息,透出了胜利的预兆!你看,光明王都对魔神皇悬赏了,那肯定是我们快赢了!尽管被魔族冲得七零八落,尽管伤亡惨重,尽管魔族的装甲兽还很嚣张,但胜利的狂喜给了士兵们无穷的动力,一切都乱套了,不顾什么队列阵形,凡是还能爬动的,还有一口气的,统统行动了起来。连在军队中服役的民夫和伙房里的厨子都拿起了扁担菜刀向东追过去。紫川秀本人亲自上第一线参加追击。他带着警卫队,将一路碰到上的散兵游勇都给集合起来。不论是秀字营还是半兽人兵,只要还能走动的,紫川秀对他只有一句话:“拿起武器跟我走!”在那漆黑的混乱中,紫川秀收拢了约莫五千多人。就带着这五千多人,他跟着撤退的魔族军一路追下去。谁也没料到,远东军的主帅竟有这般的胆色,带着一个多团就敢追踪魔神皇带领的装甲兽。在那黑暗的道上,追击的部队与逃跑魔族散兵们不时遭遇,交战接二连三。“不要管他们!只管向东!”紫川秀大吼道。此刻,他的脑子里只有一个念头,那就是必须赶到前面去,拦住魔神皇的去路。若让魔神皇跑了,连续三天的殊死战斗就失去了意义。全都乱套了。若有人能在上空俯视的话,他会发现这夜的混乱呈现极奇怪的状态。在向东的道路上,追击的人类兵马和魔族部队竟是混成一团前进的。魔族兵马急于逃生,人类部队则是一心一意想追上前面的魔神皇,不想与这些散兵游勇们纠缠。于是出现了极罕见的景象:行进中的魔族兵马和人类兵马你中有我,我中有你地混杂在了一起,居然相安无事。双方都在拼命地奔跑,人类想赶到前面去建立第二道拦截阵地,魔族则是想在人类再次包围之前逃逸,这个时候,时间就是生命!在突围时,第三军的魔族兵战斗得十分勇敢,为逃生,他们万众一心,还是作为一支完整的武装部队冲出去的。但就在那漆黑的奔逃道上,听到身后传来的震天呼声,恐惧感控制了魔族官兵的心头。紫川秀的快速穿插更是给魔族制造了无数的混乱和惊恐。黑夜里,惊恐的呼声此起彼伏:“人类追上来了!快逃命吧!”恐慌在撤退的魔族军中蔓延,对生命的渴望压倒了一切。在紫川秀近逼贴身的追击下,第三军井然有序的撤退变成了一次彻底的大溃败,建制被打散,官长的权威被蔑视,丢下了所有的伤员和辎重。溃兵们互相践踏,互相推挤,踩着死人和活人往前,大路、小路、桥梁、平原、山岗、山谷、树林都被溃兵塞满了,丢在路上的背包和武器撒了一地,没人去拣。魔族兵再不肯留下担任阻击的队伍,见到人类也不再攻击,生怕耽搁了逃生的时机。就在这漆黑混乱的夜晚,到处都乱了套。官长找不到士兵,士兵找不到指挥官。军队溃败犹如江河崩溃,一泻不可收拾。溃兵到处乱窜,连紫川秀所带领的追击部队都被冲散了,到后来,他身边就只剩了数百人,在数万人的魔族乱军中到处搜寻魔神皇的身影。每抓到一个魔族,紫川秀都用魔族语厉声疾色地喝问他:“快说,魔神皇在哪里?”不知那些魔族俘虏真不知道魔神皇下落还是因为忠君爱国,没有一个人说出魔神皇下落。紫川秀大为苦恼,在这数万人的军队中寻找魔神皇简直就象在大海里搜针。他都快有些绝望了,却突然看到斜斜里有一彪魔族骑兵经过,他们制服鲜亮,人高马大,显然是魔族兵中的精锐。在这混乱的夜晚,这队魔族骑兵却显出与众不同,进退之间,他们显得更有秩序和纪律。紫川秀眼前一亮:“就是他们了,上!”话音未落,他已第一个冲了上前,雷霆般一刀就把最前面的那个骑兵给砍下马来。后面的骑兵们发一声惊呼就要上来动手,但秀字营的行动更快,一窝蜂地冲了上来。骑兵若不能跑起来,胯下的坐骑反倒成了障碍。秀字营突然冲近身一抱,没等魔族兵把长矛和马刀出来,他们已先扑上去硬生生地把骑兵们从马背上扯了下来,大伙滚在地上厮打开来。这伙骑兵一边打一边哇啦怪叫着什么,紫川秀也听不懂,估计是向经过的魔族兵求救。但这时,大难临头,谁还顾得上别人的事。尽管魔族溃兵潮水般从身边跑过,但却没一个人停下脚步来给他们伸出援手的。事后想起来,连紫川秀自己也觉得顺利得意外:自己身边只带了那么几百人就敢在魔族溃兵中大摇大摆地抓人,那几千上万的魔族兵一旦清醒过来,不被他们撕了才怪!战斗没多久就结束了,几十个魔族骑兵被打死了一半。在秀字营士兵的刀剑威迫下,剩下的全部被缴了械,用皮带绑住双手盘膝坐在地上。紫川秀一个一个地望着他们,其中一个大个子的魔族老兵引起了他的注意。这个魔族老兵一身白毛,身形比普通魔族兵要高出一个头。尽管他竭力想把身形躲在其他魔族兵的身后,但那臃肿而庞大的身躯在矮小的魔族兵中实在是鹤立鸡群,想不引人注意都难。这个魔族老兵身着低级魔族兵的制服,但他的宽下巴脸型和傲慢的眼神却在告诉紫川秀,此人是惯于颐指气使的人物。“你,站起来!”用纯正的魔族语,紫川秀指着那个魔族兵喝道。老魔族磨蹭了一阵,最后才不情不愿地站了起来。他耷拉着脑袋望地上,不与紫川秀的眼光对视。望着他,紫川秀使劲地在脑海里搜寻:这个魔族看起来有点面熟?在哪里见过他了?良久,一个人影渐渐在脑海里浮现。那仿佛是很久远的故事了。七八零年深秋的那个夜晚,那血腥而惊险的一夜。那时候,此人是高高在上的军团长,王国贵族,自己不过是一员投诚的叛将。那晚,在这位王国贵族眼里,自己不会比一只爬虫高贵多少,他拿眼睛扫自己一眼都是莫大的恩惠了。谁能料到呢?世事竟能做如此大的颠倒。当年的卑微者已成为了征服者,而傲慢者却沦为阶下囚。紫川秀平静地说:“叶尔马公爵,好久不见了。”被紫川秀叫出了身份,叶尔马猛然抬起头。他望着紫川秀,眼神里充满了迷惑和恐惧。他不明白,为什么眼前的这位人类军官能一眼就叫出了自己的名字。多年前,他见过紫川秀一面。但在那个宴会上的紫川秀,与眼前这个周身铠甲血腥斑斑的敌将有很大的区别。他小声地咕嘟道:“你是谁?”紫川秀没时间和他废话,直截问道:“魔神皇在哪里?说出来!”叶尔马傲慢地抬起了头,一言不发。他那挑衅地冲着紫川秀昂起的下巴分明是无声地宣布:“我什么都知道,但我就是不说!”“好,很好!”紫川秀冷笑道:“塞内亚贵族,果然很有骨气。”他使个眼色,几个卫兵会意地冲上去,将叶尔马从俘虏群中拖出来,拖到路边的暗地里去。只听好一阵拳脚与肉体的激烈碰撞声和鬼哭狼嚎般的求救声,黑夜里,魔族俘虏们听得脸色发白。过了好一阵,卫兵们拖着叶尔马——那已经不能说是叶尔马了,只能说是一堆看起来很象叶尔马的肉——出来。军官跑到紫川秀身边小声报告:“启禀大人,他招供了。他说,魔神皇没有随第三军突围。他和近卫旅都留在包围圈里面了。”“什么!”紫川秀失声叫出来,他怀疑地看了一眼军官:“可靠吗?”军官也皱起了眉头,魔族的皇帝竟然没有突围而是自愿留下来断后,这个消息未免也太匪夷所思了。“要不,下官再好好地和他聊聊?”“算了。”紫川秀看看叶尔马,他被打得头破血流七窍流血,已快奄奄一息了。再让那军官跟他“好好地聊”下去,估计他就得一命呜呼了。“你另外找几个魔族兵出来,对一下他们的口供,看看是否一致。”审讯的结果很快出来了,除了几个死活不肯开口的死硬分子,魔族兵的招供惊人地一致:“魔神皇没有突围。他还在二号高地附近,与近卫旅在一道。”紫川秀眉头深锁,想了一阵,他做出了决定:“斯特林和流风霜的兵马正在扫荡近卫旅,我们回去作用不大。还是以防万一吧,万一叶尔马撒谎,或者他们都被魔神皇骗了呢?我们继续追!即使抓不到魔神皇,听叶尔马说,羽林云浅雪是和他们一起突围的,只是在途中失散了。这是条大鱼,我们抓他去!”紫川秀的追击直到第二天拂晓东方天色发白,此时,追击的兵马累得连手都抬不起来了,士兵们跑得脸色发白嘴唇发青,若不是顾忌身边的魔族俘虏造反,他们都要在死尸堆上倒下来便睡了。虽然劳累,但这晚的战果却是十分丰厚的,抓到的俘虏长长的一串,起码有四五千人之多。唯一遗憾的是,其中有分量的将领和贵族没几个。除了叶尔马外,只有几个子爵、伯爵之类的“白披风”,想抓的云浅雪没碰到,不知是这位羽林将军腿脚特别灵便还是黑夜里大伙在道上错过了。想想,紫川秀倒也没怎么遗憾。毕竟抓了一个叶尔马,自己已经够幸运了,还想再抓一个云浅雪,把塞内亚首领们给一网打尽,那也未免得陇望蜀了。回程的路上,道上到处堆满了丢弃的武器、尸体、燃烧的辎重车,满目苍夷。后续的步兵部队已经跟上来了,成群结队的远东半兽人兵正在战场各处搜巡,他们在打劫魔族的战利品,搜寻漏网的魔族官兵。虽然疲惫,官兵们却十分兴奋,一路吱吱喳喳说个不停。这晚他们的收获不小,抓俘与杀敌是同功,紫川秀出手大方,远东军功奖丰厚,抓了五千多俘虏,即使其中一半要算紫川秀本人的功劳——估计统领大人也没那么黑吧?——剩下的一半按人头分也有每人四五个俘虏的功劳了,这笔赏金可是不少。何况里面还有几个塞内亚贵族和军官呢?将来人类与魔族若停战了,那光靠这几个贵族的赎金就足够大伙吃喝不愁。紫川秀却没有部下的欢快心情,他眉头紧锁,一路搭拉着脑袋,一副心事沉沉的样子。有熟悉的部下故意逗他开心:“统领大人,是不是心疼奖金啦?”紫川秀笑笑:“兔崽子,看牢你的钱袋,别让他们跑了,没送到俘虏营的可不能算奖金。滚蛋吧!”部下嘻嘻哈哈一笑而散,紫川秀若有所思地张望四周,他在抑止着内心彭湃的激动。人类千年的苦难,终于在今天结束了!巴丹一战消灭近四十万魔族主力,魔族已无力回天了,此战可永载史册。巴丹会战的意义不单是军事上的,更是政治上的。三百年前倚靠明王的神力打退魔族兵,虽然也是胜利,但那样的胜利让人总让人觉得不真实,而魔族也不把人类当战胜者看待,而是把他们看作是躲避在明王羽翼下的寄生虫。这三百年间,魔族屡次西侵的原因就在此了。他们有心理上的优势,认为人类懦弱,不配拥有这块土地,自然好战了。但这次巴丹会战,不是靠明王的神威,不是靠虚无飘渺的神力,而是靠着普普通通的人类兵、半兽人兵真刀实枪地与魔族军白刃见血厮杀,实打实打出来的胜利,这场胜利打出了人类的威风,拿出来心里塌实!这一仗,足可为三百年前的蓝河会战洗耻,人类从此扬眉吐气。紫川秀唯一担心的是,魔神皇到底死了吗?迎面奔来了一队骑兵,紫川秀认出是自己麾下的半兽人骑兵部队,带头的领队正是德昆。他朝德昆挥挥手,后者看到了紫川秀,连忙朝这边奔来。“殿下!”德昆依然是纱布包着一只伤眼,身上血迹斑斑,连身上的毛发都被血浆凝住了,隔着老远就从他身上传来了一阵刺鼻的汗酸味,那味道太冲了,紫川秀只觉得鼻子一酸,一连打了三个喷嚏——连打了快三天的仗,谁都没功夫梳洗,紫川秀估计自己的模样和味道也好不到哪去。“殿下!”“德昆,你站在那,别过来。”紫川秀伸直了手连连摇晃,象是要从手心发出冲击波将德昆推在三尺之外,一手捂着鼻子,瓮声瓮气地说:“怎么?魔神皇抓到了吗?”德昆一愣:“殿下,是白川大人派我来接应您的。魔神皇,我不知道——不是您带兵马去追击魔神皇了吗?您怎么问起我来了?您抓到魔神皇了吗?”紫川秀这才发现,自己犯了一个错误。在追击魔族兵马的同时,自己居然忘记把魔神皇可能还在战场上的事告诉斯特林或者白川了。看紫川秀脸色变幻,德昆猜他肯定是空手而归了。他安慰道:“大人,魔神皇跑了就跑了,没什么大不了的。想想,魔神王国的皇帝象兔子一般被您在黑地里撵了一夜,那个狼狈肯定少不了的。魔神皇能从您面前逃跑一次,那他就坠了架子,将来他还会逃跑第二次、第三次的!没什么大不了的,逃了的魔神皇就一钱不值了,不足为惧了!”紫川秀也懒得跟他解释了,问:“主阵地那边怎样了?”“还在打!近卫旅还在负隅顽抗。第三军撤退后,近卫旅也想突围,但白川大人把他们咬得死死的,追在他们后面撵着尾巴打。近卫旅跑不快,没办法甩开白川大人,只好边打边走。后来文河大人过来了,斯特林那边的军团也开过来了,流风军那边的兵马也咬上来了——流风家的兵马真威风啊,高头大马,一式全是骑兵——眼看我们的人越来越多,近卫旅知道跑不掉了,干脆就找了个高坡团在那死守,四下全是我们的兵马密密围住,听说帝林大人的军队也在赶来,他们是插翅难飞了!”“帝林也来了!”听到这个消息,紫川秀喜出望外。对于这个大哥,他有一种近乎盲目的崇拜和相信,帝林来了,那就再没有解决不了的问题。“那我们快回去,魔神皇可能就在被包围的近卫旅里边!”“什么!”德昆大吃一惊,随即,兴奋的笑容出现在半兽人脸上。他摩拳擦掌地嚷嚷道:“大人,这下我们可要好好大干一场了!这么多人围攻,魔神皇就是三头六臂也逃不掉了!”远东军被魔神皇冲阵杀将如入无物,德昆一直深以为耻。这下有机会复仇,他兴奋得雀跃不已。说着,他突然想到了什么,一拍脑门:“大人,忘说了,刚才的道上,我们抓到一个魔族俘虏,很可能是塞内亚贵族。”“是谁?”“我们从一辆马车上逮的,不知道她的身份。但那马车装饰很华贵,肯定是大人物。殿下,我们见识浅薄,没法分辨此人身份,只有交给您了!”德昆裂开大嘴,眉开眼笑,笑容中藏着几分狡黠,他转头打招呼:“来人,把好东西拿出来献给大人!”看着德昆那狡诈的笑容,再看看那扛着大麻袋的两个半兽人兵,紫川秀忽然觉得眼前的一幕很有种似曾相识的感觉,连德昆那狡猾的笑容好象都在哪里见过。。。有种强烈的预感,紫川秀喃喃道:“天,接下来该不会是。。。”麻袋解开了。卡丹公主清丽依然,她圆睁了清澈的双眼,一眨不眨地看着紫川秀,双眸透明有如水晶。他望着她,她望着他。就在此刻,时间凝固了,两人的身形凝固犹如雕像。无数的往事如潮水般从身边涌过,曾经无忧无虑的青春岁月,山盟海誓的爱情,生死相许的悲欢离合。在家国世事变幻的风云大潮中,作为个人的命运是多么的脆弱。即使贵为公主或者执掌一方的将军,他们的命运不比时代大潮中随浪飘浮的一根火柴棒重多少。沧海桑田,世事变幻,往事并不如烟,最终尽化尘埃。造化弄人竟能至如斯。望着眼前女子清丽的眼睛,紫川秀干咳一声。他不知道该如何面对这双眼睛,从前如此,现在也是如此。该怎么形容和她之间的关系呢?亦敌亦友,惺惺相怜,半生知己。该和她说些什么呢?象老熟人一般若无其事地打个招呼?或者拿出胜利者的威严来呵斥她?好象都不合适。最终,紫川秀只能对着卡丹慢慢地点头,微笑,笑容里充满了苦涩。他抽出了背后的洗月刀,横刀当空平举。“失礼了,公主殿下!”话音未落,洗月刀在空中划过了一道闪电般的弧线劈向卡丹。德昆惊骇得张大了嘴,叫道:“殿下,不要!赎金很值钱的。。。”“噌”的一声脆响,紫川秀已抽刀回鞘。绑着卡丹的绳子寸寸断裂,纷纷落地。紫川秀清朗地说:“您自由了,公主殿下。‘卡丹公主专注地凝视着紫川秀,刚才紫川秀挥刀的过程中,她的眼睛根本没眨,亮丽的眸子里没有丝毫畏惧。她柔声说:“私放敌国将领,紫川统领您难道就不害怕军法?”紫川秀淡淡说:“你不是将领,我也不怕军法——谁敢说出去?德昆,你会吗?”紫川秀斜眼瞄向旁边目瞪口呆的半兽人将军,后者这才醒悟过来,连声说:“殿下,俺什么都没看到,俺什么都没听到——总之,俺什么都不知道!殿下,俺过那边看看,您老人家忙吧,不用管我了!”话音未落,象是怕看到什么不该看的东西似的,半兽人将军一溜烟跑得没影了,那速度,浑不象一个两天两夜没能合眼休息的人。望着德昆跑远了,紫川秀才出声道:“怎么也想不到会在这里见到你。你怎么一个人在这里?”“我的卫队被冲散了,道上碰到溃兵,他们抢走了我车上的马。没有马,我也走不掉了。”“原来如此。”紫川秀这才明白,为什么先撤退的卡丹居然会被后赶来的德昆给俘虏。他对卡丹说:“事不宜迟,你得马上出发。追击的部队不止我一路,若是你落在文河或者流风军手上,我很难再救出来。你从俘虏里面挑一些人出来充当护卫,我再给你分一些马。”紫川秀转身吩咐部下:“想办法找些战马过来——没有?那就叫德昆他们让一些出来!”看着紫川秀大声呵斥那些反应迟钝的部下,卡丹的眼中流露出一丝感激。但内敛的她并没有出声,只是默默地看着紫川秀忙活着为她准备出发的干粮、淡水和战马,在俘虏里挑选合适的人选出来当护卫。当准备完毕,卡丹又坐回了马车上。匆匆的见面之后,再次分别又在眼前。卡丹忽然问道:“阿秀,你可知道我夫君的下落?他是死了,还是被你们活抓了?”紫川秀一愣:“云浅雪?我不知道。。。你不是和他一起走的吗?据我所知,你夫君是与第三军的叶尔马一起突围的。”“不,我夫君是跟着皇太子卡兰的部队一起走的,他们往塔伦城方向撤。父皇也想让我从塔伦城方向撤退,但我实在不放心父皇,一直留在军中,直到昨晚全军总突围时才跟着大队一起离开。”紫川秀皱皱眉,知道这其中一定有什么蹊跷,但兵荒马乱的,也不是追究的时候了。他问:“卡丹,你怎么不问令尊的下落呢?”卡丹脸色一黯:“不必问了。他有机会撤的,但他不肯,说无颜回去。”紫川秀心头一喜,脸上却露出了黯然的表情说:“请节哀。虽然立场不同,但谁都不得不承认,令尊乃盖世英雄,他求仁得仁,再无所憾。”卡丹盈盈地登上马车,转头对紫川秀说:“那么,请多保重,秀川统领。”紫川秀端庄地对她行了一个军礼:“路上保重,卡丹。”望着马车渐渐远去,渐渐消失在太阳升起的地平线上头,紫川秀神情惆怅。他这才注意到一件事,今天的匆匆会晤中,卡丹竟没有一个字提到斯特林。自己的初恋情人,竟是毁灭魔族王国的元凶巨魁,杀害自己父亲和亲人的凶手,料想卡丹的心里,也是矛盾得很吧?云浅雪和卡兰带着第三军和羽林军从战场上逃走了,但更多的魔族军队却被人类的铁钳困住了。蒙那将军和英木兰将军的骑兵军进展神速,飞插战场的两翼,就如两面钢铁城墙,锁死了魔族逃生向东南逃生的通道。各路人类军团士气高涨,突进勇猛。士兵们虽然疲惫,谁都知道,这是痛打落水狗的时候了,要获得战利品,就得靠现在了。现在,被包围的魔族兵已无逃生的希望。塞内亚兵不愧是王国精锐,很多魔族兵都选择了战死而不是被俘。被打散的各个魔族团队和大队排成大大小小的圆形阵,肩并肩抵抗人类的从四面八方的围攻。人类则不住地猛攻,把圈子一再压缩,压缩,象毒蛇一样紧紧缠住了魔族。武器又碰撞起来了,枪在刺,刀在砍,剑在削,砍在肉体和盾牌、盔甲上,乒乒乓乓。一个大圈子被人类打散了,他们又组成十几个小圈子,大群铁甲骑兵冲过,一个又一个魔族组成的圈子被荡平,魔族兵都被马蹄踩成了肉泥,直到所有的魔族兵都象一片森林似的纷纷被砍倒,直到最后一个魔族兵被切断喉咙之前,战斗是不会结束的。流风家士兵脸色发白了,他们很少见到这么残酷的战争。他们喊话保证投降魔族的生命安全,但魔族就象没听到一般,依然在不顾死活地抵抗。这里战斗的残酷远胜于西部边境战斗,在紫川家与流风家的作战中,双方是允许投降的而且俘虏是有可能被交换或者赎回的,流风军对魔族士兵对自己生命的轻蔑深感震惊。无论是围攻者还是被围攻者,双方都根本不把自己的性命当回事。因为魔族知道,他们在这片土地上犯下深重的罪行,双手血腥。即使投降了,人类也不可能放过他们的。被包围的魔族兵很少投降,即使最后防御圈被完全击碎,即使单身一人的魔族兵也不愿向胜利者屈膝,而是选择了战死。蒙那将军说:“他们不是人,全是野兽。我们是在与饿急的狼**手!”对于魔族王国来说,这是遭遇大难崩溃的一天,但也是王国战士展现勇气,最辉煌光荣的一天。最激烈的战斗依然是在远东军的防线周围,近卫旅被包围在此地。流风军是第一次与近卫旅交手,先前,他们对这种巨大而强悍的生物一无所知。轻骑兵们依然想用往常惯用的战术——近身冲刺骑射扰乱然后再突进破阵——他们吃了大亏。轻骑兵所挟带的猎弓对装甲兽只当是挠痒,突进的轻骑冲不破装甲兽的阵列。装甲兽双手一挥,重达八十斤的铁锤横横打来,竟有骑兵连人带马给打飞出五六米,浑身骨骼断裂五脏破裂而死的。从包围开始,突围和反突围的战斗就一直没停过。那些野蛮而强壮的装甲兽不停地冲撞人类的防线,被他们撞死踩死的流风军和紫川军士兵尸体堆成了一座小山。亲眼目睹这这一场景,第一次见到这种刀枪不入又力大无穷的怪物,流风家将领们无不胆战心惊。英木兰惊叹道:“那是什么怪物?我们面前的不是恐龙吧?”流风霜则问道:“能与这样的敌人激战两天两夜,贵军真是了不起。不知贵军是用什么方法抵御这些怪物的?能否向我们传授一点经验?”文河脸色发白,斯特林却是脸色发青,这时他才感到了自己的自私。自己粗暴地向紫川秀下了简单的命令:“死守!”甚至还以军法审判相威胁——现在回想起来,世间之自私残酷无过于此!即使强弩之末的装甲兽依然有这么恐怖的威力,自己要紫川秀独力抵抗全盛时的近卫旅和魔神皇,那简直就是要他去送死!他至今还想不明白,武器简陋兵力单薄的半兽人兵,到底是怎么跟这些怪物战斗的?那是真正的血肉山河,以死坚守!但即使再来一次,自己别无他法,依然要向紫川秀下达这个命令:“死守!”若不是紫川秀拖住了近卫旅主力,这数万恐怖的怪物投入正面战场的话,自己未必能坚持到流风军抵达。战争之残酷就在于此,他使人变得粗暴而残酷,铁石心肠,除胜利外,所有的牺牲和鲜血统统不在考虑范围。他向流风家将领解释:“诸位,先前与近卫旅交战的并非我东南军部队,而是紫川秀大人统率的远东劲旅。”“原来是远东军!”流风军将军们发出了惊叹的感慨:“紫川家在远东竟还有这么强大的军团!”在以往与紫川家的战斗中,紫川家很少把远东军调过来对付自己,对流风家来说,那支从蛮荒之地成长起来的强大军团始终蒙有一层神秘的面纱。想想,能硬撼装甲兽的军队,那是多么恐怖的实力!不少人都在忧虑,虽然与紫川家如今和好了,但国与国之间关系历来变幻莫测,若哪天紫川家一翻脸,真的从远东调来军队的话,那流风家就麻烦了。虽然人类已经取得了全面的绝对优势,但依然对那两万结阵坚守的近卫旅束手无策。硬攻不是不可以,但那要意味着付出巨大的伤亡。天知道要死多少人才能把这些怪物给消灭掉,尤其斯特林手上的都是伤亡惨重的疲兵,士兵们倒在地上就能枕着死尸立即睡着的。比起紫川军来,流风军的伤亡倒是微乎其微。但第一次进攻近卫旅受挫后,流风军立即谨慎起来。斯特林去找流风霜商议协同进攻的事,别的事都好商量,只是谈到进攻,流风霜露出了神秘的含蓄笑容,回绝得又干脆又利索:“我军长途跋涉,劳累不堪,不宜立即投入战斗。斯特林大人,贵部若要进攻,我愿为阁下掠阵,助威呐喊!”斯特林一阵气闷,流风霜只差没说:“斯特林你只管上吧,我精神上鼓励你!”他正在头疼时候,一个消息传来了:“帝都军团已经抵达!帝林监察长大人到了!”七八四年十一月十四日,清晨,天空灰沉沉的,彤云密布。一场雪眼看就要下来。一队身着黑色披风的骑兵和辎重车队穿梭在巴丹平原,这个刚刚经过激战的战场。骑兵和车队穿行于尸积如山的坡地和平原,两军战士的尸骸之多,堆满了道路,以至车队前面不得不派出人专门将尸骸和杂物搬离道路。空气中荡漾着浓郁的血腥味,熏人欲呕。大群的秃鹫在战场各处飞舞着,发出嘈杂的怪叫声。“大人,东南军主营已东移,斯特林大人派人传话了,说就在前方迎接您。”“不必了。”长身玉立的俊美将军淡淡道:“战事正紧,这时候就不必搞那些繁文琐节了。告诉东南军的联系官,我直接到前线与斯特林会合就是。”侍卫官领命正要去传达,忽见前面奔来了一路兵马。看见兵马上方飘扬的东南军主帅旗,他失声道:“大人,斯特林将军已经来了!”帝林脸上动容,策马奔出。果然,那路兵马前头那个熟悉的身影,却不正是斯特林!两人都是飞快地奔近来,同时翻身下马。自从三月间,斯特林出任东南军统领,两人就再不曾见过面。在这战乱岁月,斯特林指挥东南军,帝林坚守帝都,二人都是执掌一方重镇的人物,早养成了矜持沉稳的习性,平闲生死事都不再动心了。唯有在自己久不曾见的生死兄弟面前,那份真情性情才会流露。两人对视,都是心潮澎湃,激动万分。依照军中规矩,斯特林先端正地向帝林敬了一个军礼,帝林微笑着回礼,两人的笑容中都隐隐藏着泪光。“宁殿下很关心这边,催着我过来看。其实,斯特林你坐镇,我是压根不担心的:除了大获全胜,还能有别的结局吗?但殿下催得紧,没办法,呵呵,大哥我就厚着脸皮跑这么一趟了,拿到点捷报消息,也好回去给殿下报功沾点光。”第267章帝国的黄昏血日冉冉密集的流风军长驱直入,将魔族军阵杀得落花流水。一片混乱,火光、厮杀声、逃命的叫唤,惨叫声,无数的厮杀声汇集成一片洪流,喧嚣直冲天际。“陛下!”近卫旅指挥雷欧公爵领着一队装甲兽来到魔神皇面前,他的眼睛凶狠得可怕,急速地说:“陛下,救救王国,也救救您自己吧!人类还没合围,现在撤退还来得及!”看了他一眼,魔神皇淡淡说:“我怎能离开?”“陛下,现在还来得及!我准备了好马,专门给陛下您和皇子殿下、公主殿下留着的。我和近卫旅为您掩护后路!陛下,您一路请多保重了!”魔神皇脸色阴沉地看着雷欧,好久,他才出声道:“因为朕的决断,王国发起了这次西征。现在,王国一半的将士都死在了这儿,难道朕还能离开吗?朕没有脸面回去见蒙汗那些人幸灾乐祸的嘴脸,也没有脸面回见王国的子民。”“父皇!”一个清脆的女声出来打断了魔神皇,卡丹公主从后帐中走出,她正要向魔神皇行屈膝礼,却被魔神皇打断了:“什么时候了,还那么多虚礼!”“是!父皇,胜败乃兵家常事,父皇您乃国之根本,只要您健在,王国就保住了根本。。。”卡丹正说得流畅,魔神皇却突然打断了她:“卡丹,有些事你不懂。有些人是只能胜,不能败的。一旦失败,他就什么也不是!”卡丹喊道:“父皇,为什么?自古哪有不打败仗的将军?眼前的斯特林,他不也在奥斯打了败仗?在帕依被迫和我们签了城下之盟?紫川秀,他不也不同样在红河湾被凌步虚将军打得落花流水?就连号称人类第一名将的流风霜,她不也同样被紫川秀打败过?”“可他们不是神皇。”魔神皇淡淡地一笑,笑容里带着说不出的骄傲和凄凉:“这世上,只有胜利的卡特皇帝,没有败的卡特。”看到卡丹还要说话,魔神皇摇手:“雷欧,你派人将公主带出包围圈,撤退回国——这是命令,不必再争。”雷欧立即执行。公主的卫队硬推着卡兰公主上了马车,护着她向南驰去。正向东的大道已被东南军和远东军和堵死了,流风霜从西北方斜斜地插了进来,其强势的兵马正急速地向战场外围展开包抄。魔族若要撤退,唯一的出路是在流风霜和东南军合围之前从东南方撤退。叶尔马军团长生气地嚷嚷道:“陛下!请下命令吧,云浅雪那鼠辈,居然敢临阵逃脱!微臣要去拦截羽林军,要让云浅雪那无耻小人知道王国愤怒的可怕!”雷欧望了他一眼,眼中流露鄙夷。叶尔马吹得好听,去拦截羽林军,他拿什么拦截?损兵折将的第三军只是勉强还能支撑在阵地上,只是因为对魔神皇的盲目信仰,士兵们还没开始大批地逃亡。叶尔马不可能不知道,他借口出兵拦截云浅雪,其实不过是想从魔神皇身边躲开好趁机逃跑罢了。魔神皇伫立在帐篷门口,映衬外面的喧嚣和吵嚷,魔神皇的沉默具有万钧的力量。雷欧明白神皇此时的心理:比起输掉这场注定要失败的战争,云浅雪的逃跑对神皇的打击更为沉重。自己一直欣赏和栽培的重臣竟是个贪生怕死的懦夫,这让神皇深感失落。“陛下!羽林将军求见!”“什么?”叶尔马惊叫。魔神皇霍然转身,脸露喜色:“宣他进来!”云浅雪大步行进。他态度端庄地向魔神皇下跪行礼,沉稳地说:“微臣参见陛下!”“时间紧迫,羽林卿请起。”“谢陛下。”“羽林卿,羽林军如今何在?情况如何?”“启禀陛下,在卡兰殿下率领下,羽林军所部正向东南塔伦城方向转进。微臣离开时,我部遭到流风军的追击,但前方并无拦截。”“有多少人马平安脱离包围圈了?”“情况很混乱,无法统计。羽林军约有十二个团能成建制地离开,不到三万人。但还有一些第五军和第十一军的弟兄加入我们队伍,估计有四万人能闯出包围圈。”魔神皇点头,低声说:“只有四万人了吗?入关时的百万之师,到如今只剩下了四万残兵败将?”“陛下,情况应该比微臣估计得要好。人类的包围圈太大,他们的兵力不足维持,必然会有很多空隙。能突围的兵马绝不会只有微臣一部。但据情报说,帝林已拿下了达克,也正朝这里赶来。若他一到,我们就。。。”云浅雪本想说:“插翅难飞。”但他还是换了个温和的说法:“更加困难了。”魔神皇点头,突然问:“云,你为什么回来了?”“微臣无能,不能阻止皇子殿下胡作非为,已是死罪,本就惶恐无地了。若再抛下陛下独自逃生,微臣实在做不出来。”魔神皇沉默了好久,才慢慢出声:“云浅雪,你很好。”“微臣实在愧不敢当。”眼见情况如此紧急,魔神皇和云浅雪却如此平和地对话,将宝贵的时间白白浪费,叶尔马听得心里冒火,插嘴道:“陛下,情况紧急,我们还是先想对策吧?”“叶尔马,放心,你有时间逃跑的。”魔神皇淡淡说道,转身大步出了营帐。雷欧鄙夷地看了叶尔马一眼,低沉地说:“公爵,你的胆怯就象屎一般散发着臭气!”跟在魔神皇的身后,他也出去了。叶尔马膛目结舌地呆在原地,面红耳赤。大火在燃烧,天边一片火红,第三军和近卫旅的残余士兵集合在主营前。比起昨日出战前,士兵的阵列已经大为凋零,残余的士兵们身上带伤,疲倦,委顿,衣裳破烂。但他们眼睛中依然闪烁着那么一股傲气,那是一种不甘服输的愤怒,那是一种不敢相信眼前发生事实的眼神。十六军投降,铁壁军崩溃,羽林军逃亡,西南军被围歼——就在五个小时以前,以上的诸路军团都是不曾一败的强师劲旅,王国不败的象征,但就在他们的眼前,这些威名显赫的皇牌劲旅一个接一个被人类打垮、消灭。那些愚昧而单纯的魔族士兵,坚信魔族王国的强大是无可匹敌的,魔神皇的英明睿智是天生的,王国威力无穷的战争机器制造胜利就象土豆从地里长出来一般天经地义,就象太阳从东方升起一般自然而然。直到如今,成千上万的溃败士兵经过了他们阵地,他们亲眼见到那些哭喊着逃命的士兵与他们同样穿着塞内亚族的服饰,同样有着黄金族的血统战士向他们哭诉着战友如何被人类骑兵大批地屠杀的经历,眼见无敌的军团在自己眼前溃败,英勇的战士被追杀,塞内亚士兵们愤怒得胸口里象团着一团火,愤怒中又带着惶恐:难道,王国真的会失败吗?由魔神皇亲自指挥,有着那么多优秀将领,那么多骁勇战士组成的强大军团,真的会如此一败涂地吗?他们迫切地需要答案,现在,给他们答案的最佳人选出现了,魔神皇出现了!魔神皇出现在军队前面,依然神采飞扬,只是眼神中多了一种深沉的忧郁。他以严峻的眼神注视着众人:“士兵们,塞内亚的勇士们,我的孩子们,我们被打败了。”黑烟在远方冉冉升起,厮杀的声不断传来,死一般的沉寂笼罩在人群上空,没有人喊叫,没有人哭泣,士兵们只是呆呆地望着魔神皇。魔神皇就是他们的神,他们不败的信仰,他们永远照耀天空的太阳。现在,太阳熄灭了。魔神皇平静地说,那平静的声音中,蕴含着强大的力量:“从恒古以来,我们的民族一直在经受着烈狱般的苦难。饥荒,死地,战争,瘟疫,我们的国度是灾难与泪水之邦。我曾以为,我能带领你们走出这个灾难之地,结束这段沾满泪水与死亡的路程。但是,最终我们失败了。我的孩子们,你们英勇战斗,无愧于王国和亲人。因为朕的无能与鲁莽,王国蒙受了巨大的损失,你们付出了巨大的代价。朕愧对王国,更对不起那些为朕而战死的战士们。”对着面前士兵群,魔神皇弯下腰,深深地鞠了一个躬。一阵愕然的波动从人群中荡过,面对魔神皇史无前例的道歉,云浅雪、雷欧等将领们首先反应过来,连忙下跪回礼。紧接着是军官们,犹如大风吹过田野,士兵们如同被风吹倒的稻浪般一排排地跪倒。“失败并不是结束,苦难才刚刚开始。在军事上取得优势以后,人类必然谋求政治上统治我们,他们要掠夺我们的土地,奴役我们的人民,消灭我们的历史、文字和传统,谋求从根本上同化伟大的神族,将我们变成人类的附庸和走狗,让我们的子孙变成人类的雇佣军!士兵们,你们中有人战死,有人幸存。战死的人,朕将带领你们去觐见大魔神,告诉他,他的子民英勇奋战,无愧于王国威名。活下去的战士,你们有着更艰难而坚韧的任务,告诉我们的孩子真相,告诉他们,历史上曾有过这样的魔神王国,他的子民勤劳而坚韧,他的战士骁勇而忠诚,他的皇帝睿智而勇敢,国土幅员广阔,军队强大无比!在强大的魔神王国面前,所有的人类帝国都在颤抖!告诉我们的子孙,所有的人类宣传都是谎言,在团结一致的神族面前,看似强大的人类军队不过土鸡瓦狗,他们不可能永远统治神族!我们之所以失败,并非我们的战士不够勇敢,并非我们的将军不够优秀,唯一的原因,唯一的原因,是我们不够团结,卑鄙的叛徒出卖了我们的王国,而人类却能达成了空前的团结,我们遭遇了历史上最强大的人类军队。神族军队曾经无限接近胜利,虽然最终失败,但我们震撼大陆!士兵们,活下去,并且记住:想永久征服神族这样强悍的民族是不可能的,人类的统治绝不会长久,终有一天,我们的子孙会高举黄金大旗卷土重来!愿他们勇敢,愿他们坚强,愿他们有比我们更好的运气!让子孙们记住我的预言:当黄金狮子旗帜再次闪烁,我们的皇将再次出现!让他们世世代代牢记这句话:“魔神王国万岁!”“魔神王国万岁!”五万人同时呼喝应和,呼声犹如雷霆震撼,远远地回荡在大地上,压倒了远处传来的巨大战斗轰鸣声。主营前一直飘荡的王国黄金狮子旗被降下来了,看见这面旗帜冉冉落下,士兵们痛哭出声。无敌的黄金狮子旗,王国强大与辉煌的象征,终于也黯然谢幕了吗?魔神皇把柔软的丝绸旗帜折叠,递给云浅雪:“将这个交给卡兰。虽然朕这个孩子不是很成器,但这个时候,撑得起王国的也只有他了。”这不仅仅是转交一面旗帜,这更是将皇位传承给卡兰的象征。望着魔神皇英俊而和蔼的脸容,明白陛下已下定了死战于此的决心,喉头象梗着一块铁,云浅雪跪倒,他连一句完整的话都说不出来了:“陛下,请让雷欧大人承担此任务吧。请允许微臣跟随您一同战斗!”“雷欧和近卫旅走不快,会被人类骑兵追上的。云,时代已经不同了。未来的日子,王国更需要的是能审时度势、狡诈多智的政治家,雷欧这种单纯的武士发挥不了什么作用,与其让他在郁郁寡欢中落寞老死,不如让他最后辉煌一次吧。”“陛下!”云浅雪泪如雨下。他接过旗帜,小心地将它收入贴身的口袋,朝魔神皇重重磕了个头:“陛下放心,微臣一定将旗帜安全交到卡兰殿下手中!请陛下您保重!”魔神皇微笑道:“辅助好卡兰,告诉他,有事多听听他妹妹的。”这是云浅雪见到魔神皇的最后一面,魔神皇那明朗的笑容一直回荡在他的心中。这个雄伟绝世的绝世枭雄,一生无敌。即使他最后失败,但回忆起他,无论是敌人或者朋友,谁都不得不承认,他是黄金时代最恐怖,也是最伟大的战士。天色全黑下来了,惨烈的战斗却没有丝毫结束的迹象。在背后斯特林、文河和流风霜三个庞大的战斗集团压迫下,魔族已失去了战胜的任何奢望。魔神皇下令放弃一切辎重,撤退的魔族兵放火烧掉了自己的大营,目的是阻拦背后流风军的追击步伐。燃烧的大营燃起了冲天的火焰,照红了一方的天际,二十里外也看得见。就在通红火光的映照下,魔族军的突围战役打响了。在开路的装甲兽先导下,大群的魔族步兵、骑兵猛扑向远东军的阵地。这是最后的战斗了。装甲兽军团的巨大轰隆声再次响起的同时,紫川秀接到了东南军指挥部的严令:“远东军务必坚到增援抵达,绝不能放魔神皇逃脱!”一方是决意坚守,一方却是拼死逃生,那个最残酷的夜晚,喋血高地成了双方争夺的焦点,魔族军以截然不同以往的决死姿势猛扑上来,与防守高地的秀字营展开了肉搏战。因为在夜间,远程射击武器能发挥的作用很小,两军都只能依靠近身白刃战来厮杀。在夜间与急于逃生的装甲兽近身战斗,这是远东军的噩梦。血红的火光中,厮杀的人影不时闪烁,飞溅的鲜血,奔跑的身影突然地倒地,恐怖的呐喊不绝于耳,最后的勇士发出绝望的吼叫,在喋血高地阵地上,战死者的尸体在平地上垒起一座小山,仅仅半个小时的战斗,远东军就伤亡了五千多人,阵地指挥官罗杰本人被一棍敲得昏迷不醒,被部下抬下了阵地,他的部队被汹涌而来的装甲兽和魔族兵冲得溃不成军,阵地宣告失守。在那烈火漫天的激战夜晚,各处响起了激烈的锣声宣告示警。喋血高地的失守在远东军的阵地上撕开了一个大口子,从这个缺口上,魔族大军急速通过,仓惶逃生。远东军统帅部试图堵上这个缺口,白川和紫川秀带着增援部队想重新夺回喋血高地阵地,但这就好象用啤酒瓶来塞洪水冲垮的江坝一般,根本无济于事。三次反击都被魔族给打了回来,只遗下尸骸累累,装甲兽部队牢牢地控制住这个阵地,作为魔族大军后撤的通道。一次又一次反攻失败,到最后,紫川秀终于颓然地认识到,士气和体力都被严重削弱,如今正处于最低点的远东军是不可能拦得住急于逃生的魔族精锐部队的。“魔神皇军团已突破我防线,向东突围!急需增援!”向斯特林的求援信使派出去了,但在增援到来之前,紫川秀也没闲着。他发现,魔族军的行动虽然混乱,但却是有序可寻的。撤退的魔族兵马很明显地分成两部,一部分是第三军的普通魔族兵,在军官们的带领下,他们急速地小跑前进,不做丝毫停留;而另一部分是以装甲兽为主的近卫旅兵马,这部分兵马坠在大军的后面,利用各种地形就地抵抗,尽可能地阻碍人类兵马的追击。稍一思索,紫川秀立即明白过来:“因为跑不快,所以装甲兽们被留下来充当阻击的敢死队吗?”很自然地,他猜测魔神皇应该在第三军的撤退兵马中。他下令:“不要管那些装甲兽,他们跑不掉的!追第三军去,魔神皇就在前面!”在那兵荒马乱的混乱黑夜里,远东军的各层组织系统完全给打乱了,有的部队被打散,有的部队被消灭,大多数部队都是经历了惨重的减员和伤亡,被魔族冲得七零八落。要想顺当地把命令传达到各个部队,那几乎是件不可能完成的任务。紫川秀对身边的警卫们下令道:“喊吧,大声喊!让听到的部队都跟着喊:‘光明王有令:无论死活,抓到魔神皇的,赏金五百万!’”黑夜里,呼声此起彼落:“魔神皇就在前面!抓住他!”一传十,十传百,黑夜里,越来越多的部队加入了呼喝:“抓到魔神皇,赏金五百万!”呼声越来越大,最后简直是震耳欲聋。每个人都在狂热地呼喝着,眼睛赤红。这不单是为五百万的巨额悬赏激动,更因为呼声透出了一个重要的信息,透出了胜利的预兆!你看,光明王都对魔神皇悬赏了,那肯定是我们快赢了!尽管被魔族冲得七零八落,尽管伤亡惨重,尽管魔族的装甲兽还很嚣张,但胜利的狂喜给了士兵们无穷的动力,一切都乱套了,不顾什么队列阵形,凡是还能爬动的,还有一口气的,统统行动了起来。连在军队中服役的民夫和伙房里的厨子都拿起了扁担菜刀向东追过去。紫川秀本人亲自上第一线参加追击。他带着警卫队,将一路碰到上的散兵游勇都给集合起来。不论是秀字营还是半兽人兵,只要还能走动的,紫川秀对他只有一句话:“拿起武器跟我走!”在那漆黑的混乱中,紫川秀收拢了约莫五千多人。就带着这五千多人,他跟着撤退的魔族军一路追下去。谁也没料到,远东军的主帅竟有这般的胆色,带着一个多团就敢追踪魔神皇带领的装甲兽。在那黑暗的道上,追击的部队与逃跑魔族散兵们不时遭遇,交战接二连三。“不要管他们!只管向东!”紫川秀大吼道。此刻,他的脑子里只有一个念头,那就是必须赶到前面去,拦住魔神皇的去路。若让魔神皇跑了,连续三天的殊死战斗就失去了意义。全都乱套了。若有人能在上空俯视的话,他会发现这夜的混乱呈现极奇怪的状态。在向东的道路上,追击的人类兵马和魔族部队竟是混成一团前进的。魔族兵马急于逃生,人类部队则是一心一意想追上前面的魔神皇,不想与这些散兵游勇们纠缠。于是出现了极罕见的景象:行进中的魔族兵马和人类兵马你中有我,我中有你地混杂在了一起,居然相安无事。双方都在拼命地奔跑,人类想赶到前面去建立第二道拦截阵地,魔族则是想在人类再次包围之前逃逸,这个时候,时间就是生命!在突围时,第三军的魔族兵战斗得十分勇敢,为逃生,他们万众一心,还是作为一支完整的武装部队冲出去的。但就在那漆黑的奔逃道上,听到身后传来的震天呼声,恐惧感控制了魔族官兵的心头。紫川秀的快速穿插更是给魔族制造了无数的混乱和惊恐。黑夜里,惊恐的呼声此起彼伏:“人类追上来了!快逃命吧!”恐慌在撤退的魔族军中蔓延,对生命的渴望压倒了一切。在紫川秀近逼贴身的追击下,第三军井然有序的撤退变成了一次彻底的大溃败,建制被打散,官长的权威被蔑视,丢下了所有的伤员和辎重。溃兵们互相践踏,互相推挤,踩着死人和活人往前,大路、小路、桥梁、平原、山岗、山谷、树林都被溃兵塞满了,丢在路上的背包和武器撒了一地,没人去拣。魔族兵再不肯留下担任阻击的队伍,见到人类也不再攻击,生怕耽搁了逃生的时机。就在这漆黑混乱的夜晚,到处都乱了套。官长找不到士兵,士兵找不到指挥官。军队溃败犹如江河崩溃,一泻不可收拾。溃兵到处乱窜,连紫川秀所带领的追击部队都被冲散了,到后来,他身边就只剩了数百人,在数万人的魔族乱军中到处搜寻魔神皇的身影。每抓到一个魔族,紫川秀都用魔族语厉声疾色地喝问他:“快说,魔神皇在哪里?”不知那些魔族俘虏真不知道魔神皇下落还是因为忠君爱国,没有一个人说出魔神皇下落。紫川秀大为苦恼,在这数万人的军队中寻找魔神皇简直就象在大海里搜针。他都快有些绝望了,却突然看到斜斜里有一彪魔族骑兵经过,他们制服鲜亮,人高马大,显然是魔族兵中的精锐。在这混乱的夜晚,这队魔族骑兵却显出与众不同,进退之间,他们显得更有秩序和纪律。紫川秀眼前一亮:“就是他们了,上!”话音未落,他已第一个冲了上前,雷霆般一刀就把最前面的那个骑兵给砍下马来。后面的骑兵们发一声惊呼就要上来动手,但秀字营的行动更快,一窝蜂地冲了上来。骑兵若不能跑起来,胯下的坐骑反倒成了障碍。秀字营突然冲近身一抱,没等魔族兵把长矛和马刀出来,他们已先扑上去硬生生地把骑兵们从马背上扯了下来,大伙滚在地上厮打开来。这伙骑兵一边打一边哇啦怪叫着什么,紫川秀也听不懂,估计是向经过的魔族兵求救。但这时,大难临头,谁还顾得上别人的事。尽管魔族溃兵潮水般从身边跑过,但却没一个人停下脚步来给他们伸出援手的。事后想起来,连紫川秀自己也觉得顺利得意外:自己身边只带了那么几百人就敢在魔族溃兵中大摇大摆地抓人,那几千上万的魔族兵一旦清醒过来,不被他们撕了才怪!战斗没多久就结束了,几十个魔族骑兵被打死了一半。在秀字营士兵的刀剑威迫下,剩下的全部被缴了械,用皮带绑住双手盘膝坐在地上。紫川秀一个一个地望着他们,其中一个大个子的魔族老兵引起了他的注意。这个魔族老兵一身白毛,身形比普通魔族兵要高出一个头。尽管他竭力想把身形躲在其他魔族兵的身后,但那臃肿而庞大的身躯在矮小的魔族兵中实在是鹤立鸡群,想不引人注意都难。这个魔族老兵身着低级魔族兵的制服,但他的宽下巴脸型和傲慢的眼神却在告诉紫川秀,此人是惯于颐指气使的人物。“你,站起来!”用纯正的魔族语,紫川秀指着那个魔族兵喝道。老魔族磨蹭了一阵,最后才不情不愿地站了起来。他耷拉着脑袋望地上,不与紫川秀的眼光对视。望着他,紫川秀使劲地在脑海里搜寻:这个魔族看起来有点面熟?在哪里见过他了?良久,一个人影渐渐在脑海里浮现。那仿佛是很久远的故事了。七八零年深秋的那个夜晚,那血腥而惊险的一夜。那时候,此人是高高在上的军团长,王国贵族,自己不过是一员投诚的叛将。那晚,在这位王国贵族眼里,自己不会比一只爬虫高贵多少,他拿眼睛扫自己一眼都是莫大的恩惠了。谁能料到呢?世事竟能做如此大的颠倒。当年的卑微者已成为了征服者,而傲慢者却沦为阶下囚。紫川秀平静地说:“叶尔马公爵,好久不见了。”被紫川秀叫出了身份,叶尔马猛然抬起头。他望着紫川秀,眼神里充满了迷惑和恐惧。他不明白,为什么眼前的这位人类军官能一眼就叫出了自己的名字。多年前,他见过紫川秀一面。但在那个宴会上的紫川秀,与眼前这个周身铠甲血腥斑斑的敌将有很大的区别。他小声地咕嘟道:“你是谁?”紫川秀没时间和他废话,直截问道:“魔神皇在哪里?说出来!”叶尔马傲慢地抬起了头,一言不发。他那挑衅地冲着紫川秀昂起的下巴分明是无声地宣布:“我什么都知道,但我就是不说!”“好,很好!”紫川秀冷笑道:“塞内亚贵族,果然很有骨气。”他使个眼色,几个卫兵会意地冲上去,将叶尔马从俘虏群中拖出来,拖到路边的暗地里去。只听好一阵拳脚与肉体的激烈碰撞声和鬼哭狼嚎般的求救声,黑夜里,魔族俘虏们听得脸色发白。过了好一阵,卫兵们拖着叶尔马——那已经不能说是叶尔马了,只能说是一堆看起来很象叶尔马的肉——出来。军官跑到紫川秀身边小声报告:“启禀大人,他招供了。他说,魔神皇没有随第三军突围。他和近卫旅都留在包围圈里面了。”“什么!”紫川秀失声叫出来,他怀疑地看了一眼军官:“可靠吗?”军官也皱起了眉头,魔族的皇帝竟然没有突围而是自愿留下来断后,这个消息未免也太匪夷所思了。“要不,下官再好好地和他聊聊?”“算了。”紫川秀看看叶尔马,他被打得头破血流七窍流血,已快奄奄一息了。再让那军官跟他“好好地聊”下去,估计他就得一命呜呼了。“你另外找几个魔族兵出来,对一下他们的口供,看看是否一致。”审讯的结果很快出来了,除了几个死活不肯开口的死硬分子,魔族兵的招供惊人地一致:“魔神皇没有突围。他还在二号高地附近,与近卫旅在一道。”紫川秀眉头深锁,想了一阵,他做出了决定:“斯特林和流风霜的兵马正在扫荡近卫旅,我们回去作用不大。还是以防万一吧,万一叶尔马撒谎,或者他们都被魔神皇骗了呢?我们继续追!即使抓不到魔神皇,听叶尔马说,羽林云浅雪是和他们一起突围的,只是在途中失散了。这是条大鱼,我们抓他去!”紫川秀的追击直到第二天拂晓东方天色发白,此时,追击的兵马累得连手都抬不起来了,士兵们跑得脸色发白嘴唇发青,若不是顾忌身边的魔族俘虏造反,他们都要在死尸堆上倒下来便睡了。虽然劳累,但这晚的战果却是十分丰厚的,抓到的俘虏长长的一串,起码有四五千人之多。唯一遗憾的是,其中有分量的将领和贵族没几个。除了叶尔马外,只有几个子爵、伯爵之类的“白披风”,想抓的云浅雪没碰到,不知是这位羽林将军腿脚特别灵便还是黑夜里大伙在道上错过了。想想,紫川秀倒也没怎么遗憾。毕竟抓了一个叶尔马,自己已经够幸运了,还想再抓一个云浅雪,把塞内亚首领们给一网打尽,那也未免得陇望蜀了。回程的路上,道上到处堆满了丢弃的武器、尸体、燃烧的辎重车,满目苍夷。后续的步兵部队已经跟上来了,成群结队的远东半兽人兵正在战场各处搜巡,他们在打劫魔族的战利品,搜寻漏网的魔族官兵。虽然疲惫,官兵们却十分兴奋,一路吱吱喳喳说个不停。这晚他们的收获不小,抓俘与杀敌是同功,紫川秀出手大方,远东军功奖丰厚,抓了五千多俘虏,即使其中一半要算紫川秀本人的功劳——估计统领大人也没那么黑吧?——剩下的一半按人头分也有每人四五个俘虏的功劳了,这笔赏金可是不少。何况里面还有几个塞内亚贵族和军官呢?将来人类与魔族若停战了,那光靠这几个贵族的赎金就足够大伙吃喝不愁。紫川秀却没有部下的欢快心情,他眉头紧锁,一路搭拉着脑袋,一副心事沉沉的样子。有熟悉的部下故意逗他开心:“统领大人,是不是心疼奖金啦?”紫川秀笑笑:“兔崽子,看牢你的钱袋,别让他们跑了,没送到俘虏营的可不能算奖金。滚蛋吧!”部下嘻嘻哈哈一笑而散,紫川秀若有所思地张望四周,他在抑止着内心彭湃的激动。人类千年的苦难,终于在今天结束了!巴丹一战消灭近四十万魔族主力,魔族已无力回天了,此战可永载史册。巴丹会战的意义不单是军事上的,更是政治上的。三百年前倚靠明王的神力打退魔族兵,虽然也是胜利,但那样的胜利让人总让人觉得不真实,而魔族也不把人类当战胜者看待,而是把他们看作是躲避在明王羽翼下的寄生虫。这三百年间,魔族屡次西侵的原因就在此了。他们有心理上的优势,认为人类懦弱,不配拥有这块土地,自然好战了。但这次巴丹会战,不是靠明王的神威,不是靠虚无飘渺的神力,而是靠着普普通通的人类兵、半兽人兵真刀实枪地与魔族军白刃见血厮杀,实打实打出来的胜利,这场胜利打出了人类的威风,拿出来心里塌实!这一仗,足可为三百年前的蓝河会战洗耻,人类从此扬眉吐气。紫川秀唯一担心的是,魔神皇到底死了吗?迎面奔来了一队骑兵,紫川秀认出是自己麾下的半兽人骑兵部队,带头的领队正是德昆。他朝德昆挥挥手,后者看到了紫川秀,连忙朝这边奔来。“殿下!”德昆依然是纱布包着一只伤眼,身上血迹斑斑,连身上的毛发都被血浆凝住了,隔着老远就从他身上传来了一阵刺鼻的汗酸味,那味道太冲了,紫川秀只觉得鼻子一酸,一连打了三个喷嚏——连打了快三天的仗,谁都没功夫梳洗,紫川秀估计自己的模样和味道也好不到哪去。“殿下!”“德昆,你站在那,别过来。”紫川秀伸直了手连连摇晃,象是要从手心发出冲击波将德昆推在三尺之外,一手捂着鼻子,瓮声瓮气地说:“怎么?魔神皇抓到了吗?”德昆一愣:“殿下,是白川大人派我来接应您的。魔神皇,我不知道——不是您带兵马去追击魔神皇了吗?您怎么问起我来了?您抓到魔神皇了吗?”紫川秀这才发现,自己犯了一个错误。在追击魔族兵马的同时,自己居然忘记把魔神皇可能还在战场上的事告诉斯特林或者白川了。看紫川秀脸色变幻,德昆猜他肯定是空手而归了。他安慰道:“大人,魔神皇跑了就跑了,没什么大不了的。想想,魔神王国的皇帝象兔子一般被您在黑地里撵了一夜,那个狼狈肯定少不了的。魔神皇能从您面前逃跑一次,那他就坠了架子,将来他还会逃跑第二次、第三次的!没什么大不了的,逃了的魔神皇就一钱不值了,不足为惧了!”紫川秀也懒得跟他解释了,问:“主阵地那边怎样了?”“还在打!近卫旅还在负隅顽抗。第三军撤退后,近卫旅也想突围,但白川大人把他们咬得死死的,追在他们后面撵着尾巴打。近卫旅跑不快,没办法甩开白川大人,只好边打边走。后来文河大人过来了,斯特林那边的军团也开过来了,流风军那边的兵马也咬上来了——流风家的兵马真威风啊,高头大马,一式全是骑兵——眼看我们的人越来越多,近卫旅知道跑不掉了,干脆就找了个高坡团在那死守,四下全是我们的兵马密密围住,听说帝林大人的军队也在赶来,他们是插翅难飞了!”“帝林也来了!”听到这个消息,紫川秀喜出望外。对于这个大哥,他有一种近乎盲目的崇拜和相信,帝林来了,那就再没有解决不了的问题。“那我们快回去,魔神皇可能就在被包围的近卫旅里边!”“什么!”德昆大吃一惊,随即,兴奋的笑容出现在半兽人脸上。他摩拳擦掌地嚷嚷道:“大人,这下我们可要好好大干一场了!这么多人围攻,魔神皇就是三头六臂也逃不掉了!”远东军被魔神皇冲阵杀将如入无物,德昆一直深以为耻。这下有机会复仇,他兴奋得雀跃不已。说着,他突然想到了什么,一拍脑门:“大人,忘说了,刚才的道上,我们抓到一个魔族俘虏,很可能是塞内亚贵族。”“是谁?”“我们从一辆马车上逮的,不知道她的身份。但那马车装饰很华贵,肯定是大人物。殿下,我们见识浅薄,没法分辨此人身份,只有交给您了!”德昆裂开大嘴,眉开眼笑,笑容中藏着几分狡黠,他转头打招呼:“来人,把好东西拿出来献给大人!”看着德昆那狡诈的笑容,再看看那扛着大麻袋的两个半兽人兵,紫川秀忽然觉得眼前的一幕很有种似曾相识的感觉,连德昆那狡猾的笑容好象都在哪里见过。。。有种强烈的预感,紫川秀喃喃道:“天,接下来该不会是。。。”麻袋解开了。卡丹公主清丽依然,她圆睁了清澈的双眼,一眨不眨地看着紫川秀,双眸透明有如水晶。他望着她,她望着他。就在此刻,时间凝固了,两人的身形凝固犹如雕像。无数的往事如潮水般从身边涌过,曾经无忧无虑的青春岁月,山盟海誓的爱情,生死相许的悲欢离合。在家国世事变幻的风云大潮中,作为个人的命运是多么的脆弱。即使贵为公主或者执掌一方的将军,他们的命运不比时代大潮中随浪飘浮的一根火柴棒重多少。沧海桑田,世事变幻,往事并不如烟,最终尽化尘埃。造化弄人竟能至如斯。望着眼前女子清丽的眼睛,紫川秀干咳一声。他不知道该如何面对这双眼睛,从前如此,现在也是如此。该怎么形容和她之间的关系呢?亦敌亦友,惺惺相怜,半生知己。该和她说些什么呢?象老熟人一般若无其事地打个招呼?或者拿出胜利者的威严来呵斥她?好象都不合适。最终,紫川秀只能对着卡丹慢慢地点头,微笑,笑容里充满了苦涩。他抽出了背后的洗月刀,横刀当空平举。“失礼了,公主殿下!”话音未落,洗月刀在空中划过了一道闪电般的弧线劈向卡丹。德昆惊骇得张大了嘴,叫道:“殿下,不要!赎金很值钱的。。。”“噌”的一声脆响,紫川秀已抽刀回鞘。绑着卡丹的绳子寸寸断裂,纷纷落地。紫川秀清朗地说:“您自由了,公主殿下。‘卡丹公主专注地凝视着紫川秀,刚才紫川秀挥刀的过程中,她的眼睛根本没眨,亮丽的眸子里没有丝毫畏惧。她柔声说:“私放敌国将领,紫川统领您难道就不害怕军法?”紫川秀淡淡说:“你不是将领,我也不怕军法——谁敢说出去?德昆,你会吗?”紫川秀斜眼瞄向旁边目瞪口呆的半兽人将军,后者这才醒悟过来,连声说:“殿下,俺什么都没看到,俺什么都没听到——总之,俺什么都不知道!殿下,俺过那边看看,您老人家忙吧,不用管我了!”话音未落,象是怕看到什么不该看的东西似的,半兽人将军一溜烟跑得没影了,那速度,浑不象一个两天两夜没能合眼休息的人。望着德昆跑远了,紫川秀才出声道:“怎么也想不到会在这里见到你。你怎么一个人在这里?”“我的卫队被冲散了,道上碰到溃兵,他们抢走了我车上的马。没有马,我也走不掉了。”“原来如此。”紫川秀这才明白,为什么先撤退的卡丹居然会被后赶来的德昆给俘虏。他对卡丹说:“事不宜迟,你得马上出发。追击的部队不止我一路,若是你落在文河或者流风军手上,我很难再救出来。你从俘虏里面挑一些人出来充当护卫,我再给你分一些马。”紫川秀转身吩咐部下:“想办法找些战马过来——没有?那就叫德昆他们让一些出来!”看着紫川秀大声呵斥那些反应迟钝的部下,卡丹的眼中流露出一丝感激。但内敛的她并没有出声,只是默默地看着紫川秀忙活着为她准备出发的干粮、淡水和战马,在俘虏里挑选合适的人选出来当护卫。当准备完毕,卡丹又坐回了马车上。匆匆的见面之后,再次分别又在眼前。卡丹忽然问道:“阿秀,你可知道我夫君的下落?他是死了,还是被你们活抓了?”紫川秀一愣:“云浅雪?我不知道。。。你不是和他一起走的吗?据我所知,你夫君是与第三军的叶尔马一起突围的。”“不,我夫君是跟着皇太子卡兰的部队一起走的,他们往塔伦城方向撤。父皇也想让我从塔伦城方向撤退,但我实在不放心父皇,一直留在军中,直到昨晚全军总突围时才跟着大队一起离开。”紫川秀皱皱眉,知道这其中一定有什么蹊跷,但兵荒马乱的,也不是追究的时候了。他问:“卡丹,你怎么不问令尊的下落呢?”卡丹脸色一黯:“不必问了。他有机会撤的,但他不肯,说无颜回去。”紫川秀心头一喜,脸上却露出了黯然的表情说:“请节哀。虽然立场不同,但谁都不得不承认,令尊乃盖世英雄,他求仁得仁,再无所憾。”卡丹盈盈地登上马车,转头对紫川秀说:“那么,请多保重,秀川统领。”紫川秀端庄地对她行了一个军礼:“路上保重,卡丹。”望着马车渐渐远去,渐渐消失在太阳升起的地平线上头,紫川秀神情惆怅。他这才注意到一件事,今天的匆匆会晤中,卡丹竟没有一个字提到斯特林。自己的初恋情人,竟是毁灭魔族王国的元凶巨魁,杀害自己父亲和亲人的凶手,料想卡丹的心里,也是矛盾得很吧?云浅雪和卡兰带着第三军和羽林军从战场上逃走了,但更多的魔族军队却被人类的铁钳困住了。蒙那将军和英木兰将军的骑兵军进展神速,飞插战场的两翼,就如两面钢铁城墙,锁死了魔族逃生向东南逃生的通道。各路人类军团士气高涨,突进勇猛。士兵们虽然疲惫,谁都知道,这是痛打落水狗的时候了,要获得战利品,就得靠现在了。现在,被包围的魔族兵已无逃生的希望。塞内亚兵不愧是王国精锐,很多魔族兵都选择了战死而不是被俘。被打散的各个魔族团队和大队排成大大小小的圆形阵,肩并肩抵抗人类的从四面八方的围攻。人类则不住地猛攻,把圈子一再压缩,压缩,象毒蛇一样紧紧缠住了魔族。武器又碰撞起来了,枪在刺,刀在砍,剑在削,砍在肉体和盾牌、盔甲上,乒乒乓乓。一个大圈子被人类打散了,他们又组成十几个小圈子,大群铁甲骑兵冲过,一个又一个魔族组成的圈子被荡平,魔族兵都被马蹄踩成了肉泥,直到所有的魔族兵都象一片森林似的纷纷被砍倒,直到最后一个魔族兵被切断喉咙之前,战斗是不会结束的。流风家士兵脸色发白了,他们很少见到这么残酷的战争。他们喊话保证投降魔族的生命安全,但魔族就象没听到一般,依然在不顾死活地抵抗。这里战斗的残酷远胜于西部边境战斗,在紫川家与流风家的作战中,双方是允许投降的而且俘虏是有可能被交换或者赎回的,流风军对魔族士兵对自己生命的轻蔑深感震惊。无论是围攻者还是被围攻者,双方都根本不把自己的性命当回事。因为魔族知道,他们在这片土地上犯下深重的罪行,双手血腥。即使投降了,人类也不可能放过他们的。被包围的魔族兵很少投降,即使最后防御圈被完全击碎,即使单身一人的魔族兵也不愿向胜利者屈膝,而是选择了战死。蒙那将军说:“他们不是人,全是野兽。我们是在与饿急的狼**手!”对于魔族王国来说,这是遭遇大难崩溃的一天,但也是王国战士展现勇气,最辉煌光荣的一天。最激烈的战斗依然是在远东军的防线周围,近卫旅被包围在此地。流风军是第一次与近卫旅交手,先前,他们对这种巨大而强悍的生物一无所知。轻骑兵们依然想用往常惯用的战术——近身冲刺骑射扰乱然后再突进破阵——他们吃了大亏。轻骑兵所挟带的猎弓对装甲兽只当是挠痒,突进的轻骑冲不破装甲兽的阵列。装甲兽双手一挥,重达八十斤的铁锤横横打来,竟有骑兵连人带马给打飞出五六米,浑身骨骼断裂五脏破裂而死的。从包围开始,突围和反突围的战斗就一直没停过。那些野蛮而强壮的装甲兽不停地冲撞人类的防线,被他们撞死踩死的流风军和紫川军士兵尸体堆成了一座小山。亲眼目睹这这一场景,第一次见到这种刀枪不入又力大无穷的怪物,流风家将领们无不胆战心惊。英木兰惊叹道:“那是什么怪物?我们面前的不是恐龙吧?”流风霜则问道:“能与这样的敌人激战两天两夜,贵军真是了不起。不知贵军是用什么方法抵御这些怪物的?能否向我们传授一点经验?”文河脸色发白,斯特林却是脸色发青,这时他才感到了自己的自私。自己粗暴地向紫川秀下了简单的命令:“死守!”甚至还以军法审判相威胁——现在回想起来,世间之自私残酷无过于此!即使强弩之末的装甲兽依然有这么恐怖的威力,自己要紫川秀独力抵抗全盛时的近卫旅和魔神皇,那简直就是要他去送死!他至今还想不明白,武器简陋兵力单薄的半兽人兵,到底是怎么跟这些怪物战斗的?那是真正的血肉山河,以死坚守!但即使再来一次,自己别无他法,依然要向紫川秀下达这个命令:“死守!”若不是紫川秀拖住了近卫旅主力,这数万恐怖的怪物投入正面战场的话,自己未必能坚持到流风军抵达。战争之残酷就在于此,他使人变得粗暴而残酷,铁石心肠,除胜利外,所有的牺牲和鲜血统统不在考虑范围。他向流风家将领解释:“诸位,先前与近卫旅交战的并非我东南军部队,而是紫川秀大人统率的远东劲旅。”“原来是远东军!”流风军将军们发出了惊叹的感慨:“紫川家在远东竟还有这么强大的军团!”在以往与紫川家的战斗中,紫川家很少把远东军调过来对付自己,对流风家来说,那支从蛮荒之地成长起来的强大军团始终蒙有一层神秘的面纱。想想,能硬撼装甲兽的军队,那是多么恐怖的实力!不少人都在忧虑,虽然与紫川家如今和好了,但国与国之间关系历来变幻莫测,若哪天紫川家一翻脸,真的从远东调来军队的话,那流风家就麻烦了。虽然人类已经取得了全面的绝对优势,但依然对那两万结阵坚守的近卫旅束手无策。硬攻不是不可以,但那要意味着付出巨大的伤亡。天知道要死多少人才能把这些怪物给消灭掉,尤其斯特林手上的都是伤亡惨重的疲兵,士兵们倒在地上就能枕着死尸立即睡着的。比起紫川军来,流风军的伤亡倒是微乎其微。但第一次进攻近卫旅受挫后,流风军立即谨慎起来。斯特林去找流风霜商议协同进攻的事,别的事都好商量,只是谈到进攻,流风霜露出了神秘的含蓄笑容,回绝得又干脆又利索:“我军长途跋涉,劳累不堪,不宜立即投入战斗。斯特林大人,贵部若要进攻,我愿为阁下掠阵,助威呐喊!”斯特林一阵气闷,流风霜只差没说:“斯特林你只管上吧,我精神上鼓励你!”他正在头疼时候,一个消息传来了:“帝都军团已经抵达!帝林监察长大人到了!”七八四年十一月十四日,清晨,天空灰沉沉的,彤云密布。一场雪眼看就要下来。一队身着黑色披风的骑兵和辎重车队穿梭在巴丹平原,这个刚刚经过激战的战场。骑兵和车队穿行于尸积如山的坡地和平原,两军战士的尸骸之多,堆满了道路,以至车队前面不得不派出人专门将尸骸和杂物搬离道路。空气中荡漾着浓郁的血腥味,熏人欲呕。大群的秃鹫在战场各处飞舞着,发出嘈杂的怪叫声。“大人,东南军主营已东移,斯特林大人派人传话了,说就在前方迎接您。”“不必了。”长身玉立的俊美将军淡淡道:“战事正紧,这时候就不必搞那些繁文琐节了。告诉东南军的联系官,我直接到前线与斯特林会合就是。”侍卫官领命正要去传达,忽见前面奔来了一路兵马。看见兵马上方飘扬的东南军主帅旗,他失声道:“大人,斯特林将军已经来了!”帝林脸上动容,策马奔出。果然,那路兵马前头那个熟悉的身影,却不正是斯特林!两人都是飞快地奔近来,同时翻身下马。自从三月间,斯特林出任东南军统领,两人就再不曾见过面。在这战乱岁月,斯特林指挥东南军,帝林坚守帝都,二人都是执掌一方重镇的人物,早养成了矜持沉稳的习性,平闲生死事都不再动心了。唯有在自己久不曾见的生死兄弟面前,那份真情性情才会流露。两人对视,都是心潮澎湃,激动万分。依照军中规矩,斯特林先端正地向帝林敬了一个军礼,帝林微笑着回礼,两人的笑容中都隐隐藏着泪光。“宁殿下很关心这边,催着我过来看。其实,斯特林你坐镇,我是压根不担心的:除了大获全胜,还能有别的结局吗?但殿下催得紧,没办法,呵呵,大哥我就厚着脸皮跑这么一趟了,拿到点捷报消息,也好回去给殿下报功沾点光。”第267章帝国的黄昏血日冉冉步、骑混合的魔族近卫旅源源不断地从在巴丹城左侧的山麓林中开出来,隆隆蹄声和脚步响彻山麓,兵马掀起一阵黄色的尘雾,黑色的阵头和飞舞的旗帜在漫天的尘雾中若隐若现。“启禀大人,魔族部队向我阵地全面进攻!”“我看到了,而且看得比你清楚!”紫川秀没好气地说。他实在难以理解魔神皇的想法,放着进攻最凶猛的文河不对付,也不理睬猛攻魔王坡的斯特林,偏偏找上缩在一边的自己——莫非自己踩过魔神皇的尾巴吗?他问传令兵:“斯特林怎么说?”“斯特林大人说,中军兵力很吃紧。他没办法把重甲骑兵抽调给我们。”“还有呢?”“远东军务必坚持到日落。当文河将军会击溃敌十一军后,中军就能腾出手增援我们。”“坚持?魔神皇调了第三军和整个近卫旅攻打我们,斯特林就给我们坚持两个字吗?”将军们站在紫川秀身旁,神情紧张。谁也没料到,在面临文河集团和中央集团强大压力的时候,魔神皇竟有这样的魄力,把手中最强悍的力量调来对付远东军。罗杰飞步走近,远远就叫道:“大人,敌人逼近了,是装甲兽军团!撤吗?”他知道紫川秀的作战风格,远东军最第264章帝国的黄昏喋血高地

紫川秀立即被唤醒了。听着白川报告,他脸色越来越难看。自己下令诱杀魔神皇,这个结果也未免太难堪了。军阵被魔神皇杀了个穿透,秀字营损兵折将,却连魔神皇一根毛都没伤到。魔神皇真是强悍得可怕,没想到,连秀字营也没办法把他给截下来。唯一可告欣慰的是,魔神皇也没达到他的目标,自己安然无恙。回到中军指挥营时,紫川秀发现,中军营乱成一片,呼声四起:“统领大人死了!”“光明王阵亡了!”紫川秀愕然,转头问白川:“怎么回事?”“大人,魔神皇刚才冲杀了进来。为骗走他,我不得不高呼您阵亡了。失礼了。”“明白了。可你怎么骗走魔神皇呢?”犹豫一下,白川说:“古雷阁下自愿报名充当您的替身,我同意了。”“古雷当我的替身?”紫川秀急切地问:“他没事吧?”“请节哀,大人。古雷阁下已英勇殉国。”多年的军事生涯已把紫川秀的心灵锻炼得如钢铁般冷硬,但咋然听闻古雷的死讯,他还是抑止不住地热血上脑,眼前一黑,一阵眩晕,几乎站立不稳。白川连忙扶住了他,却被紫川秀一手甩开。他怒吼道:“你怎么能命令古雷这样干!你派他去送死!”对着紫川秀愤怒得要喷火的眼睛,白川没做任何回答。她没有解释当时情形的危急,也没有强调魔神皇令人恐怖的强大,更没有向紫川秀解释,古雷是自己申请执行这个任务的。她只是默默地低下了头,单膝跪下,长长的睫毛颤动着,眼里波光盈盈。紫川秀捂住了脸,却捂不住夺眶而出的眼泪。他哽咽地对白川说:“你起来吧。”“大人。。。”“我知道,这不是你的错。魔神皇太强,我们都没办法。”虽然极度悲痛,但紫川秀也清楚白川的良苦用心。若不是她骗走魔神皇,若不是她强行把自己架走——自己武功虽然比古雷强,但也未必能挡魔神皇的雷霆一剑。擦干了眼泪,他已恢复镇定:“走,我们到中军旗下的高台上,到全军都看得到的地方。”站在高台上,右手按刀,紫川秀高大的身影不怒而威。当看到紫川秀的那瞬间,中军营爆发出了一阵欢呼,士兵们欢呼雀跃:“统领大人依然活着!”站在高台上,紫川秀冷峻的声音传遍了中军的每一个角落:“向全军公告,我安然无恙。再有敢传播谣言的,立即斩杀!”参谋部倾巢动员,所有参谋和传令兵都被派了出去,信使举着小旗向前沿部队一路疾奔,高呼声此起彼落:“统领大人平安无事!”、“魔神皇已被击退!”“坚守岗位,听候命令!”当快马信使一路奔来,喊出那声“统领平安无恙”时,整个远东军都如释重负地松了口气,值得庆贺的是,紫川秀阵亡的消息还没传到最前阵,还没引起前沿部队的恐慌。重新接手指挥权后,紫川秀望望头顶被乌云遮盖着的太阳,日头阴蔓,惨白的阳光无力地照在北风呼啸的战场上。这一天的时间过得特别漫长,从战斗开始的凌晨到如今,两军战死的人马都近十万计了。无数早上出发时还活奔乱跳的鲜活生命,此刻他们都静静地躺在冰冷的冬天原野上。但这一天,才只是刚刚过去了一半而已。在这半天时间里,人类军战死了三个红衣旗本,十七个旗本、三十一个副旗本;魔族军也失去了三十一个白披风,多年来不曾亲自出手的魔神皇亲身杀入敌阵,取了远东军首领紫川秀首级。时间,才刚刚是下午三点二十。直到此刻,魔族高层还没没有察觉,被魔神皇干掉的紫川秀是个假货。他们只是不解,在失去首领之后,为什么远东军依然能保持如此旺盛的斗志?不过在他们看来,那不过是远东指挥部封锁紫川秀的阵亡消息罢了,不过是回光返照的冲动,不能持久。魔神皇很乐观地向雷欧和叶尔马宣称:“他们支撑不到天黑了!”魔神皇对未来抱乐观态度,但他的部下可没他老人家这么坚定的信心了。远东军能否坚持到天黑还是个未知数,但裴玛知道,自己是肯定支持不下去了。文河攻打得越来越急,连续向神皇派去了六、七拨求援信使,得来的只有一句答复:“再坚持一个钟头!”皇帝的一个小时,自然和平常人的一个小时是大不相同的。裴玛从中午十二点挺到下午四点,哀嚎得嗓子都哑了,神皇许诺已久的增援终于施然登场了。看到这支期盼已久的增援部队,裴玛差点没被气掉鼻子:魔神皇舍不得从中军和右翼抽调塞内亚族兵马,他派来的增援是由马维率领的十六军团!当马维带部队扑到左翼战场时,士兵们都被眼前的景象吓得呆了。本来是青色和褐色的土地上,现在已经看不出土壤的颜色了,所见之处,都是一片血红。尸骸已经堆满了平原、荒漠和山坡,双方的伤兵在尸骸堆中发出凄惨的呼救声,濒临死亡的重伤人恹恹一息地呻吟着,但声音被淹没在那震耳欲聋的交战声里了。就在这尸山血海之上,活人踩着死人的尸骸和鲜血,仍在厮杀和拼杀。军鼓一通通地震响,一支又一支新部队从森林里出现,沉默地走向那厮杀血场。不论是人类还是魔族,只要还能活动,统统拿起兵器在死命地厮杀,田野和平原上血流成河,鲜血已经流得连土壤都吸收不下了,开始汇成小河向外面流淌。“即使地狱的修罗斗场也不会有这样可怕的景象!”叛军士兵惊骇道:“到这种地步了,他们还在打个不停!他们还是人吗?”十六军团到来给左翼的战斗造成了相当的影响。当他们突然出现时,东南军还以为是帝都的增援提前到达了,疲惫交加的人类官兵兴奋得把帽子都丢上了天空,欢呼声雷动。但当十六军部队在魔族阵地上以战斗队列展开向文河军逼近时,所有的欢呼声顿时哑了。企盼已久的援军居然是敌人!这个事实与希望落差实在太大了,人类军阵中一时出现了混乱。文河大声呼喝道:“弟兄们,看到了吗?来的是魔族的十六军,是那个卖国贼马维的狗腿子们!还记得半年前的奥斯战役吗?谁让我们功败垂成?谁害死了我们那么多弟兄?我们连塞内亚魔族都不怕,难道我们还怕他们的走狗不成?”回应他的,是一片愤怒地喧嚣:“干掉叛徒们!”对于那些在背后出卖自己的叛徒,人类对他们的仇恨甚至更深于魔族。被文河这样大声鼓劲,左翼的东南军以更加凶猛的势头猛扑上前。看到那些穿着魔族军装的人类,东南军将士们气得咬牙切齿,杀得加倍起劲。凭良心说,十六军的表现并没有如魔族嘲笑的那样被“一击即溃”,为打好这场仗,马维也是下了血本的。他骑着战马在阵前来回奔走呼叫,在队列前抛洒大袋大袋的金币来招募敢死队勇士,许诺升官封赏,但是,无论他怎么努力,这支部队始终是缺少一种冲劲和悍不畏死的勇敢,那是胜利军队所必须具备的。而文河的部下们,那些为自己祖国和民族所战斗的士兵们,却充分地具有这种冲劲,骑兵们穿着被打碎的铠甲,浑身是血,举着破损的武器,如疯如狂地朝着叛军队列中冲杀而来,叛军和魔族只能倚靠密集的阵列用长矛来逼退人类骑兵的进攻,却缺少与之对攻的勇气和气魄。裴玛原以为可以凭借十六军的增援把文河一举击溃,但现在,不知是东南军凶不可挡,还是这些人类叛军本来就打得不起劲,裴玛期待已久的援军并没有给战局带来转机,反倒是激怒了人类兵马,文河军团步步逼近,进攻的势头一浪高过一浪,将裴玛和马维压得都喘不过气来,叛军部队到来的作用仅仅是将十一军覆灭的时间向后推移了。下午六时左右,紫川秀与魔神皇的战斗还是没分出胜负。远东军防御的主阵地是山麓下的一个无名小村,惨烈的拉锯战已经持续了三个小时了。装甲兽分成四个五千人队轮番进攻。遭遇魔族的装甲兽,秀字营并不处劣势。装甲兽的缺点和它们的优点一般同样明显:它们的速度太慢,行动也太迟钝了。它们跟不上秀字营的敏捷,往往秀字营士兵连砍了四、五刀,装甲兽才能反应过来做第一下遮挡;等它们慢腾腾地举起棒子呢,秀字营士兵却早往它心窝捅了好几枪了。若在平时,这些打击不过是在为装甲兽挠痒痒罢了,但在内家高手全力灌注了真气的刀刃面前,装甲兽那身坚韧的硬皮被切豆腐般切开,每一下打击都是见血到肉的。缓慢的速度,庞大的身躯,这使装甲兽成了最好的靶子。开始时候,秀字营宰杀装甲兽,轻松得象宰猪。但问题是,装甲兽实在太多了!秀字营战士尽管武艺高强,但面对这一波又一波不间断杀来的白色怪物,内力急速地消耗,没法休息也没法恢复,当体力和内力都被消耗得差不多时候,正如魔神皇所期待的那样,伤亡开始在秀字营中大量地出现了。五点钟左右,天空下起了小雨,冒着雾丝般细雨,秀字营就和魔族装甲兽在无名村前的泥泞的水田里摸滚打爬。每一次进攻,水田里都要多上数百上千具尸体,战士躺倒在刚刚收割完的白花花大地里,鲜血浸得引水的沟渠都变成了深红色。但谁也没料到的是,四个五千人队的装甲兽轮番进攻,依然没能拿下那无名村庄。这下,不但叶尔马惊骇难当,就连魔神皇也感到不可思议了。对面的人类,他们究竟是些怎样的人?魔神皇无法想象,一支失去了指挥官的部队竟有如此的毅力,能在装甲兽面前支持足足三个小时。此时,魔神皇对自己的战绩动摇了,他对雷欧说:“朕很怀疑,紫川秀是否真的死了。”雷欧看过魔神皇带回的首级,虽然他见过紫川秀本人,但时间过了四年,那个血肉模糊的首级实在太难分辨了,他没把握确认这是不是紫川秀本人。看着魔神皇冒着那么大风险冲入敌人阵中带了这个脑袋出来,他也不好意思泼冷水告诉魔神皇:“陛下您很可能杀错了。。。”于是在一片歌颂魔神皇神勇无敌的赞美声中,近卫公爵聪明地选择了沉默。他回答魔神皇道:“陛下,紫川秀此人一向出人意料而且诡计多端。若他用了替身,微臣是不奇怪的。”“雷欧卿,说实话,朕杀的那人,你觉得象紫川秀吗?”“微臣惶恐,实在不是很有把握。”听出了雷欧的言下之意,魔神皇长叹一声:“果然,朕也觉得得手得太轻易了,以紫川秀的名声,他的武功不应如此差劲。难怪对面的远东军如此顽强,没有崩溃迹象。”魔神皇连连摇头,懊悔不已。若有可能,他是很想再杀进去一次的,但上次厮杀耗尽了他的内力,想再次出手,他并无此能力。“陛下,依微臣的看法,即使对面的远东军还能支撑,他们也不过是强弩之末了。只要再给我们两个钟头,我们一定能拿下这个阵地!”“即使拿下阵地,但若紫川秀没死,那击溃远东军绝非易事,裴玛和马维未必能坚持到那个时候。”看看太阳渐渐靠近了西边的地平线,魔神皇不禁有些烦躁:“朕恨不得杀掉叶尔马!这厮谎报,不但误了朕,也误了整个王国!”“陛下,大战正烈,阵前斩将并非吉兆。”“朕知道!但此战一过,朕绝对不会放过他!此人倚老卖老,误朕不少!”雷欧默然。虽然身为同僚,但他对叶尔马并没有多少好感,他并不打算为他辩解。事实上,在魔族军中,对那个傲慢、呆板又夸夸其谈的老将有好感的,几乎一个也没有。天色一直是阴沉的,带着蒙蒙小雨。直到了黄昏,太阳才出来露了一小会脸,无力地向撒满鲜血的大地散布最后的光芒。当最后一丝残阳消失在地平线上时,天空黑了下来。夜晚的到来给疲惫交加的魔族一丝希望。激战了一天,人类总要歇息的吧?他们总要吃饭和睡觉的吧?战斗是一种高强度的激烈运动,体力和精力消耗程度都是惊人的。一天的战斗,无论人类和魔族都挺不住。夜战是魔族的强项,人类不会不知道这点。但令魔族失望了,人类确实是休息停战了,但却只有短暂的两个小时。晚上九点多,在战线中部和右翼的魔族兵又看到了满山遍野的火把疾扑而来!“人类居然敢与我们夜战?”接到报告的魔神皇先是吃惊,随后又是释然。既然人类都敢从阵地里出来和魔族大打野战了,那再在夜晚挑战魔族的强项也不是什么奇事。他唯一奇怪的是人类为什么如此迫不及待,连一夜的时间都等不得?其实斯特林也是有不得已的苦衷。奥斯总督胡新、维纳里总督内依特还有驻安卡拉的远东军副统领林冰都紧急派了信使向他示警报告,侦察发现在东南行省各部出现大规模的魔族军团,正急速向巴丹方向前进。前锋已抵达了巴特利行省首府周边。这支魔族军团进军极速,他们一路不攻城、不掠地,只是急速猛走,一心一意朝着巴丹主战场方向靠拢。而留守各地的人类军队兵力寡弱,也没能力阻止他们的前进。这支魔族军团的数目极庞大,旌旗漫野。林冰率兵跟踪其后,据她的观察,目前光是记录的团队旗帜就不下六十面,估计全军起码不下八十个团队。卡顿来得好快!这是斯特林接到报告后的第一个想法。他暗暗庆幸,明羽的信使来得足够快,给自己多了一天一夜的准备时间。趁着两个小时的休息时间,前线指挥官们一窝蜂地拥回了中央军参谋部,冲斯特林要粮要增援要补给。对着军官们的抱怨,斯特林的答复只有一个:“增援没有!吃完饭休息半个小时,继续进攻!”师团长们眼泪都下来了:“大人,再打下去我们就全光了!”“大人,给十一师留点种子吧!”但当斯特林把那份报告一读,所有人都哑了声。“卡顿亲王距离我们不到三百里了,骑兵急驰,这不过两天的路程!若不能在此之前击溃魔族军,干掉魔神皇,那我们先前的牺牲就都成了白费。更可怕的是,若被魔神皇父子前后夹击,我们都得死无葬身。诸位,现在你们还有什么话吗?”沉寂半个小时后,战场上重又开打。人类主要是在中间和右翼发动进攻,而魔族则咬着牙在左翼对着紫川秀猛击,立志要先击溃远东军。两方都是竭尽全力,但打击的力度却是越来越弱。天空阴沉沉,下着蒙蒙小雨。星星都看不到。罗杰象条被打断了脊梁的赖皮狗一般趴在一汪血泊里,好久都没动弹。两个士兵从他身边走过,其中一个用脚踢踢他:“好象是挂了?”“看样子是个军官。说不定有油水。”另外一个士兵蹲下身,探手去摸罗杰的口袋,刚触到衣裳,罗杰突然坐了起来,把这两个士兵吓得齐声尖叫:“啊!”“两个混球,”罗杰有气无力地问道:“现在几点了?”一个士兵报告:“晚上十一点,长官。”罗杰只感觉嗓子嘶哑,喉咙里干得象是有一把火在烧。他抖抖腰间的行军水壶,却是空荡荡的。他睁大了疲惫的眼睛张望四周,整个村子都在燃烧,稀稀拉拉的房屋和树木都被火焰吞噬了。在火光背景下,村子中活动着一些黯淡的身影,但更多的人却都是或躺或坐在地上的。“有水吗?”没人回答。罗杰回头再看,却发现那两个士兵早已偷偷溜走了。他苦笑着,就着火光,他在地上摸索着,一连搜了五具尸体,才终于找到一个有水的行军壶,一口气半壶水灌进喉咙里,尽管水已微微发酸了,但那股浸彻心肺的清凉却让罗杰周身清爽。他感觉生机和力量重又回到了自己身上,支撑着慢慢站了起来,身体象绑了半吨铅一般沉重。他扬声叫道:“还有多少人活着的?有没有?应个声!”“都死了~”废墟和火光中传回了一片有气无力的喊声。罗杰笑了,一屁股坐了下来,感觉屁股下软软的,坐到装甲兽的尸体上了。他也没力气再站起来了,颤抖着手点燃了手中的香烟,猛吸一口,然后大声叫道:“弟兄们,看来这次大伙真要为国捐躯,放心,圣灵殿有我们的席位。”“滚!你当官的死光了老子都没事呢!”“爷爷我号称不死鸟,圣灵殿留着罗杰大人您自个蹲吧!”士兵们叫骂得厉害,但却有气无力的,刚才的激战已经透支了大家的精力。“秀字营,集合!”火光中,人影晃动。远远近近的,一些幽灵般的身影蹒跚着出现。士兵们参差不齐地排成了一行,接着第二行,第三行,第四行。。。真是奇怪,每次打退魔族的进攻,看着阵地上满地的尸首,罗杰总有种错觉,象是人都死光了,只剩下自己和零散的三两个兵,再也顶不住一次进攻了。但是现在,各个阵地上幸存的士兵重新集合,就如那孱弱的溪流汇成了彭湃的大河,看到那越来越长的队伍,看到那些血污满面却依然闪亮的眼睛,看到那些疲惫不堪却仍旧站得笔直的身影,那些被砍削得破破烂烂的盔甲,那些砍得出了缺口的刀刃和折断的长剑,罗杰陡然又产生了信心,力量重又充满了他的身体,拳头陡然攥紧。他的声音低沉,却蕴含着一股力量感:“弟兄们,增援还没到,看来统领大人那里也碰到了麻烦,我们得靠自己坚持到天亮了。弟兄们,有没有问题?”“有~~”“问题很大条,老子没力气了~~”“要求加班费~~”“还要两个美*********阳怪气声的从队伍里四处响起,引起了一阵哄笑声。罗杰也笑,这就是秀字营的风格,若要这群痞子象斯特林一样一般正经地立正宣誓:“愿为家族服务!”那他准会怀疑太阳从西边出来了。“加班费有的是,金山银海,都放在帝都那好好地等我们去拿呢!总长说了,只要我们能坚持到天亮,发的银子足够大伙用到龟孙子那辈的!统领爷也给我们准备了好多好多美女,每人发六个,足够咱哥们从周一快活到周六的。。。”有人在队列里喊:“那周日呢?”“你还当自己有魔神皇那么猛啊!总得有个休息的时间吧?”哄堂大笑,又渴又累的士兵们笑得都站不住了。发问的士兵一边笑一边大口地咳嗽,咳出来的血都染红了胸口的衣襟,但他自己看不见,他的同伴们仿佛也看不到,大伙笑得那么开心,那么从容,笑容里没有丝毫的忧虑和担忧,就象一群孩子。罗杰笑着说:“放心,银子和美女大把有,但大伙得活着回来领!谁若回不来,你的银子我就帮你花了,你的美女我也帮你安慰了!”“滚!”“杀了这兔崽子!他比魔族还可恶!”远处传来了沉重的踏地声,笑声嘎然而止。罗杰心头一颤,装甲兽又上来了。他环视左右,一个接一个地望过眼前的士兵们。士兵们歪着身子,斜着眼回望着罗杰,一时间,谁都没有出声。罗杰清清嗓子:“总之,大伙要活着回来。拜托了!”回应他的是一阵激烈的吵闹:“放心!不回来岂不是让银子和美女都被你吞了!”在史书上关于巴丹会战的记载部分,特别提到了远东军主阵地,那个无名村庄的战事。在这夜,魔族发起进攻五千装甲兽以上的进攻八次,均被打退。魔神皇惊骇道:‘就算这个村子是铁铸的也被被我们打穿了!守在那里的,真的是人类吗?’中午时投入战斗的五千秀字营,当第二天太阳升起时,存活者不到一千人。无一人投降,无一人逃跑。以前的那个无名村,打那起却有了个新的名字:‘喋血高地’。但论起战斗之惨烈,喋血高地还算不上首位。远东军仅仅只是守,但在东南军主攻方向,斯特林亲领的步骑集团作为进攻方,必须付出更大的代价。四个先锋铁甲师被打得全军覆没,先头进入战场六个步兵师也被打残了,战场上,被打死的人类官兵尸首堆了近一米高,象是在平原上起了一个蜿蜒的城墙,后续部队被堵住了没办法进军。而为了消灭中央军的先头部队,魔族中路指挥官云浅雪同样地伤亡惨重,那天黎明到来时,本有八万士兵的羽林军幸存不到四万人。当黎明到来时,无论是人类也好,魔族也好,都没有力量来发动新的攻势了。两军很多士兵甚至都是在激战的战场枕着尸首睡着了。看着太阳渐渐升起,斯特林统领终于下令,军队停止进攻。事实上,仗打到这个地步,事实已经很明显了,东南、远东联军和魔神皇的军团是势均力敌,谁也奈何不了谁。经过一天一夜的流血,两军都已经衰弱到危险的地步。这种情况下,继续进攻的一方要付出更大的牺牲,有先崩溃的危险。而同时地,魔神皇也和斯特林得出同样的结论。为击溃远东军这个目标,魔族军已经投入太多的牺牲和力量。现在看来,且不说这个目标能否实现,即使打垮远东军了,伤亡惨重的近卫旅也没有余力进行对东南军主力的侧翼打击了,这样消耗战的僵局对人数较少的魔族不利。黎明时分,信使们一个接一个赶到魔王坡,向魔神皇报告了各军的损耗。裴玛甚至丢下军队,亲自跑来见魔神皇。他很坦率地告诉魔神皇,部队伤亡太大,打不下去了。“陛下,第十一军的三十五个团队中有十五个团队被人类彻底打光了,只剩下一面军旗。六个团队被打死过半,三个团队已经彻底溃散了,还有四个团,开战前我安排在左翼的,现在都联系不上了,我甚至不知道他们是被人类歼灭了还是逃跑了。。。”裴玛说得滔滔不绝,眼中饱含着泪水:“陛下,再打下去,我们撑不住了。”在尊敬的魔神皇面前表现出怯弱和动摇,这令他感到十分羞耻。魔神皇陷入沉思。他恬静的脸容映衬着远方连绵起复的群山,仿佛一副轮廓分明的黑白画。他的手上拿着一张白纸,那是参谋们汇总的伤亡数字,那巨大的红字令人震惊。就在这一天一夜的战斗中,五十三个魔族团队已经从王国军队序列中永远地消失了,另外还有三十一个团队被打得失去了战斗力。在巴丹地区聚集了王国所有的军队,战前,谁都以为这场野战会以神族干脆利索的胜利而告终,谁也没料到这一仗打得如此艰难,牺牲会如此恐怖。在这场会战中,人类表现出了令人尊敬的战斗力,意志坚决,不惧牺牲,在与魔族的对攻中甚至还占了上风。两军竭尽全力对攻,最后打了个平手,这个结果令得魔族高层感到极大震撼,但两军不同的是,魔神皇已率领王国的全部军队了,而他面对的仅仅是人类的两个军团。魔神皇不愿意承认,但却不得不面对这个事实:王国的武装力量已经衰弱到了危险的地步。这样的军队,还能再坚持一场战争吗?魔神皇低沉地说:“命令全线停战。裴玛,你想办法跟人类那边联系,就说我们想谈判。”上午八点钟,一个举着白旗的魔族向人类方走来,转达了魔神皇的意思。这个讯息在东南军司令部引起了极大的震动。那个目空一切的魔族至尊,居然低下了他高傲的头颅,要和人类谈判?来不及召集各集团的司令,斯特林统领先会见了使者。“陛下说了,两军先停战。停战以后,神族将退出所有占领紫川家的土地。”“瓦仑要塞呢?”魔族使者慢条斯理地说:“瓦仑要塞也是紫川家土地,自然也还给你们。”斯特林立即说:“那好。请贵国皇帝立即给瓦仑总督发去命令,让他将要塞移交给我远东军副统领林冰大人。她率军就在瓦仑要塞附近。”“要塞自然会还你们,但那要在我们神族大军撤出瓦仑关以后。”“那不可能!”斯特林统领正要一口拒绝,从司令部大门匆匆进来的远东军统领紫川秀急忙一口接了上去:“起码还得把所有的俘虏还给我们。”斯特林愕然。魔族残酷无情,抓到的人类官兵和平民,凡是不肯屈服的,一律屠杀。肯屈服的,就加入十六军团。所以,魔族军中的人类俘虏并不是很多,特意要回他们意义并不是很大。但他知道紫川秀机智,不会做无谓的事,也不出声,看紫川秀怎么说。赶来的紫川秀满头大汗,不等卫兵给他加椅子,他自个就从墙边端了把椅子到谈判桌边坐下。以不容置疑的口吻,他说:“所有被魔族抓去的人类官兵和平民都必须交还我们,要谈判,这就是我们人类的条件。”望了紫川秀一眼,魔族使者向斯特林投了个疑惑的眼神,斯特林统领镇定地说:“这是远东的紫川统领,他的话就是我的话。”再看了紫川秀一眼,确认这个满头大汗,脸色苍白的年轻人就是能跟魔神皇抗衡一天一夜的传奇将领,使者脸上多了分尊敬。他说:“若谈判可成,俘虏自然会还给你们——不过在我军中,人类俘虏数目应该不会很多。”“不不,”紫川秀连连摆手:“你没弄明白我的意思:在魔族军中的所有人类,都必须交给我们——不管他是被俘还是以别的方式被弄到你们那去的!”使者和斯特林统领这才明白过来,使者叫道:“难道你是要我们把整个十六军团都交还你们吗?”“那是自然!”紫川秀一脸杀气:“那些背叛国家的败类,必须要得到应有的惩罚!首当其冲,马维就是一个!这个条件若不成,谈判那就不用说了,我们各自再点兵马来个你死我活吧!”使者皱着眉头不出声。在投诚以后,马维为了凸现自己对魔族的忠心,在各种场合都刻意强调了自己与紫川秀不共戴天的仇恨,所以,这个牵涉了美女皇储紫川宁、远东统领紫川秀和马维等风云人物外加三角恋情、叛变、刺杀外加灭门惨案等大批亮点的故事在魔族高层中流传甚广。关于紫川秀和马维之间的恩怨,他也是知道的。现在紫川秀提出要索取死敌马维,这个要求是很正常的。老实说,对于马维和十六军官兵的命运,使者并不是很关切,哪怕紫川家把他们全宰了下锅,使者也不会感到心疼。他只是顾忌,马维毕竟是陛下亲封的王国公爵,这样交还人类,陛下能不能答应?最后,使者还是叹了口气:“对不起,统领大人,这个条件陛下没有授权我答应。但从我个人来说,我觉得这不是什么问题。”紫川秀点头,很体谅的样子:“那就劳烦贵使再跑一趟,跟贵国陛下说一声了。希望他能怜悯两国将士,不要再让士兵们白白牺牲了。”“希望能如统领大人您所愿吧。这仗,确实不能再打了。我们只想回家。”在那一刻,魔族使节脸上出现了真切的悲痛。紫川秀心念一动:“请问阁下是?”“鲁莽了,还没对统领大人您做自我介绍。我是卡路侯爵,在陛下身边担任高级参谋官。”看到紫川秀探究的目光,白发双鬓的老皇族轻轻抹了下眼角的泪珠:“失礼了。我有两个儿子,一个二十一岁,在羽林军中任团队长;一个十九岁,在十一军中任军团掌旗官。”顿了一下,他轻声说:“在昨天下午和晚上,他们都战死了。”两位统领都沉默了。站在他们面前的,是一个满手血腥的侵略者头目,敌人的高级贵族,也是冷酷无情的敌方谈判代表。他的两个儿子是魔族的高级军官,自然也是凶狠的刽子手,死了那是大快人心。按理说,他们应该对这个顽冥不化老家伙的任何悲痛感到幸灾乐祸才好;或者,应该对他喝道:“这就是你们侵略人类的下场了!”可此刻,他们实在不忍。他们只看到了,在自己面前的是一个白发双鬓的老人在悲痛自己早逝的儿子。老年丧子,白发送黑发,那种无以言述的悲痛超越种族和国界,同样身为有情感的智慧种族,他们感同身受。看到他,他们就象看到了无数人类父母一般,在远方的天际下为传来的噩耗悲痛欲绝。斯特林庄重地说:“很难过听到这个消息。请节哀。”老人点头,轻声说:“谢谢。”泪水再也抑止不住了,从眼中滚滚落下。他起身,再次说声:“失礼了。”然后,他行了个礼,蹒跚着走出了东南军司令部的大门。斯特林望向紫川秀,不满地挑起了眉头。他困惑不解。这是人类和魔族最重大的一次谈判,紫川秀却因为和马维的事而耽搁了下来。这种因私废公的行为不象紫川秀一贯的作风。迎着斯特林责备的目光,紫川秀笑笑:“别这样看着我,我是故意的。”“你故意搞混这次谈判?”“这里距离魔王坡约有十五里,那个信使来回,即使骑马也得一个多小时,再加上汇报和魔神皇考虑的时间,我们很容易就能混来两三个小时。”“可我们要这两三个钟头能干什么呢?”“让部队歇息,恢复体力,全力备战。从现在到今晚,每一分钟对我们都是珍贵的,若不能在明天日出前击溃魔神皇军团,那我们就完蛋了!”斯特林一惊:“怎么说?”“卡顿快到了!”斯特林猛然站起:“在哪里?”“主力还没抵达,但一个小规模的先遣队企图混过我们防线向魔神皇报讯,结果被半兽人的巡逻队发觉了,被我们全歼了。从一个军官身上发现了卡顿写给魔神皇的信,信上报告说,卡顿亲王已抵达了塔伦城,距我们这只有一天半的路程。”“该死!”斯特林狠狠一拳砸在椅子上,将简陋的椅子一下子打了个粉碎:“卡顿来得太快了!数十万大军,他怎么可能这么快!?太反常了!”“若真是三十万大军,卡顿无论如何不可能在四五天里就跑到这来。来的估计只会是少部分骑兵团队——但不论多少,只要让魔神皇知道有三十万大军正在往这赶来,他肯定会鼓足信心跟我们再打,无论达成什么协议都是白费力气。现在我们不忙跟魔族决裂,先拖延时间,等部队做好战斗准备再说。”第265章帝国的黄昏奇兵突起。

“步、骑混合的魔族近卫旅源源不断地从在巴丹城左侧的山麓林中开出来,隆隆蹄声和脚步响彻山麓,兵马掀起一阵黄色的尘雾,黑色的阵头和飞舞的旗帜在漫天的尘雾中若隐若现。“启禀大人,魔族部队向我阵地全面进攻!”“我看到了,而且看得比你清楚!”紫川秀没好气地说。他实在难以理解魔神皇的想法,放着进攻最凶猛的文河不对付,也不理睬猛攻魔王坡的斯特林,偏偏找上缩在一边的自己——莫非自己踩过魔神皇的尾巴吗?他问传令兵:“斯特林怎么说?”“斯特林大人说,中军兵力很吃紧。他没办法把重甲骑兵抽调给我们。”“还有呢?”“远东军务必坚持到日落。当文河将军会击溃敌十一军后,中军就能腾出手增援我们。”“坚持?魔神皇调了第三军和整个近卫旅攻打我们,斯特林就给我们坚持两个字吗?”将军们站在紫川秀身旁,神情紧张。谁也没料到,在面临文河集团和中央集团强大压力的时候,魔神皇竟有这样的魄力,把手中最强悍的力量调来对付远东军。罗杰飞步走近,远远就叫道:“大人,敌人逼近了,是装甲兽军团!撤吗?”他知道紫川秀的作战风格,远东军最第264章帝国的黄昏喋血高地紫川秀立即被唤醒了。听着白川报告,他脸色越来越难看。自己下令诱杀魔神皇,这个结果也未免太难堪了。军阵被魔神皇杀了个穿透,秀字营损兵折将,却连魔神皇一根毛都没伤到。魔神皇真是强悍得可怕,没想到,连秀字营也没办法把他给截下来。唯一可告欣慰的是,魔神皇也没达到他的目标,自己安然无恙。回到中军指挥营时,紫川秀发现,中军营乱成一片,呼声四起:“统领大人死了!”“光明王阵亡了!”紫川秀愕然,转头问白川:“怎么回事?”“大人,魔神皇刚才冲杀了进来。为骗走他,我不得不高呼您阵亡了。失礼了。”“明白了。可你怎么骗走魔神皇呢?”犹豫一下,白川说:“古雷阁下自愿报名充当您的替身,我同意了。”“古雷当我的替身?”紫川秀急切地问:“他没事吧?”“请节哀,大人。古雷阁下已英勇殉国。”多年的军事生涯已把紫川秀的心灵锻炼得如钢铁般冷硬,但咋然听闻古雷的死讯,他还是抑止不住地热血上脑,眼前一黑,一阵眩晕,几乎站立不稳。白川连忙扶住了他,却被紫川秀一手甩开。他怒吼道:“你怎么能命令古雷这样干!你派他去送死!”对着紫川秀愤怒得要喷火的眼睛,白川没做任何回答。她没有解释当时情形的危急,也没有强调魔神皇令人恐怖的强大,更没有向紫川秀解释,古雷是自己申请执行这个任务的。她只是默默地低下了头,单膝跪下,长长的睫毛颤动着,眼里波光盈盈。紫川秀捂住了脸,却捂不住夺眶而出的眼泪。他哽咽地对白川说:“你起来吧。”“大人。。。”“我知道,这不是你的错。魔神皇太强,我们都没办法。”虽然极度悲痛,但紫川秀也清楚白川的良苦用心。若不是她骗走魔神皇,若不是她强行把自己架走——自己武功虽然比古雷强,但也未必能挡魔神皇的雷霆一剑。擦干了眼泪,他已恢复镇定:“走,我们到中军旗下的高台上,到全军都看得到的地方。”站在高台上,右手按刀,紫川秀高大的身影不怒而威。当看到紫川秀的那瞬间,中军营爆发出了一阵欢呼,士兵们欢呼雀跃:“统领大人依然活着!”站在高台上,紫川秀冷峻的声音传遍了中军的每一个角落:“向全军公告,我安然无恙。再有敢传播谣言的,立即斩杀!”参谋部倾巢动员,所有参谋和传令兵都被派了出去,信使举着小旗向前沿部队一路疾奔,高呼声此起彼落:“统领大人平安无事!”、“魔神皇已被击退!”“坚守岗位,听候命令!”当快马信使一路奔来,喊出那声“统领平安无恙”时,整个远东军都如释重负地松了口气,值得庆贺的是,紫川秀阵亡的消息还没传到最前阵,还没引起前沿部队的恐慌。重新接手指挥权后,紫川秀望望头顶被乌云遮盖着的太阳,日头阴蔓,惨白的阳光无力地照在北风呼啸的战场上。这一天的时间过得特别漫长,从战斗开始的凌晨到如今,两军战死的人马都近十万计了。无数早上出发时还活奔乱跳的鲜活生命,此刻他们都静静地躺在冰冷的冬天原野上。但这一天,才只是刚刚过去了一半而已。在这半天时间里,人类军战死了三个红衣旗本,十七个旗本、三十一个副旗本;魔族军也失去了三十一个白披风,多年来不曾亲自出手的魔神皇亲身杀入敌阵,取了远东军首领紫川秀首级。时间,才刚刚是下午三点二十。直到此刻,魔族高层还没没有察觉,被魔神皇干掉的紫川秀是个假货。他们只是不解,在失去首领之后,为什么远东军依然能保持如此旺盛的斗志?不过在他们看来,那不过是远东指挥部封锁紫川秀的阵亡消息罢了,不过是回光返照的冲动,不能持久。魔神皇很乐观地向雷欧和叶尔马宣称:“他们支撑不到天黑了!”魔神皇对未来抱乐观态度,但他的部下可没他老人家这么坚定的信心了。远东军能否坚持到天黑还是个未知数,但裴玛知道,自己是肯定支持不下去了。文河攻打得越来越急,连续向神皇派去了六、七拨求援信使,得来的只有一句答复:“再坚持一个钟头!”皇帝的一个小时,自然和平常人的一个小时是大不相同的。裴玛从中午十二点挺到下午四点,哀嚎得嗓子都哑了,神皇许诺已久的增援终于施然登场了。看到这支期盼已久的增援部队,裴玛差点没被气掉鼻子:魔神皇舍不得从中军和右翼抽调塞内亚族兵马,他派来的增援是由马维率领的十六军团!当马维带部队扑到左翼战场时,士兵们都被眼前的景象吓得呆了。本来是青色和褐色的土地上,现在已经看不出土壤的颜色了,所见之处,都是一片血红。尸骸已经堆满了平原、荒漠和山坡,双方的伤兵在尸骸堆中发出凄惨的呼救声,濒临死亡的重伤人恹恹一息地呻吟着,但声音被淹没在那震耳欲聋的交战声里了。就在这尸山血海之上,活人踩着死人的尸骸和鲜血,仍在厮杀和拼杀。军鼓一通通地震响,一支又一支新部队从森林里出现,沉默地走向那厮杀血场。不论是人类还是魔族,只要还能活动,统统拿起兵器在死命地厮杀,田野和平原上血流成河,鲜血已经流得连土壤都吸收不下了,开始汇成小河向外面流淌。“即使地狱的修罗斗场也不会有这样可怕的景象!”叛军士兵惊骇道:“到这种地步了,他们还在打个不停!他们还是人吗?”十六军团到来给左翼的战斗造成了相当的影响。当他们突然出现时,东南军还以为是帝都的增援提前到达了,疲惫交加的人类官兵兴奋得把帽子都丢上了天空,欢呼声雷动。但当十六军部队在魔族阵地上以战斗队列展开向文河军逼近时,所有的欢呼声顿时哑了。企盼已久的援军居然是敌人!这个事实与希望落差实在太大了,人类军阵中一时出现了混乱。文河大声呼喝道:“弟兄们,看到了吗?来的是魔族的十六军,是那个卖国贼马维的狗腿子们!还记得半年前的奥斯战役吗?谁让我们功败垂成?谁害死了我们那么多弟兄?我们连塞内亚魔族都不怕,难道我们还怕他们的走狗不成?”回应他的,是一片愤怒地喧嚣:“干掉叛徒们!”对于那些在背后出卖自己的叛徒,人类对他们的仇恨甚至更深于魔族。被文河这样大声鼓劲,左翼的东南军以更加凶猛的势头猛扑上前。看到那些穿着魔族军装的人类,东南军将士们气得咬牙切齿,杀得加倍起劲。凭良心说,十六军的表现并没有如魔族嘲笑的那样被“一击即溃”,为打好这场仗,马维也是下了血本的。他骑着战马在阵前来回奔走呼叫,在队列前抛洒大袋大袋的金币来招募敢死队勇士,许诺升官封赏,但是,无论他怎么努力,这支部队始终是缺少一种冲劲和悍不畏死的勇敢,那是胜利军队所必须具备的。而文河的部下们,那些为自己祖国和民族所战斗的士兵们,却充分地具有这种冲劲,骑兵们穿着被打碎的铠甲,浑身是血,举着破损的武器,如疯如狂地朝着叛军队列中冲杀而来,叛军和魔族只能倚靠密集的阵列用长矛来逼退人类骑兵的进攻,却缺少与之对攻的勇气和气魄。裴玛原以为可以凭借十六军的增援把文河一举击溃,但现在,不知是东南军凶不可挡,还是这些人类叛军本来就打得不起劲,裴玛期待已久的援军并没有给战局带来转机,反倒是激怒了人类兵马,文河军团步步逼近,进攻的势头一浪高过一浪,将裴玛和马维压得都喘不过气来,叛军部队到来的作用仅仅是将十一军覆灭的时间向后推移了。下午六时左右,紫川秀与魔神皇的战斗还是没分出胜负。远东军防御的主阵地是山麓下的一个无名小村,惨烈的拉锯战已经持续了三个小时了。装甲兽分成四个五千人队轮番进攻。遭遇魔族的装甲兽,秀字营并不处劣势。装甲兽的缺点和它们的优点一般同样明显:它们的速度太慢,行动也太迟钝了。它们跟不上秀字营的敏捷,往往秀字营士兵连砍了四、五刀,装甲兽才能反应过来做第一下遮挡;等它们慢腾腾地举起棒子呢,秀字营士兵却早往它心窝捅了好几枪了。若在平时,这些打击不过是在为装甲兽挠痒痒罢了,但在内家高手全力灌注了真气的刀刃面前,装甲兽那身坚韧的硬皮被切豆腐般切开,每一下打击都是见血到肉的。缓慢的速度,庞大的身躯,这使装甲兽成了最好的靶子。开始时候,秀字营宰杀装甲兽,轻松得象宰猪。但问题是,装甲兽实在太多了!秀字营战士尽管武艺高强,但面对这一波又一波不间断杀来的白色怪物,内力急速地消耗,没法休息也没法恢复,当体力和内力都被消耗得差不多时候,正如魔神皇所期待的那样,伤亡开始在秀字营中大量地出现了。五点钟左右,天空下起了小雨,冒着雾丝般细雨,秀字营就和魔族装甲兽在无名村前的泥泞的水田里摸滚打爬。每一次进攻,水田里都要多上数百上千具尸体,战士躺倒在刚刚收割完的白花花大地里,鲜血浸得引水的沟渠都变成了深红色。但谁也没料到的是,四个五千人队的装甲兽轮番进攻,依然没能拿下那无名村庄。这下,不但叶尔马惊骇难当,就连魔神皇也感到不可思议了。对面的人类,他们究竟是些怎样的人?魔神皇无法想象,一支失去了指挥官的部队竟有如此的毅力,能在装甲兽面前支持足足三个小时。此时,魔神皇对自己的战绩动摇了,他对雷欧说:“朕很怀疑,紫川秀是否真的死了。”雷欧看过魔神皇带回的首级,虽然他见过紫川秀本人,但时间过了四年,那个血肉模糊的首级实在太难分辨了,他没把握确认这是不是紫川秀本人。看着魔神皇冒着那么大风险冲入敌人阵中带了这个脑袋出来,他也不好意思泼冷水告诉魔神皇:“陛下您很可能杀错了。。。”于是在一片歌颂魔神皇神勇无敌的赞美声中,近卫公爵聪明地选择了沉默。他回答魔神皇道:“陛下,紫川秀此人一向出人意料而且诡计多端。若他用了替身,微臣是不奇怪的。”“雷欧卿,说实话,朕杀的那人,你觉得象紫川秀吗?”“微臣惶恐,实在不是很有把握。”听出了雷欧的言下之意,魔神皇长叹一声:“果然,朕也觉得得手得太轻易了,以紫川秀的名声,他的武功不应如此差劲。难怪对面的远东军如此顽强,没有崩溃迹象。”魔神皇连连摇头,懊悔不已。若有可能,他是很想再杀进去一次的,但上次厮杀耗尽了他的内力,想再次出手,他并无此能力。“陛下,依微臣的看法,即使对面的远东军还能支撑,他们也不过是强弩之末了。只要再给我们两个钟头,我们一定能拿下这个阵地!”“即使拿下阵地,但若紫川秀没死,那击溃远东军绝非易事,裴玛和马维未必能坚持到那个时候。”看看太阳渐渐靠近了西边的地平线,魔神皇不禁有些烦躁:“朕恨不得杀掉叶尔马!这厮谎报,不但误了朕,也误了整个王国!”“陛下,大战正烈,阵前斩将并非吉兆。”“朕知道!但此战一过,朕绝对不会放过他!此人倚老卖老,误朕不少!”雷欧默然。虽然身为同僚,但他对叶尔马并没有多少好感,他并不打算为他辩解。事实上,在魔族军中,对那个傲慢、呆板又夸夸其谈的老将有好感的,几乎一个也没有。天色一直是阴沉的,带着蒙蒙小雨。直到了黄昏,太阳才出来露了一小会脸,无力地向撒满鲜血的大地散布最后的光芒。当最后一丝残阳消失在地平线上时,天空黑了下来。夜晚的到来给疲惫交加的魔族一丝希望。激战了一天,人类总要歇息的吧?他们总要吃饭和睡觉的吧?战斗是一种高强度的激烈运动,体力和精力消耗程度都是惊人的。一天的战斗,无论人类和魔族都挺不住。夜战是魔族的强项,人类不会不知道这点。但令魔族失望了,人类确实是休息停战了,但却只有短暂的两个小时。晚上九点多,在战线中部和右翼的魔族兵又看到了满山遍野的火把疾扑而来!“人类居然敢与我们夜战?”接到报告的魔神皇先是吃惊,随后又是释然。既然人类都敢从阵地里出来和魔族大打野战了,那再在夜晚挑战魔族的强项也不是什么奇事。他唯一奇怪的是人类为什么如此迫不及待,连一夜的时间都等不得?其实斯特林也是有不得已的苦衷。奥斯总督胡新、维纳里总督内依特还有驻安卡拉的远东军副统领林冰都紧急派了信使向他示警报告,侦察发现在东南行省各部出现大规模的魔族军团,正急速向巴丹方向前进。前锋已抵达了巴特利行省首府周边。这支魔族军团进军极速,他们一路不攻城、不掠地,只是急速猛走,一心一意朝着巴丹主战场方向靠拢。而留守各地的人类军队兵力寡弱,也没能力阻止他们的前进。这支魔族军团的数目极庞大,旌旗漫野。林冰率兵跟踪其后,据她的观察,目前光是记录的团队旗帜就不下六十面,估计全军起码不下八十个团队。卡顿来得好快!这是斯特林接到报告后的第一个想法。他暗暗庆幸,明羽的信使来得足够快,给自己多了一天一夜的准备时间。趁着两个小时的休息时间,前线指挥官们一窝蜂地拥回了中央军参谋部,冲斯特林要粮要增援要补给。对着军官们的抱怨,斯特林的答复只有一个:“增援没有!吃完饭休息半个小时,继续进攻!”师团长们眼泪都下来了:“大人,再打下去我们就全光了!”“大人,给十一师留点种子吧!”但当斯特林把那份报告一读,所有人都哑了声。“卡顿亲王距离我们不到三百里了,骑兵急驰,这不过两天的路程!若不能在此之前击溃魔族军,干掉魔神皇,那我们先前的牺牲就都成了白费。更可怕的是,若被魔神皇父子前后夹击,我们都得死无葬身。诸位,现在你们还有什么话吗?”沉寂半个小时后,战场上重又开打。人类主要是在中间和右翼发动进攻,而魔族则咬着牙在左翼对着紫川秀猛击,立志要先击溃远东军。两方都是竭尽全力,但打击的力度却是越来越弱。天空阴沉沉,下着蒙蒙小雨。星星都看不到。罗杰象条被打断了脊梁的赖皮狗一般趴在一汪血泊里,好久都没动弹。两个士兵从他身边走过,其中一个用脚踢踢他:“好象是挂了?”“看样子是个军官。说不定有油水。”另外一个士兵蹲下身,探手去摸罗杰的口袋,刚触到衣裳,罗杰突然坐了起来,把这两个士兵吓得齐声尖叫:“啊!”“两个混球,”罗杰有气无力地问道:“现在几点了?”一个士兵报告:“晚上十一点,长官。”罗杰只感觉嗓子嘶哑,喉咙里干得象是有一把火在烧。他抖抖腰间的行军水壶,却是空荡荡的。他睁大了疲惫的眼睛张望四周,整个村子都在燃烧,稀稀拉拉的房屋和树木都被火焰吞噬了。在火光背景下,村子中活动着一些黯淡的身影,但更多的人却都是或躺或坐在地上的。“有水吗?”没人回答。罗杰回头再看,却发现那两个士兵早已偷偷溜走了。他苦笑着,就着火光,他在地上摸索着,一连搜了五具尸体,才终于找到一个有水的行军壶,一口气半壶水灌进喉咙里,尽管水已微微发酸了,但那股浸彻心肺的清凉却让罗杰周身清爽。他感觉生机和力量重又回到了自己身上,支撑着慢慢站了起来,身体象绑了半吨铅一般沉重。他扬声叫道:“还有多少人活着的?有没有?应个声!”“都死了~”废墟和火光中传回了一片有气无力的喊声。罗杰笑了,一屁股坐了下来,感觉屁股下软软的,坐到装甲兽的尸体上了。他也没力气再站起来了,颤抖着手点燃了手中的香烟,猛吸一口,然后大声叫道:“弟兄们,看来这次大伙真要为国捐躯,放心,圣灵殿有我们的席位。”“滚!你当官的死光了老子都没事呢!”“爷爷我号称不死鸟,圣灵殿留着罗杰大人您自个蹲吧!”士兵们叫骂得厉害,但却有气无力的,刚才的激战已经透支了大家的精力。“秀字营,集合!”火光中,人影晃动。远远近近的,一些幽灵般的身影蹒跚着出现。士兵们参差不齐地排成了一行,接着第二行,第三行,第四行。。。真是奇怪,每次打退魔族的进攻,看着阵地上满地的尸首,罗杰总有种错觉,象是人都死光了,只剩下自己和零散的三两个兵,再也顶不住一次进攻了。但是现在,各个阵地上幸存的士兵重新集合,就如那孱弱的溪流汇成了彭湃的大河,看到那越来越长的队伍,看到那些血污满面却依然闪亮的眼睛,看到那些疲惫不堪却仍旧站得笔直的身影,那些被砍削得破破烂烂的盔甲,那些砍得出了缺口的刀刃和折断的长剑,罗杰陡然又产生了信心,力量重又充满了他的身体,拳头陡然攥紧。他的声音低沉,却蕴含着一股力量感:“弟兄们,增援还没到,看来统领大人那里也碰到了麻烦,我们得靠自己坚持到天亮了。弟兄们,有没有问题?”“有~~”“问题很大条,老子没力气了~~”“要求加班费~~”“还要两个美*********阳怪气声的从队伍里四处响起,引起了一阵哄笑声。罗杰也笑,这就是秀字营的风格,若要这群痞子象斯特林一样一般正经地立正宣誓:“愿为家族服务!”那他准会怀疑太阳从西边出来了。“加班费有的是,金山银海,都放在帝都那好好地等我们去拿呢!总长说了,只要我们能坚持到天亮,发的银子足够大伙用到龟孙子那辈的!统领爷也给我们准备了好多好多美女,每人发六个,足够咱哥们从周一快活到周六的。。。”有人在队列里喊:“那周日呢?”“你还当自己有魔神皇那么猛啊!总得有个休息的时间吧?”哄堂大笑,又渴又累的士兵们笑得都站不住了。发问的士兵一边笑一边大口地咳嗽,咳出来的血都染红了胸口的衣襟,但他自己看不见,他的同伴们仿佛也看不到,大伙笑得那么开心,那么从容,笑容里没有丝毫的忧虑和担忧,就象一群孩子。罗杰笑着说:“放心,银子和美女大把有,但大伙得活着回来领!谁若回不来,你的银子我就帮你花了,你的美女我也帮你安慰了!”“滚!”“杀了这兔崽子!他比魔族还可恶!”远处传来了沉重的踏地声,笑声嘎然而止。罗杰心头一颤,装甲兽又上来了。他环视左右,一个接一个地望过眼前的士兵们。士兵们歪着身子,斜着眼回望着罗杰,一时间,谁都没有出声。罗杰清清嗓子:“总之,大伙要活着回来。拜托了!”回应他的是一阵激烈的吵闹:“放心!不回来岂不是让银子和美女都被你吞了!”在史书上关于巴丹会战的记载部分,特别提到了远东军主阵地,那个无名村庄的战事。在这夜,魔族发起进攻五千装甲兽以上的进攻八次,均被打退。魔神皇惊骇道:‘就算这个村子是铁铸的也被被我们打穿了!守在那里的,真的是人类吗?’中午时投入战斗的五千秀字营,当第二天太阳升起时,存活者不到一千人。无一人投降,无一人逃跑。以前的那个无名村,打那起却有了个新的名字:‘喋血高地’。但论起战斗之惨烈,喋血高地还算不上首位。远东军仅仅只是守,但在东南军主攻方向,斯特林亲领的步骑集团作为进攻方,必须付出更大的代价。四个先锋铁甲师被打得全军覆没,先头进入战场六个步兵师也被打残了,战场上,被打死的人类官兵尸首堆了近一米高,象是在平原上起了一个蜿蜒的城墙,后续部队被堵住了没办法进军。而为了消灭中央军的先头部队,魔族中路指挥官云浅雪同样地伤亡惨重,那天黎明到来时,本有八万士兵的羽林军幸存不到四万人。当黎明到来时,无论是人类也好,魔族也好,都没有力量来发动新的攻势了。两军很多士兵甚至都是在激战的战场枕着尸首睡着了。看着太阳渐渐升起,斯特林统领终于下令,军队停止进攻。事实上,仗打到这个地步,事实已经很明显了,东南、远东联军和魔神皇的军团是势均力敌,谁也奈何不了谁。经过一天一夜的流血,两军都已经衰弱到危险的地步。这种情况下,继续进攻的一方要付出更大的牺牲,有先崩溃的危险。而同时地,魔神皇也和斯特林得出同样的结论。为击溃远东军这个目标,魔族军已经投入太多的牺牲和力量。现在看来,且不说这个目标能否实现,即使打垮远东军了,伤亡惨重的近卫旅也没有余力进行对东南军主力的侧翼打击了,这样消耗战的僵局对人数较少的魔族不利。黎明时分,信使们一个接一个赶到魔王坡,向魔神皇报告了各军的损耗。裴玛甚至丢下军队,亲自跑来见魔神皇。他很坦率地告诉魔神皇,部队伤亡太大,打不下去了。“陛下,第十一军的三十五个团队中有十五个团队被人类彻底打光了,只剩下一面军旗。六个团队被打死过半,三个团队已经彻底溃散了,还有四个团,开战前我安排在左翼的,现在都联系不上了,我甚至不知道他们是被人类歼灭了还是逃跑了。。。”裴玛说得滔滔不绝,眼中饱含着泪水:“陛下,再打下去,我们撑不住了。”在尊敬的魔神皇面前表现出怯弱和动摇,这令他感到十分羞耻。魔神皇陷入沉思。他恬静的脸容映衬着远方连绵起复的群山,仿佛一副轮廓分明的黑白画。他的手上拿着一张白纸,那是参谋们汇总的伤亡数字,那巨大的红字令人震惊。就在这一天一夜的战斗中,五十三个魔族团队已经从王国军队序列中永远地消失了,另外还有三十一个团队被打得失去了战斗力。在巴丹地区聚集了王国所有的军队,战前,谁都以为这场野战会以神族干脆利索的胜利而告终,谁也没料到这一仗打得如此艰难,牺牲会如此恐怖。在这场会战中,人类表现出了令人尊敬的战斗力,意志坚决,不惧牺牲,在与魔族的对攻中甚至还占了上风。两军竭尽全力对攻,最后打了个平手,这个结果令得魔族高层感到极大震撼,但两军不同的是,魔神皇已率领王国的全部军队了,而他面对的仅仅是人类的两个军团。魔神皇不愿意承认,但却不得不面对这个事实:王国的武装力量已经衰弱到了危险的地步。这样的军队,还能再坚持一场战争吗?魔神皇低沉地说:“命令全线停战。裴玛,你想办法跟人类那边联系,就说我们想谈判。”上午八点钟,一个举着白旗的魔族向人类方走来,转达了魔神皇的意思。这个讯息在东南军司令部引起了极大的震动。那个目空一切的魔族至尊,居然低下了他高傲的头颅,要和人类谈判?来不及召集各集团的司令,斯特林统领先会见了使者。“陛下说了,两军先停战。停战以后,神族将退出所有占领紫川家的土地。”“瓦仑要塞呢?”魔族使者慢条斯理地说:“瓦仑要塞也是紫川家土地,自然也还给你们。”斯特林立即说:“那好。请贵国皇帝立即给瓦仑总督发去命令,让他将要塞移交给我远东军副统领林冰大人。她率军就在瓦仑要塞附近。”“要塞自然会还你们,但那要在我们神族大军撤出瓦仑关以后。”“那不可能!”斯特林统领正要一口拒绝,从司令部大门匆匆进来的远东军统领紫川秀急忙一口接了上去:“起码还得把所有的俘虏还给我们。”斯特林愕然。魔族残酷无情,抓到的人类官兵和平民,凡是不肯屈服的,一律屠杀。肯屈服的,就加入十六军团。所以,魔族军中的人类俘虏并不是很多,特意要回他们意义并不是很大。但他知道紫川秀机智,不会做无谓的事,也不出声,看紫川秀怎么说。赶来的紫川秀满头大汗,不等卫兵给他加椅子,他自个就从墙边端了把椅子到谈判桌边坐下。以不容置疑的口吻,他说:“所有被魔族抓去的人类官兵和平民都必须交还我们,要谈判,这就是我们人类的条件。”望了紫川秀一眼,魔族使者向斯特林投了个疑惑的眼神,斯特林统领镇定地说:“这是远东的紫川统领,他的话就是我的话。”再看了紫川秀一眼,确认这个满头大汗,脸色苍白的年轻人就是能跟魔神皇抗衡一天一夜的传奇将领,使者脸上多了分尊敬。他说:“若谈判可成,俘虏自然会还给你们——不过在我军中,人类俘虏数目应该不会很多。”“不不,”紫川秀连连摆手:“你没弄明白我的意思:在魔族军中的所有人类,都必须交给我们——不管他是被俘还是以别的方式被弄到你们那去的!”使者和斯特林统领这才明白过来,使者叫道:“难道你是要我们把整个十六军团都交还你们吗?”“那是自然!”紫川秀一脸杀气:“那些背叛国家的败类,必须要得到应有的惩罚!首当其冲,马维就是一个!这个条件若不成,谈判那就不用说了,我们各自再点兵马来个你死我活吧!”使者皱着眉头不出声。在投诚以后,马维为了凸现自己对魔族的忠心,在各种场合都刻意强调了自己与紫川秀不共戴天的仇恨,所以,这个牵涉了美女皇储紫川宁、远东统领紫川秀和马维等风云人物外加三角恋情、叛变、刺杀外加灭门惨案等大批亮点的故事在魔族高层中流传甚广。关于紫川秀和马维之间的恩怨,他也是知道的。现在紫川秀提出要索取死敌马维,这个要求是很正常的。老实说,对于马维和十六军官兵的命运,使者并不是很关切,哪怕紫川家把他们全宰了下锅,使者也不会感到心疼。他只是顾忌,马维毕竟是陛下亲封的王国公爵,这样交还人类,陛下能不能答应?最后,使者还是叹了口气:“对不起,统领大人,这个条件陛下没有授权我答应。但从我个人来说,我觉得这不是什么问题。”紫川秀点头,很体谅的样子:“那就劳烦贵使再跑一趟,跟贵国陛下说一声了。希望他能怜悯两国将士,不要再让士兵们白白牺牲了。”“希望能如统领大人您所愿吧。这仗,确实不能再打了。我们只想回家。”在那一刻,魔族使节脸上出现了真切的悲痛。紫川秀心念一动:“请问阁下是?”“鲁莽了,还没对统领大人您做自我介绍。我是卡路侯爵,在陛下身边担任高级参谋官。”看到紫川秀探究的目光,白发双鬓的老皇族轻轻抹了下眼角的泪珠:“失礼了。我有两个儿子,一个二十一岁,在羽林军中任团队长;一个十九岁,在十一军中任军团掌旗官。”顿了一下,他轻声说:“在昨天下午和晚上,他们都战死了。”两位统领都沉默了。站在他们面前的,是一个满手血腥的侵略者头目,敌人的高级贵族,也是冷酷无情的敌方谈判代表。他的两个儿子是魔族的高级军官,自然也是凶狠的刽子手,死了那是大快人心。按理说,他们应该对这个顽冥不化老家伙的任何悲痛感到幸灾乐祸才好;或者,应该对他喝道:“这就是你们侵略人类的下场了!”可此刻,他们实在不忍。他们只看到了,在自己面前的是一个白发双鬓的老人在悲痛自己早逝的儿子。老年丧子,白发送黑发,那种无以言述的悲痛超越种族和国界,同样身为有情感的智慧种族,他们感同身受。看到他,他们就象看到了无数人类父母一般,在远方的天际下为传来的噩耗悲痛欲绝。斯特林庄重地说:“很难过听到这个消息。请节哀。”老人点头,轻声说:“谢谢。”泪水再也抑止不住了,从眼中滚滚落下。他起身,再次说声:“失礼了。”然后,他行了个礼,蹒跚着走出了东南军司令部的大门。斯特林望向紫川秀,不满地挑起了眉头。他困惑不解。这是人类和魔族最重大的一次谈判,紫川秀却因为和马维的事而耽搁了下来。这种因私废公的行为不象紫川秀一贯的作风。迎着斯特林责备的目光,紫川秀笑笑:“别这样看着我,我是故意的。”“你故意搞混这次谈判?”“这里距离魔王坡约有十五里,那个信使来回,即使骑马也得一个多小时,再加上汇报和魔神皇考虑的时间,我们很容易就能混来两三个小时。”“可我们要这两三个钟头能干什么呢?”“让部队歇息,恢复体力,全力备战。从现在到今晚,每一分钟对我们都是珍贵的,若不能在明天日出前击溃魔神皇军团,那我们就完蛋了!”斯特林一惊:“怎么说?”“卡顿快到了!”斯特林猛然站起:“在哪里?”“主力还没抵达,但一个小规模的先遣队企图混过我们防线向魔神皇报讯,结果被半兽人的巡逻队发觉了,被我们全歼了。从一个军官身上发现了卡顿写给魔神皇的信,信上报告说,卡顿亲王已抵达了塔伦城,距我们这只有一天半的路程。”“该死!”斯特林狠狠一拳砸在椅子上,将简陋的椅子一下子打了个粉碎:“卡顿来得太快了!数十万大军,他怎么可能这么快!?太反常了!”“若真是三十万大军,卡顿无论如何不可能在四五天里就跑到这来。来的估计只会是少部分骑兵团队——但不论多少,只要让魔神皇知道有三十万大军正在往这赶来,他肯定会鼓足信心跟我们再打,无论达成什么协议都是白费力气。现在我们不忙跟魔族决裂,先拖延时间,等部队做好战斗准备再说。”第265章帝国的黄昏奇兵突起两个小时后,卡尼侯爵回到了东南军司令部,他带来了魔神皇的答复:“可以将十六军团交还人类。”——事情果然被紫川秀料中了,相比于整个神族大军的存亡,几个人类叛徒的性命实在微不足道,魔神皇没必要为他们误了跟人类的谈判。这次,斯特林要忙着整军备战,没时间来陪他聊天了。他派了几个参谋来陪信使谈,这让卡路很是迷惑不解,怎么只过了两个小时,人类对待自己的待遇就大相径庭了?午饭过后,紫川秀走进了房间,直截了当地告诉使者,对于魔神皇的谈判条件,紫川家族感到无法接受。听了紫川秀的回答,使者的表情颇为丰富。他先是困惑地摇摇脑袋,象是不敢相信所听到的回答。等他确认听到的回答后,他用一种很委屈、象是受到了伤害的口气问紫川秀,紫川家到底想要什么?难道神族和神皇陛下表现得还不够诚意吗?难道紫川家到底看不出,再打下去,只有大家一同进地狱吗?“阁下,“紫川秀打断了他的陈述,他平静地说:“第二轮攻击部队已进入阵地了。您现在离开还来得及。”中午一点,几乎在魔族使者仓惶地离开东南军司令部的同时,战斗又一次打响了,人类再次发动了进攻。半天的休息时间可以恢复士兵的体力,却不足恢复他们斗志和士气。人类方面还好些,他们还有预备队,可以轮番作战。但魔族的底子早就光了。激战之后,士兵们都在战壕和帐篷里睡觉休息,被突然攻上来的人类打了个措手不及,来自奥斯行省的步兵密集地冲入了魔族的阵地,午睡中被惊醒的魔族官兵惊叫着赤手空拳地从战壕里冲出来,被大批地斩杀。“什么?”被部下叫醒的云浅雪又是惊怒又是好笑:“我们在光天化日里被人类偷袭成功了!”团队长支支吾吾地说:“老实说,也不算偷袭。。。他们是大摇大摆地冲杀过来了,只是部队都睡着了,被打得措手不及。。。”“休息不安排哨兵吗?”“连哨兵都睡着了。大家累得要死,听说陛下又和人类开始谈判了,于是都松弛下来了,谁都料不到三个小时,人类马上就攻上来了。。。”“别废话了!”云浅雪匆匆把制服披上,起身出了帐篷。刚刚从午睡中醒来,被正午的日头照下来,云浅雪眼前一黑,头昏目眩。中军营所处是一片高地,但被帐篷前的树木所遮盖,云浅雪没法看清整个战场。巨大的音量如风暴一般扑面而来,云浅雪什么也听不到,但旋即,他能分辩出其中滴答的马蹄声、马嘶声和人类战士呼喝声、魔族兵马的“瓦格拉”声。他侧耳倾听着,觉得右翼传来的交战声更为响亮,传来亲兵们:“你们去观察,看看人类在哪个方向主攻。还有,我军各个部队情况如何?友邻部队情况如何?迅速查探清楚,然后回报于我。我在近卫团的指挥部,你们可到那找我。”亲兵们齐齐领命而去,云浅雪这才跨步上马。近卫团指挥官亲自给他领路,走出了树林,于是战场的局势一览无遗。正前方的远方,整个战场场面如画卷一般地展开,站在高处看整个战场,有一种云雾中的感觉。那些正在奔跑、厮杀、流血、呻吟的士兵们,在远方看,只剩下了一些跳跃的黑点。虽然身处混乱,但塞内亚魔族兵良好的战斗素质在此时发挥了作用,三五个士兵们自发地聚在一起,组成一个又一个小阵。数百上千个小阵构成了团队的防线,而数十个团队一字摆开的,战线如长蛇一般蜿蜒不绝,望都望不到尽头。只一眼,云浅雪立即察觉到了危险,防御摆得太开,阵线太单薄了。这种长蛇阵,人类很容易就可以在某个地段实现突破的。自己手上连一个团的预备队都没有,没法对阵地上的缺口实施堵截。身后传来了马蹄声,云浅雪转身,骑在战马上的凌步虚正朝他疾驰而来。西南大将在马背上冲羽林将军匆匆行了个礼,云浅雪连忙回礼。“将军,你那如何?”“不好。”凌步虚皱着眉头,他正要说话,云浅雪打断了他:“将军,能否给我抽出三个团——”看凌步虚的脸色,他连忙改口说:“两个团!我急需要两个团做预备队,准备与人类打反突击!将军,形势很危险,你那还能抽出部队吗?”凌步虚转头,猎鹰般锐利的目光望向战场。他简单地说:“不能。”“将军,战线一旦被突破,我们都完蛋!这不是吝啬兵力保存实力的时候!”“跟我来。”凌步虚伸手牵过云浅雪战马的缰绳,领着云浅雪向树林后走。云浅雪不住地叫:“去哪里?去哪里?”可凌步虚绝口不答,只是固执地牵着缰绳。云浅雪的卫兵们跟在后面,不知所措。从西北方出了树林,凌步虚遥指指着前方数里外遥遥的大片森林。云浅雪摸不着头脑:“干什么?”“看。”西南大将的话永远是那么的言简意赅。云浅雪疑惑地搭起了眼帘,因为那片丛林距离实在太远了,即使以他良好的眼力也只能看到一片茫茫的绿意,森林的轮廓如同云雾一般隐现。云浅雪扫了一眼,没看到什么异样的东西,他疑惑地看了凌步虚一眼,若不是西南大将历来信誉良好,他真要以为他在开自己玩笑了。凌步虚抬手指去,顺着他手指的方向,云浅雪望去。突然,他一震,揉了揉眼睛,叫道:“那是什么?”在森林的边缘,有一些小点。这些小点的颜色与森林颜色并不一致,好象是活动着的。云浅雪仔细再看,没错,那确实是一些在活动的小点。“那是树木?还是人?”“人。”“什么人?是十六纵队的人?还是当地的农民在观战?”“我问过马维,他说不是他的人。”凌步虚和云浅雪对视一眼,都在对方眼里发现了深深的恐惧。再次打眼帘观察了一阵,云浅雪发现那些小点并没有向战场方向接近,这使得他稍微好受了些:“他们好象停在那不动了?在干什么?”凌步虚淡淡地一挑眉头,表示他也不清楚。“将军,我马上往那个方向派斥候侦察。我希望不是,但若真是我们想象的那样。。。我们必须早做准备。”凌步虚点头:“我部在此设防。”他严峻地望云浅雪一眼,后者立即领会严肃的西南大将没说出口的话了:“以掩护我军撤退。”正面的战斗进行得如火如荼,因为战事的残酷,两军的阵线都大为缩水了,右翼的裴玛军团甚至不能维持其阵线,不得不向中央的云浅雪和凌步虚军团靠拢,最后紧缩在云浅雪军团的右边成为一个大方阵。因为要防御的地方少了,人员密集,处于内线作战的魔族阵地显得巩固了许多,云浅雪一下显得兵力充足起来了。他甚至有余力从羽林军中抽出两个团出来对进攻的文河军团打了一次漂亮的反击,魔族步兵凶狠地挥着刺枪将攻进阵地的人类骑兵打得狼狈地退出。强弩之末的东南军士气被鼓起来了,但却不能持久。文河挥舞着刀剑在前线亲自督战,一连砍倒了几个溃退的部队长官,但士兵们实在太疲倦了。在接近一半的伤亡代价下,视死如归的勇士并不多。斯特林的意志非常坚决,但部队长官执行得都比较敷衍,最勇敢、最坚决的士兵在先前的战斗中都死得差不多了,剩下的多半是些老油条和兵混子,跟魔族稍一接战就退下来了。东南军进攻在下午三点左右就陷入停顿了,进攻的人类士兵如潮水般退了下去,云浅雪还没来得及松一口气,却见一员骑兵以不怕跑死马的速度飞一般的向指挥营扑来。卫队立即上前拦住他们,喝道:“来者何人?擅闯中军营,不怕杀头吗?”领头的骑兵狼狈地滚下马鞍,脱下头盔,于是云浅雪认出他是自己派出的侦察队长。他满面尘土和惊惶,磕磕跌跌地往前跑,却被地上的石头绊了一跤,狼狈地趴倒在地,惹得大营的警戒士兵都哄笑起来了。但很快地,他们笑不出声来了,侦察队长抬起头,凄厉得不似人声的嗓子撕裂空气般惊叫:“示警!示警!大军来了!红潮来了!”云浅雪霍然站起,脸色铁青。此时,西边的地平线上,出现了第一线明晃晃的刺枪闪光。红色的小点汇集成线,密集地向前推进。七八四年十二月十三日,下午三点钟,流风军出现在战场上。流风军团从森林和丛林中现身,以严整的战斗阵容向前推进。走在前面的是展开阵势的三十一个轻骑兵联队,那是流风家的菁华,大多是流风家最强悍最有经验的老兵组成,骑兵们以密集的队列缓步推进,神色森严,身子随着战马的前进而有节奏地微微晃动着。紧跟着骑兵阵的是步兵军团,黑压压的步兵队列犹如森林般一眼望不到尽头,后队还在源源不断地涌出。各联队队长身披华丽的甲盔,举着旗帜在前方为本队向导。传令兵快马奔驰于各队之间,一身红色的斗篷在身后细细飞舞,就象快速掠过天际的流星尾巴,响亮的命令声响彻各阵:“压稳阵脚,保持队列!”“保持速度!”“前队~缓步~!”军阵威严如山,浩荡似海。与流风霜军团一同出现的,还有明辉所部的紫川家西北军。他比流风霜早抵达战场两个钟头,凌步虚发现的小点就是他的兵马。昨天黄昏时候,西北联军强渡了泛着薄冰的瓦涅河,进军巴丹战场,昼夜行军八十里,于清晨九点抵达战场侧后的森林。就在魔神皇与人类谈判时,明辉已在那整顿好了兵马。但作为前锋,他的兵力太弱,不敢单独进入战场,只能催促流风霜一同进兵,流风霜的回答是:“兵马在休整。”直到下午三点,在森林中按兵不动观战的流风家将领们得到流风霜的明确指示:“是时候了,得给斯特林喘口气了!”不到半个小时内,十字军前营指挥使蒙那少将、国防二十八军军长萧元中将、国防二十七军长费加中将、十字军中营指挥使英木兰少将纷纷把部队从森林中拉出来,在魔族军的后方大摇大摆地展开队列。此次来援的西北联军包括了流风霜军团和紫川家西北军团的主力,兵马多达二十五万之众。流风家军阵浩荡,步骑统统赤红,整个军阵俨如红色的海洋,从森林中不断地流淌出来。“流风军到了!流风军到了!”红色的军队抵达,给巴丹战场带来了最大的震荡,不亚于一场八级地震。战局陡然发生变化。听闻流风军出现,魔神皇失手把杯子掉到了地上。望着地平线上源源涌出的军队,望着那山一般闪亮的刀枪剑阵,那飘扬在空中的一面又一面红色霜字旗,他被一种沉重的、极为可怕的预感压得喘不过气来。足足有十分钟时间,魔神皇一句话也说不出来,幕僚们紧闭着口,指挥帐笼罩在一片压抑、沉重的静寂中。“王国完了。”这是所有人心中没出口的一句话。魔神皇与斯特林拉锯了一天一夜没分出胜负的战局,却在流风霜抵达后迅速急转直下。首先与流风军接触的是留驻后方大营的魔族十六军团,稍一接阵,十六军团就如沙子组成的堡垒一般迅速崩溃、瓦解。大势已明,叛军士兵并没有为异族政权殉葬的意思,而且比起原来背叛过的紫川家,向流风家投诚看起来似乎是他们最好的出路了。蒙那将军率领的一个轻骑大队刚刚抵达,叛军们纷纷抛下武器,大部分人就地跪倒投降了,小部分军官和头目则骑马逃跑了。军心士气如此低落,马维连稍微维持一下的努力都没有做,他直截了当地骑上马往魔王坡逃。为了阻挡流风军的前进,魔族并不是没做任何努力。凌步虚紧急从东南军作战的阵线重抽调了五个团回头设防,但就连他本人都对这次阻击不抱任何信心。流风霜出击的时机选择得太好了,魔族军无论是士气还是体力都堕落到了最低点,仓促组成的防线挡不住流风霜宽广的进击面,对于凌步虚部下那些疲惫不堪的魔族步兵,蒙那根本无视,庞大的骑兵队绕开了那道仓促组建的防线,从战线右翼划了一个大弧线,最后猛然冲进了裴玛的军中。本来就被文河打得支撑不住的裴玛军团腹背受敌,终于彻底垮了下来。在迅若雷霆的流风家骑兵前,魔族兵惊叫着四处逃散,土崩瓦解。紧接着,汹涌的骑兵潮水般向云浅雪军团涌来,同时,眼见援军抵达而士气大振的东南军再次发动了进攻。下午五点钟时,蒙那所率领的骑兵部队已在击溃裴玛军团后与文河所部会师了,断绝魔族军向右翼逃窜的可能。魔族军接连不断地遭到来自四面八方的打击,他们连喘口气的时间都没有。东南军的铁甲骑兵冲阵、流风霜的赤色轻骑如一阵暴风般卷过,飞箭、长枪、砍刀、马刀、半兽人的狼牙棒,砍得魔族粉身碎骨,尸积如山。魔族十一军阵地一片慌乱。塞内亚兵骁勇,但毕竟还是想活命。谁都知道,大势已去。到处都是脸色惨白的魔族兵惊惶地四处张望,企图为自己寻得一条逃生的道路。很多魔族军官都在慌乱地脱掉自己的厚实的军官铠甲和别着彩色羽毛的军帽,匆忙从死人堆里拣那些染血的普通士兵制服给自己穿上,这样逃命时候方便点。流风霜军团在战场上出现后,卡兰皇子第一时间就扑到了云浅雪跟前,一个劲地催促他撤兵。“再不走就来不及了!快跑吧,流风霜要断我们后路了!”“殿下,您是真不懂还是装不懂?没有命令敢撤兵,你再得宠,陛下也要砍我们头的!”卡兰怒吼道:“云,你没长眼睛吗?现在还说什么陛下!王国完蛋了,父皇完蛋了!再不走,流风霜和斯特林就要把我们抓了扒皮!你没看吗,马维的十六军垮了,裴玛的十一军也垮了,他溜了!”“什么!”听闻裴玛逃跑的消息,犹如一个晴天霹雳打在云浅雪头上,他耳朵嗡嗡作响,以同样的声量回吼卡兰:“殿下,这不可能!我知道裴玛,他不可能这样做!”“云,你睁大眼睛自己看!除了羽林军,现在还有哪支部队在抵抗!你派人去十一军的阵地看看,看看还有没有人在守!”云浅雪不敢相信,不敢相信自己的好友,那个豪迈、勇敢的贵族将领裴玛会逃跑。但他不知道,在平常时候,人往往能表现出人性中较好的一面,他会显得优雅、大方,游刃有余。但在危急时刻,当恐惧和压力大到他不能承受的地步时,人就露出他的怯弱和弱点来。裴玛也是如此,昼夜不眠不休的战斗压垮了他的意志和判断力。当流风霜的骑兵朝着他指挥部冲来时,被这支生力部队的声威所慑,裴玛失去了理智,不顾所有幕僚和亲卫的阻拦,他几乎是抢过一匹战马,自个逃出了指挥部。得知主帅临阵溃逃,本来就疲惫不堪士气低落的十一军被流风霜一击击溃。不必派人去查探了,出帐篷就可以看见了,溃败的十一军士卒逃得满山遍野,黑压压的一片朝这边涌来。云浅雪铁青着脸下令羽林军对逃过来的十一军士卒放箭,命令他们重新走上战场。于是可怜的溃兵被羽林军的刀枪和流风霜的铁骑夹在中间,进退不能,跑去又跑来,惊慌失措,被大片大片地砍杀,哭号惨叫声震天,溃兵们已经兴不起反抗的念头了,遇刀刀下死,碰剑剑底亡,那种狼狈和凄凉,完全不似曾纵横大陆、征服过半个紫川家和整个远东的无敌劲旅。看到十一军溃败的凄惨情形,卡兰脸都白了,他更加起劲地催促云浅雪快快撤退,不然就真的来不及了。但云浅雪却还在迟疑,王国还存有最后的希望,十五军团没有参加会战,近二十多万魔族官兵还留驻达克城。虽然目前局势极端不妙,但若十五军能及时赶到的话,必能对战局产生极大的变动,王国还是有希望的。但下午六点钟左右,一队兵马自西奔来,宣告了魔族军最后希望的破灭。他们带来消息,遭到帝都军的围攻两日后,慑于帝林的可怕威名,经七个小部族长协商,十五军军团长雷豹公爵决定向人类的帝都军团投降。但雷豹公爵还是留了点情面的,他没有把十五军中塞内亚族的监军使送给人类宰刀,而是在投降前把他们全部礼送出城,放他们回去向魔神皇报信。“皇子殿下,羽林将军,帝林大军得城后并没有据守,而是挥师直扑巴丹而来!帝林兵力雄厚,其军中有可怕的强弓劲弩,其射程超过一般弓箭的两倍,更能连发,威力十分可怕!必须及早通知陛下,早做提防!”被雷豹放回来的监军使见到云浅雪就象见到亲人一般激动,一口气说了下去,却没注意到卡兰皇子和羽林将军阴郁的脸色。云浅雪缓缓点头:“知道了。陛下就在左翼,离这里大概有三里路。我派人给你带路。”监军使感谢地下去了,云浅雪和卡兰对视一眼,都看到了对方眼中的恐惧。“没有援军会来。”“帝林也正在朝这边赶来。”“阿云,”卡兰的神色少见地严肃:“这次是当真的了。我清楚父皇的性格,这次败得这么凄惨,他绝不可能下令撤退的。我们只有两条路,要么陪父皇一起殉葬,要么就得逃命了。”“毋宁死,不能逃。”云浅雪说得斩钉截铁:“殿下,我是统军大将,我对阵地负有责任,而您不是。殿下,我安排人马,送你从东南方出去。我留下来陪陛下战斗到最后!”“云,你根本不明白!”卡兰暴躁地说:“我自个逃出去,那丝毫不难!但丢下父皇自己逃生,回到王国我也难逃一死,卡顿不会放过我的!他随便安排个罪名都能把我给搞死。但带着羽林军回去,有这支强军保护我,卡顿就对我无可奈何了!”“说什么都不可以!羽林军一撤,王国大军就全面崩溃了!”“王国输定了,即使羽林军死守到最后也改变不了败局的!”“起码,”云浅雪忧郁地说:“敌人不是从我的阵地上突破的。即使死,九泉之下见到陛下,我问心无愧。陛下对我恩重如山,将我提拔为亲军长官,又将唯一爱女许配给我,这是最后关键时候,我不能离陛下而去。皇子殿下,您的命令,我一向言听计从,但这次,恕末将不能从命了。若要离开就请抓紧,我会为您准备好快马和卫队。”卡兰皇子脸色变幻,沉默良久,他用一种古怪的声调说:“云,你的心意我明白了。既然如此,那我就陪你坚持到最后吧。”不明白卡兰皇子为何突然改变了心意,但云浅雪还是很高兴:“谢谢,殿下!我们一同到前线去,会合凌步虚大人,大家一起商量,看看还有些什么法子。”“嗯,你带路吧。”云浅雪转身,正要跨步出帐篷,突然背后风声响动,他还没来得及转身,只听到“砰”一声闷响。云浅雪艰难地转过头来,留在视膜里的最后景象,是卡兰皇子那张惊惶的脸。“殿下,你!”眼前一黑,云浅雪整个人向前扑倒,已昏了过去。云浅雪不知道自己在昏迷中躺了多长时间,他感觉好象并不长,似乎连五分钟都不到。只是身下连续不断的摇晃把他给晃醒了,他醒过来时,首先感到的就是一片寂静,面前有一个熟悉的脸孔,正在关切地望着他。卡兰皇子。看到云浅雪醒来,皇子很露出如释重负的表情:“好啦,终于醒过来了!我还一直担心下手太重,把你打坏了呢!老妹非得找我拼命不可。”云浅雪摸了摸脑袋,脑子依然里是一片嗡嗡作响。他慢慢地坐起身来,发现自己是在一辆马车里面,车子正有节奏地晃动着前进。从马车窗口望出去,可以看到大队的羽林军士兵行进在马车的周围,部队行进在郁郁葱葱的树林之间,残阳在森林上露出了最后的余晖。“现在是什么时候了?”“晚上七点多。你昏过去大概一个钟头吧。”“我们在哪里?”“在马车上。”“废话!我问的是地点!”回避了云浅雪咄咄逼人的目光,卡兰轻声说:“在往塔伦城的道上。”“就我们自个?”“还有羽林军。”“你怎么能调动他们的?”“你晕倒了不能理事,我就接手指挥权。然后我就告诉团队长们,陛下有军令,差遣我们到塔伦城执行紧急任务。”“这个谎撒得太假了!”云浅雪怒吼道:“不可能有人相信的!这分明是临阵逃脱!大家不可能看不出来!”卡兰皇子耸耸肩膀,摊开手:“没有一个团队长反对,大家都很高兴地服从了命令。”“怎么可能!”“你可以自己看,事实摆在眼前,整个羽林军都和我们一起走了。”云浅雪睁大了眼睛,呆呆地望着窗外行进的羽林军兵马,什么也说不出来。卡兰亲热地揽住他肩头:“云,不要再一厢情愿了。没人愿意为父皇殉葬。他疯了,我们没必要把大好的生命陪他一起葬送在这里,不是吗?回国以后,我登基后,你就是我的护国大将军,我俩好好开创一番事业,我绝对不会亏待你的,呵呵!”云浅雪转过头来,冷冷地盯着卡兰,对方那张微笑的英俊脸蛋此刻却显得那么令人憎恶。察觉到他目光中的凶狠,卡兰向后靠了一些:“怎么了?”云浅雪冷冷说:“我很想一拳打塌你的鼻子!”吃惊地跳后一步,卡兰连忙举手虚挡在面前:“别!云,我们是斯文人,你要报复就打屁股好了,别打我的脸。”没有理会他,云浅雪扬声喊道:“停车!”马车停住了,云浅雪推门跳下了马车,双脚踏上坚实的大地,他头脑一阵眩晕。被卡兰暗算那拳的后遗症还没有过去,后脑还隐隐作疼。一队羽林军骑兵经过,云浅雪向带队的百人队长说:“把你的战马给我。”百人队长立即下马,将缰绳交给云浅雪。云浅雪翻身上马,这时,卡兰从马车里探头出来叫道:“云,你要去哪里?”云浅雪冷冷说:“到该去的地方。”一抽马鞭,逆着羽林军队列行进的方向,战马向来路奔跑起来,云浅雪听到身后传来了卡兰皇子的喊声:“云,我在塔伦城等你!我们在那会合,记得过来!”虽然听到了,但云浅雪根本没把皇子的话放在心上,这时他一心一意想的只有战局。他心头藏着极大的恐惧:卡兰皇子突然把羽林军从阵地带走,神族大军是否已崩溃了?云浅雪急马回到战场上时已是晚上八点多了,呈现在他面前的是一片混乱而惊恐的景象。一片喧嚣,烈火烧红了夜幕的天际,纷乱的人群,喧嚷的叫喊,谁都看不清谁了。溃败的兵马不断地从云浅雪身边冲过,云浅雪甚至来不及看清他们的旗帜和服装。正如云浅雪所担心的那样,羽林军的撤退不但在流风军面前敞开了阵地,更沉重地打击了魔族军士气。羽林军历来是护卫皇室的亲卫军团,云浅雪本人也是王国数一数二的大将,知道他们都跑了,沮丧和被背叛的愤怒溢满了心头,很多部队发生了骚乱,血流满面的魔族官兵拒绝作战,他们愤怒地把武器砸在地上,叫道:“大伙都死了吧,还打什么?”有些地方,军官不得不杀掉了动摇得最厉害的一些士兵。连塞内亚族战士,魔神皇最忠诚、最坚定的捍卫者们也开始惊慌失措,那是魔族王国彻底崩溃的一个信号。这是魔族王国的最后关头了,魔族军团在各个方面遭到四面突击。流风霜从背后猛攻叶尔马,紫川秀则正面阻挡了叶尔马,裴玛被击溃,云浅雪被击退,凌步虚在努力支撑,他一个军团竟然要阻挡文河、斯特林和蒙那三路大军的围攻。晚上八点钟时候,魔族军中路已被英木兰突破,萧元占领了魔神皇原来的驻地魔王坡,与斯特林的主力会师,费加则从侧后突破,切断了魔族中军与左翼的联系。这时候,魔族大军已经不复作为一个整体而存在了。魔族各个军团不得不为了自己的生存而与四面八方涌来占绝对优势的人类军团浴血奋战。最艰难的苦战依然是在中路。由于羽林军的突然撤退,凌步虚的各个团队被从缺口处滚滚涌来的斯特林大军给打得支离破碎。作为军团长,凌步虚失去了和他所有团队的联系,血战到最后,他守着一面大旗,身边仅剩不到十名卫兵。文河喊话招降他:“凌步虚将军,投降吧,你和我们人类没有血债,可以活命!”凌步虚回喊道:“狗屎!”七八四年十二月十三日,晚上八时,西南大将凌步虚公爵战死。一个小时后,魔族军团长裴玛公爵被俘。先前,裴玛曾从阵地上逃跑,但当他清醒过来后,他痛哭流涕。一直以来,他都以为自己是个坚强、不怕死的勇士,直到生死关头,他才突然明白,自己原来是个胆小怕死的懦夫,这个打击对他来说实在巨大。他想回到原部队继续指挥,但十一军垮掉了。他想到云浅雪的军中去,但找不到云浅雪的指挥部——他还不知道云浅雪和卡兰已经撤离了。此时,战场上已经乱成一团,人类的各路大军齐头并进,魔族军彻底崩溃,溃逃的官兵纷乱如潮,人嚷马嘶,谁都顾不上谁了。这个失去了自己军队的将军徘徊在这片混乱中,逆着人潮前进,失魂落魄。到后来,他遇到了一群十一军的溃兵,命令他们跟着他走,他们据守在一个小山冈上顽抗。一队流风家骑兵从这边路过,只放了一通箭,于是溃兵们一哄而散,只剩裴玛一个人。此时,裴玛已不再是为什么希望和胜利而战,他纯粹是求死。他举着长剑疯狂地大叫:“我是王国公爵,我是军团长!来啊,来啊!杀了我,给我光荣一死!”可是流风家的骑兵只当他是疯子,风一般地从他身边掠过。魔族军大溃,追击正是时候,流风家军功赏赐最为丰厚,谁也不想为了个疯子耽误了杀敌立功。接着开过来的是斯特林麾下的各个步兵团队,人类步兵却以为这个外貌与人类一般无二的魔族皇族是人类——魔族要不战死,要不逃跑了,怎么可能还留在这大喊大叫呢?——就在这种惯性思维的作用下,他们也避开了这个大叫大喊的疯子。裴玛又舞又叫,直到嗓子沙哑,再也发不出声来。他放声大哭,泪如雨下,却没能发出哭声。人类军队一队队潮水般从他身边涌过,却没人停下来给他一剑。直到斯特林统领骑着马从这边经过,看到那边有个手舞足蹈的人,问:“这人是哪个部队的?他是疯子吗?”警卫们上前查看,直到这时,人们才察觉到裴玛的身上的服饰与人类截然不同,注意到他帽子上凌乱的金黄色的羽毛。一片惊呼声:“他是塞内亚皇族!是魔族的贵族!”斯特林策马近前,用魔族语喝道:“我是东南军统领斯特林!你是谁?”听到斯特林的名字,就如被一盆冷水迎头浇下,裴玛从疯狂的状况中清醒过来。他眯起眼睛,打量着眼前这个一手扼杀了魔族希望的人类。用沙哑得几乎不似人声的声音,他咬牙切齿地回答:“王国十一军军长,裴玛!斯特林,决斗吧!你我只有一个能活下来!”他挥着长剑就向斯特林扑来,势若颠虎。对这个败将的举动,斯特林只是报以怜悯的目光。没等裴玛扑出两步,斯特林的卫士一拥而上,毫不费力地将裴玛手中长剑打飞,将他按倒在地上。“你这败将,还想跟我们大人决斗?你不是做梦吧?!”卫士们发出欢快的笑声,象打一条狗一般毫不怜悯地用枪杆将裴玛痛打。裴玛被打得发出阵阵惨叫,脸上青筋毕露。听着那惨叫,斯特林默默地想,胜负真是只有一线之差。若及时赶到的不是流风霜而卡顿的话,那现在象条野狗般被按在地上痛打的人该是自己而不是裴玛了吧?第266章帝国的黄昏人类欢歌。

步、骑混合的魔族近卫旅源源不断地从在巴丹城左侧的山麓林中开出来,隆隆蹄声和脚步响彻山麓,兵马掀起一阵黄色的尘雾,黑色的阵头和飞舞的旗帜在漫天的尘雾中若隐若现。“启禀大人,魔族部队向我阵地全面进攻!”“我看到了,而且看得比你清楚!”紫川秀没好气地说。他实在难以理解魔神皇的想法,放着进攻最凶猛的文河不对付,也不理睬猛攻魔王坡的斯特林,偏偏找上缩在一边的自己——莫非自己踩过魔神皇的尾巴吗?他问传令兵:“斯特林怎么说?”“斯特林大人说,中军兵力很吃紧。他没办法把重甲骑兵抽调给我们。”“还有呢?”“远东军务必坚持到日落。当文河将军会击溃敌十一军后,中军就能腾出手增援我们。”“坚持?魔神皇调了第三军和整个近卫旅攻打我们,斯特林就给我们坚持两个字吗?”将军们站在紫川秀身旁,神情紧张。谁也没料到,在面临文河集团和中央集团强大压力的时候,魔神皇竟有这样的魄力,把手中最强悍的力量调来对付远东军。罗杰飞步走近,远远就叫道:“大人,敌人逼近了,是装甲兽军团!撤吗?”他知道紫川秀的作战风格,远东军最第264章帝国的黄昏喋血高地。

两个小时后,卡尼侯爵回到了东南军司令部,他带来了魔神皇的答复:“可以将十六军团交还人类。”——事情果然被紫川秀料中了,相比于整个神族大军的存亡,几个人类叛徒的性命实在微不足道,魔神皇没必要为他们误了跟人类的谈判。这次,斯特林要忙着整军备战,没时间来陪他聊天了。他派了几个参谋来陪信使谈,这让卡路很是迷惑不解,怎么只过了两个小时,人类对待自己的待遇就大相径庭了?午饭过后,紫川秀走进了房间,直截了当地告诉使者,对于魔神皇的谈判条件,紫川家族感到无法接受。听了紫川秀的回答,使者的表情颇为丰富。他先是困惑地摇摇脑袋,象是不敢相信所听到的回答。等他确认听到的回答后,他用一种很委屈、象是受到了伤害的口气问紫川秀,紫川家到底想要什么?难道神族和神皇陛下表现得还不够诚意吗?难道紫川家到底看不出,再打下去,只有大家一同进地狱吗?“阁下,“紫川秀打断了他的陈述,他平静地说:“第二轮攻击部队已进入阵地了。您现在离开还来得及。”中午一点,几乎在魔族使者仓惶地离开东南军司令部的同时,战斗又一次打响了,人类再次发动了进攻。半天的休息时间可以恢复士兵的体力,却不足恢复他们斗志和士气。人类方面还好些,他们还有预备队,可以轮番作战。但魔族的底子早就光了。激战之后,士兵们都在战壕和帐篷里睡觉休息,被突然攻上来的人类打了个措手不及,来自奥斯行省的步兵密集地冲入了魔族的阵地,午睡中被惊醒的魔族官兵惊叫着赤手空拳地从战壕里冲出来,被大批地斩杀。“什么?”被部下叫醒的云浅雪又是惊怒又是好笑:“我们在光天化日里被人类偷袭成功了!”团队长支支吾吾地说:“老实说,也不算偷袭。。。他们是大摇大摆地冲杀过来了,只是部队都睡着了,被打得措手不及。。。”“休息不安排哨兵吗?”“连哨兵都睡着了。大家累得要死,听说陛下又和人类开始谈判了,于是都松弛下来了,谁都料不到三个小时,人类马上就攻上来了。。。”“别废话了!”云浅雪匆匆把制服披上,起身出了帐篷。刚刚从午睡中醒来,被正午的日头照下来,云浅雪眼前一黑,头昏目眩。中军营所处是一片高地,但被帐篷前的树木所遮盖,云浅雪没法看清整个战场。巨大的音量如风暴一般扑面而来,云浅雪什么也听不到,但旋即,他能分辩出其中滴答的马蹄声、马嘶声和人类战士呼喝声、魔族兵马的“瓦格拉”声。他侧耳倾听着,觉得右翼传来的交战声更为响亮,传来亲兵们:“你们去观察,看看人类在哪个方向主攻。还有,我军各个部队情况如何?友邻部队情况如何?迅速查探清楚,然后回报于我。我在近卫团的指挥部,你们可到那找我。”亲兵们齐齐领命而去,云浅雪这才跨步上马。近卫团指挥官亲自给他领路,走出了树林,于是战场的局势一览无遗。正前方的远方,整个战场场面如画卷一般地展开,站在高处看整个战场,有一种云雾中的感觉。那些正在奔跑、厮杀、流血、呻吟的士兵们,在远方看,只剩下了一些跳跃的黑点。虽然身处混乱,但塞内亚魔族兵良好的战斗素质在此时发挥了作用,三五个士兵们自发地聚在一起,组成一个又一个小阵。数百上千个小阵构成了团队的防线,而数十个团队一字摆开的,战线如长蛇一般蜿蜒不绝,望都望不到尽头。只一眼,云浅雪立即察觉到了危险,防御摆得太开,阵线太单薄了。这种长蛇阵,人类很容易就可以在某个地段实现突破的。自己手上连一个团的预备队都没有,没法对阵地上的缺口实施堵截。身后传来了马蹄声,云浅雪转身,骑在战马上的凌步虚正朝他疾驰而来。西南大将在马背上冲羽林将军匆匆行了个礼,云浅雪连忙回礼。“将军,你那如何?”“不好。”凌步虚皱着眉头,他正要说话,云浅雪打断了他:“将军,能否给我抽出三个团——”看凌步虚的脸色,他连忙改口说:“两个团!我急需要两个团做预备队,准备与人类打反突击!将军,形势很危险,你那还能抽出部队吗?”凌步虚转头,猎鹰般锐利的目光望向战场。他简单地说:“不能。”“将军,战线一旦被突破,我们都完蛋!这不是吝啬兵力保存实力的时候!”“跟我来。”凌步虚伸手牵过云浅雪战马的缰绳,领着云浅雪向树林后走。云浅雪不住地叫:“去哪里?去哪里?”可凌步虚绝口不答,只是固执地牵着缰绳。云浅雪的卫兵们跟在后面,不知所措。从西北方出了树林,凌步虚遥指指着前方数里外遥遥的大片森林。云浅雪摸不着头脑:“干什么?”“看。”西南大将的话永远是那么的言简意赅。云浅雪疑惑地搭起了眼帘,因为那片丛林距离实在太远了,即使以他良好的眼力也只能看到一片茫茫的绿意,森林的轮廓如同云雾一般隐现。云浅雪扫了一眼,没看到什么异样的东西,他疑惑地看了凌步虚一眼,若不是西南大将历来信誉良好,他真要以为他在开自己玩笑了。凌步虚抬手指去,顺着他手指的方向,云浅雪望去。突然,他一震,揉了揉眼睛,叫道:“那是什么?”在森林的边缘,有一些小点。这些小点的颜色与森林颜色并不一致,好象是活动着的。云浅雪仔细再看,没错,那确实是一些在活动的小点。“那是树木?还是人?”“人。”“什么人?是十六纵队的人?还是当地的农民在观战?”“我问过马维,他说不是他的人。”凌步虚和云浅雪对视一眼,都在对方眼里发现了深深的恐惧。再次打眼帘观察了一阵,云浅雪发现那些小点并没有向战场方向接近,这使得他稍微好受了些:“他们好象停在那不动了?在干什么?”凌步虚淡淡地一挑眉头,表示他也不清楚。“将军,我马上往那个方向派斥候侦察。我希望不是,但若真是我们想象的那样。。。我们必须早做准备。”凌步虚点头:“我部在此设防。”他严峻地望云浅雪一眼,后者立即领会严肃的西南大将没说出口的话了:“以掩护我军撤退。”正面的战斗进行得如火如荼,因为战事的残酷,两军的阵线都大为缩水了,右翼的裴玛军团甚至不能维持其阵线,不得不向中央的云浅雪和凌步虚军团靠拢,最后紧缩在云浅雪军团的右边成为一个大方阵。因为要防御的地方少了,人员密集,处于内线作战的魔族阵地显得巩固了许多,云浅雪一下显得兵力充足起来了。他甚至有余力从羽林军中抽出两个团出来对进攻的文河军团打了一次漂亮的反击,魔族步兵凶狠地挥着刺枪将攻进阵地的人类骑兵打得狼狈地退出。强弩之末的东南军士气被鼓起来了,但却不能持久。文河挥舞着刀剑在前线亲自督战,一连砍倒了几个溃退的部队长官,但士兵们实在太疲倦了。在接近一半的伤亡代价下,视死如归的勇士并不多。斯特林的意志非常坚决,但部队长官执行得都比较敷衍,最勇敢、最坚决的士兵在先前的战斗中都死得差不多了,剩下的多半是些老油条和兵混子,跟魔族稍一接战就退下来了。东南军进攻在下午三点左右就陷入停顿了,进攻的人类士兵如潮水般退了下去,云浅雪还没来得及松一口气,却见一员骑兵以不怕跑死马的速度飞一般的向指挥营扑来。卫队立即上前拦住他们,喝道:“来者何人?擅闯中军营,不怕杀头吗?”领头的骑兵狼狈地滚下马鞍,脱下头盔,于是云浅雪认出他是自己派出的侦察队长。他满面尘土和惊惶,磕磕跌跌地往前跑,却被地上的石头绊了一跤,狼狈地趴倒在地,惹得大营的警戒士兵都哄笑起来了。但很快地,他们笑不出声来了,侦察队长抬起头,凄厉得不似人声的嗓子撕裂空气般惊叫:“示警!示警!大军来了!红潮来了!”云浅雪霍然站起,脸色铁青。此时,西边的地平线上,出现了第一线明晃晃的刺枪闪光。红色的小点汇集成线,密集地向前推进。七八四年十二月十三日,下午三点钟,流风军出现在战场上。流风军团从森林和丛林中现身,以严整的战斗阵容向前推进。走在前面的是展开阵势的三十一个轻骑兵联队,那是流风家的菁华,大多是流风家最强悍最有经验的老兵组成,骑兵们以密集的队列缓步推进,神色森严,身子随着战马的前进而有节奏地微微晃动着。紧跟着骑兵阵的是步兵军团,黑压压的步兵队列犹如森林般一眼望不到尽头,后队还在源源不断地涌出。各联队队长身披华丽的甲盔,举着旗帜在前方为本队向导。传令兵快马奔驰于各队之间,一身红色的斗篷在身后细细飞舞,就象快速掠过天际的流星尾巴,响亮的命令声响彻各阵:“压稳阵脚,保持队列!”“保持速度!”“前队~缓步~!”军阵威严如山,浩荡似海。与流风霜军团一同出现的,还有明辉所部的紫川家西北军。他比流风霜早抵达战场两个钟头,凌步虚发现的小点就是他的兵马。昨天黄昏时候,西北联军强渡了泛着薄冰的瓦涅河,进军巴丹战场,昼夜行军八十里,于清晨九点抵达战场侧后的森林。就在魔神皇与人类谈判时,明辉已在那整顿好了兵马。但作为前锋,他的兵力太弱,不敢单独进入战场,只能催促流风霜一同进兵,流风霜的回答是:“兵马在休整。”直到下午三点,在森林中按兵不动观战的流风家将领们得到流风霜的明确指示:“是时候了,得给斯特林喘口气了!”不到半个小时内,十字军前营指挥使蒙那少将、国防二十八军军长萧元中将、国防二十七军长费加中将、十字军中营指挥使英木兰少将纷纷把部队从森林中拉出来,在魔族军的后方大摇大摆地展开队列。此次来援的西北联军包括了流风霜军团和紫川家西北军团的主力,兵马多达二十五万之众。流风家军阵浩荡,步骑统统赤红,整个军阵俨如红色的海洋,从森林中不断地流淌出来。“流风军到了!流风军到了!”红色的军队抵达,给巴丹战场带来了最大的震荡,不亚于一场八级地震。战局陡然发生变化。听闻流风军出现,魔神皇失手把杯子掉到了地上。望着地平线上源源涌出的军队,望着那山一般闪亮的刀枪剑阵,那飘扬在空中的一面又一面红色霜字旗,他被一种沉重的、极为可怕的预感压得喘不过气来。足足有十分钟时间,魔神皇一句话也说不出来,幕僚们紧闭着口,指挥帐笼罩在一片压抑、沉重的静寂中。“王国完了。”这是所有人心中没出口的一句话。魔神皇与斯特林拉锯了一天一夜没分出胜负的战局,却在流风霜抵达后迅速急转直下。首先与流风军接触的是留驻后方大营的魔族十六军团,稍一接阵,十六军团就如沙子组成的堡垒一般迅速崩溃、瓦解。大势已明,叛军士兵并没有为异族政权殉葬的意思,而且比起原来背叛过的紫川家,向流风家投诚看起来似乎是他们最好的出路了。蒙那将军率领的一个轻骑大队刚刚抵达,叛军们纷纷抛下武器,大部分人就地跪倒投降了,小部分军官和头目则骑马逃跑了。军心士气如此低落,马维连稍微维持一下的努力都没有做,他直截了当地骑上马往魔王坡逃。为了阻挡流风军的前进,魔族并不是没做任何努力。凌步虚紧急从东南军作战的阵线重抽调了五个团回头设防,但就连他本人都对这次阻击不抱任何信心。流风霜出击的时机选择得太好了,魔族军无论是士气还是体力都堕落到了最低点,仓促组成的防线挡不住流风霜宽广的进击面,对于凌步虚部下那些疲惫不堪的魔族步兵,蒙那根本无视,庞大的骑兵队绕开了那道仓促组建的防线,从战线右翼划了一个大弧线,最后猛然冲进了裴玛的军中。本来就被文河打得支撑不住的裴玛军团腹背受敌,终于彻底垮了下来。在迅若雷霆的流风家骑兵前,魔族兵惊叫着四处逃散,土崩瓦解。紧接着,汹涌的骑兵潮水般向云浅雪军团涌来,同时,眼见援军抵达而士气大振的东南军再次发动了进攻。下午五点钟时,蒙那所率领的骑兵部队已在击溃裴玛军团后与文河所部会师了,断绝魔族军向右翼逃窜的可能。魔族军接连不断地遭到来自四面八方的打击,他们连喘口气的时间都没有。东南军的铁甲骑兵冲阵、流风霜的赤色轻骑如一阵暴风般卷过,飞箭、长枪、砍刀、马刀、半兽人的狼牙棒,砍得魔族粉身碎骨,尸积如山。魔族十一军阵地一片慌乱。塞内亚兵骁勇,但毕竟还是想活命。谁都知道,大势已去。到处都是脸色惨白的魔族兵惊惶地四处张望,企图为自己寻得一条逃生的道路。很多魔族军官都在慌乱地脱掉自己的厚实的军官铠甲和别着彩色羽毛的军帽,匆忙从死人堆里拣那些染血的普通士兵制服给自己穿上,这样逃命时候方便点。流风霜军团在战场上出现后,卡兰皇子第一时间就扑到了云浅雪跟前,一个劲地催促他撤兵。“再不走就来不及了!快跑吧,流风霜要断我们后路了!”“殿下,您是真不懂还是装不懂?没有命令敢撤兵,你再得宠,陛下也要砍我们头的!”卡兰怒吼道:“云,你没长眼睛吗?现在还说什么陛下!王国完蛋了,父皇完蛋了!再不走,流风霜和斯特林就要把我们抓了扒皮!你没看吗,马维的十六军垮了,裴玛的十一军也垮了,他溜了!”“什么!”听闻裴玛逃跑的消息,犹如一个晴天霹雳打在云浅雪头上,他耳朵嗡嗡作响,以同样的声量回吼卡兰:“殿下,这不可能!我知道裴玛,他不可能这样做!”“云,你睁大眼睛自己看!除了羽林军,现在还有哪支部队在抵抗!你派人去十一军的阵地看看,看看还有没有人在守!”云浅雪不敢相信,不敢相信自己的好友,那个豪迈、勇敢的贵族将领裴玛会逃跑。但他不知道,在平常时候,人往往能表现出人性中较好的一面,他会显得优雅、大方,游刃有余。但在危急时刻,当恐惧和压力大到他不能承受的地步时,人就露出他的怯弱和弱点来。裴玛也是如此,昼夜不眠不休的战斗压垮了他的意志和判断力。当流风霜的骑兵朝着他指挥部冲来时,被这支生力部队的声威所慑,裴玛失去了理智,不顾所有幕僚和亲卫的阻拦,他几乎是抢过一匹战马,自个逃出了指挥部。得知主帅临阵溃逃,本来就疲惫不堪士气低落的十一军被流风霜一击击溃。不必派人去查探了,出帐篷就可以看见了,溃败的十一军士卒逃得满山遍野,黑压压的一片朝这边涌来。云浅雪铁青着脸下令羽林军对逃过来的十一军士卒放箭,命令他们重新走上战场。于是可怜的溃兵被羽林军的刀枪和流风霜的铁骑夹在中间,进退不能,跑去又跑来,惊慌失措,被大片大片地砍杀,哭号惨叫声震天,溃兵们已经兴不起反抗的念头了,遇刀刀下死,碰剑剑底亡,那种狼狈和凄凉,完全不似曾纵横大陆、征服过半个紫川家和整个远东的无敌劲旅。看到十一军溃败的凄惨情形,卡兰脸都白了,他更加起劲地催促云浅雪快快撤退,不然就真的来不及了。但云浅雪却还在迟疑,王国还存有最后的希望,十五军团没有参加会战,近二十多万魔族官兵还留驻达克城。虽然目前局势极端不妙,但若十五军能及时赶到的话,必能对战局产生极大的变动,王国还是有希望的。但下午六点钟左右,一队兵马自西奔来,宣告了魔族军最后希望的破灭。他们带来消息,遭到帝都军的围攻两日后,慑于帝林的可怕威名,经七个小部族长协商,十五军军团长雷豹公爵决定向人类的帝都军团投降。但雷豹公爵还是留了点情面的,他没有把十五军中塞内亚族的监军使送给人类宰刀,而是在投降前把他们全部礼送出城,放他们回去向魔神皇报信。“皇子殿下,羽林将军,帝林大军得城后并没有据守,而是挥师直扑巴丹而来!帝林兵力雄厚,其军中有可怕的强弓劲弩,其射程超过一般弓箭的两倍,更能连发,威力十分可怕!必须及早通知陛下,早做提防!”被雷豹放回来的监军使见到云浅雪就象见到亲人一般激动,一口气说了下去,却没注意到卡兰皇子和羽林将军阴郁的脸色。云浅雪缓缓点头:“知道了。陛下就在左翼,离这里大概有三里路。我派人给你带路。”监军使感谢地下去了,云浅雪和卡兰对视一眼,都看到了对方眼中的恐惧。“没有援军会来。”“帝林也正在朝这边赶来。”“阿云,”卡兰的神色少见地严肃:“这次是当真的了。我清楚父皇的性格,这次败得这么凄惨,他绝不可能下令撤退的。我们只有两条路,要么陪父皇一起殉葬,要么就得逃命了。”“毋宁死,不能逃。”云浅雪说得斩钉截铁:“殿下,我是统军大将,我对阵地负有责任,而您不是。殿下,我安排人马,送你从东南方出去。我留下来陪陛下战斗到最后!”“云,你根本不明白!”卡兰暴躁地说:“我自个逃出去,那丝毫不难!但丢下父皇自己逃生,回到王国我也难逃一死,卡顿不会放过我的!他随便安排个罪名都能把我给搞死。但带着羽林军回去,有这支强军保护我,卡顿就对我无可奈何了!”“说什么都不可以!羽林军一撤,王国大军就全面崩溃了!”“王国输定了,即使羽林军死守到最后也改变不了败局的!”“起码,”云浅雪忧郁地说:“敌人不是从我的阵地上突破的。即使死,九泉之下见到陛下,我问心无愧。陛下对我恩重如山,将我提拔为亲军长官,又将唯一爱女许配给我,这是最后关键时候,我不能离陛下而去。皇子殿下,您的命令,我一向言听计从,但这次,恕末将不能从命了。若要离开就请抓紧,我会为您准备好快马和卫队。”卡兰皇子脸色变幻,沉默良久,他用一种古怪的声调说:“云,你的心意我明白了。既然如此,那我就陪你坚持到最后吧。”不明白卡兰皇子为何突然改变了心意,但云浅雪还是很高兴:“谢谢,殿下!我们一同到前线去,会合凌步虚大人,大家一起商量,看看还有些什么法子。”“嗯,你带路吧。”云浅雪转身,正要跨步出帐篷,突然背后风声响动,他还没来得及转身,只听到“砰”一声闷响。云浅雪艰难地转过头来,留在视膜里的最后景象,是卡兰皇子那张惊惶的脸。“殿下,你!”眼前一黑,云浅雪整个人向前扑倒,已昏了过去。云浅雪不知道自己在昏迷中躺了多长时间,他感觉好象并不长,似乎连五分钟都不到。只是身下连续不断的摇晃把他给晃醒了,他醒过来时,首先感到的就是一片寂静,面前有一个熟悉的脸孔,正在关切地望着他。卡兰皇子。看到云浅雪醒来,皇子很露出如释重负的表情:“好啦,终于醒过来了!我还一直担心下手太重,把你打坏了呢!老妹非得找我拼命不可。”云浅雪摸了摸脑袋,脑子依然里是一片嗡嗡作响。他慢慢地坐起身来,发现自己是在一辆马车里面,车子正有节奏地晃动着前进。从马车窗口望出去,可以看到大队的羽林军士兵行进在马车的周围,部队行进在郁郁葱葱的树林之间,残阳在森林上露出了最后的余晖。“现在是什么时候了?”“晚上七点多。你昏过去大概一个钟头吧。”“我们在哪里?”“在马车上。”“废话!我问的是地点!”回避了云浅雪咄咄逼人的目光,卡兰轻声说:“在往塔伦城的道上。”“就我们自个?”“还有羽林军。”“你怎么能调动他们的?”“你晕倒了不能理事,我就接手指挥权。然后我就告诉团队长们,陛下有军令,差遣我们到塔伦城执行紧急任务。”“这个谎撒得太假了!”云浅雪怒吼道:“不可能有人相信的!这分明是临阵逃脱!大家不可能看不出来!”卡兰皇子耸耸肩膀,摊开手:“没有一个团队长反对,大家都很高兴地服从了命令。”“怎么可能!”“你可以自己看,事实摆在眼前,整个羽林军都和我们一起走了。”云浅雪睁大了眼睛,呆呆地望着窗外行进的羽林军兵马,什么也说不出来。卡兰亲热地揽住他肩头:“云,不要再一厢情愿了。没人愿意为父皇殉葬。他疯了,我们没必要把大好的生命陪他一起葬送在这里,不是吗?回国以后,我登基后,你就是我的护国大将军,我俩好好开创一番事业,我绝对不会亏待你的,呵呵!”云浅雪转过头来,冷冷地盯着卡兰,对方那张微笑的英俊脸蛋此刻却显得那么令人憎恶。察觉到他目光中的凶狠,卡兰向后靠了一些:“怎么了?”云浅雪冷冷说:“我很想一拳打塌你的鼻子!”吃惊地跳后一步,卡兰连忙举手虚挡在面前:“别!云,我们是斯文人,你要报复就打屁股好了,别打我的脸。”没有理会他,云浅雪扬声喊道:“停车!”马车停住了,云浅雪推门跳下了马车,双脚踏上坚实的大地,他头脑一阵眩晕。被卡兰暗算那拳的后遗症还没有过去,后脑还隐隐作疼。一队羽林军骑兵经过,云浅雪向带队的百人队长说:“把你的战马给我。”百人队长立即下马,将缰绳交给云浅雪。云浅雪翻身上马,这时,卡兰从马车里探头出来叫道:“云,你要去哪里?”云浅雪冷冷说:“到该去的地方。”一抽马鞭,逆着羽林军队列行进的方向,战马向来路奔跑起来,云浅雪听到身后传来了卡兰皇子的喊声:“云,我在塔伦城等你!我们在那会合,记得过来!”虽然听到了,但云浅雪根本没把皇子的话放在心上,这时他一心一意想的只有战局。他心头藏着极大的恐惧:卡兰皇子突然把羽林军从阵地带走,神族大军是否已崩溃了?云浅雪急马回到战场上时已是晚上八点多了,呈现在他面前的是一片混乱而惊恐的景象。一片喧嚣,烈火烧红了夜幕的天际,纷乱的人群,喧嚷的叫喊,谁都看不清谁了。溃败的兵马不断地从云浅雪身边冲过,云浅雪甚至来不及看清他们的旗帜和服装。正如云浅雪所担心的那样,羽林军的撤退不但在流风军面前敞开了阵地,更沉重地打击了魔族军士气。羽林军历来是护卫皇室的亲卫军团,云浅雪本人也是王国数一数二的大将,知道他们都跑了,沮丧和被背叛的愤怒溢满了心头,很多部队发生了骚乱,血流满面的魔族官兵拒绝作战,他们愤怒地把武器砸在地上,叫道:“大伙都死了吧,还打什么?”有些地方,军官不得不杀掉了动摇得最厉害的一些士兵。连塞内亚族战士,魔神皇最忠诚、最坚定的捍卫者们也开始惊慌失措,那是魔族王国彻底崩溃的一个信号。这是魔族王国的最后关头了,魔族军团在各个方面遭到四面突击。流风霜从背后猛攻叶尔马,紫川秀则正面阻挡了叶尔马,裴玛被击溃,云浅雪被击退,凌步虚在努力支撑,他一个军团竟然要阻挡文河、斯特林和蒙那三路大军的围攻。晚上八点钟时候,魔族军中路已被英木兰突破,萧元占领了魔神皇原来的驻地魔王坡,与斯特林的主力会师,费加则从侧后突破,切断了魔族中军与左翼的联系。这时候,魔族大军已经不复作为一个整体而存在了。魔族各个军团不得不为了自己的生存而与四面八方涌来占绝对优势的人类军团浴血奋战。最艰难的苦战依然是在中路。由于羽林军的突然撤退,凌步虚的各个团队被从缺口处滚滚涌来的斯特林大军给打得支离破碎。作为军团长,凌步虚失去了和他所有团队的联系,血战到最后,他守着一面大旗,身边仅剩不到十名卫兵。文河喊话招降他:“凌步虚将军,投降吧,你和我们人类没有血债,可以活命!”凌步虚回喊道:“狗屎!”七八四年十二月十三日,晚上八时,西南大将凌步虚公爵战死。一个小时后,魔族军团长裴玛公爵被俘。先前,裴玛曾从阵地上逃跑,但当他清醒过来后,他痛哭流涕。一直以来,他都以为自己是个坚强、不怕死的勇士,直到生死关头,他才突然明白,自己原来是个胆小怕死的懦夫,这个打击对他来说实在巨大。他想回到原部队继续指挥,但十一军垮掉了。他想到云浅雪的军中去,但找不到云浅雪的指挥部——他还不知道云浅雪和卡兰已经撤离了。此时,战场上已经乱成一团,人类的各路大军齐头并进,魔族军彻底崩溃,溃逃的官兵纷乱如潮,人嚷马嘶,谁都顾不上谁了。这个失去了自己军队的将军徘徊在这片混乱中,逆着人潮前进,失魂落魄。到后来,他遇到了一群十一军的溃兵,命令他们跟着他走,他们据守在一个小山冈上顽抗。一队流风家骑兵从这边路过,只放了一通箭,于是溃兵们一哄而散,只剩裴玛一个人。此时,裴玛已不再是为什么希望和胜利而战,他纯粹是求死。他举着长剑疯狂地大叫:“我是王国公爵,我是军团长!来啊,来啊!杀了我,给我光荣一死!”可是流风家的骑兵只当他是疯子,风一般地从他身边掠过。魔族军大溃,追击正是时候,流风家军功赏赐最为丰厚,谁也不想为了个疯子耽误了杀敌立功。接着开过来的是斯特林麾下的各个步兵团队,人类步兵却以为这个外貌与人类一般无二的魔族皇族是人类——魔族要不战死,要不逃跑了,怎么可能还留在这大喊大叫呢?——就在这种惯性思维的作用下,他们也避开了这个大叫大喊的疯子。裴玛又舞又叫,直到嗓子沙哑,再也发不出声来。他放声大哭,泪如雨下,却没能发出哭声。人类军队一队队潮水般从他身边涌过,却没人停下来给他一剑。直到斯特林统领骑着马从这边经过,看到那边有个手舞足蹈的人,问:“这人是哪个部队的?他是疯子吗?”警卫们上前查看,直到这时,人们才察觉到裴玛的身上的服饰与人类截然不同,注意到他帽子上凌乱的金黄色的羽毛。一片惊呼声:“他是塞内亚皇族!是魔族的贵族!”斯特林策马近前,用魔族语喝道:“我是东南军统领斯特林!你是谁?”听到斯特林的名字,就如被一盆冷水迎头浇下,裴玛从疯狂的状况中清醒过来。他眯起眼睛,打量着眼前这个一手扼杀了魔族希望的人类。用沙哑得几乎不似人声的声音,他咬牙切齿地回答:“王国十一军军长,裴玛!斯特林,决斗吧!你我只有一个能活下来!”他挥着长剑就向斯特林扑来,势若颠虎。对这个败将的举动,斯特林只是报以怜悯的目光。没等裴玛扑出两步,斯特林的卫士一拥而上,毫不费力地将裴玛手中长剑打飞,将他按倒在地上。“你这败将,还想跟我们大人决斗?你不是做梦吧?!”卫士们发出欢快的笑声,象打一条狗一般毫不怜悯地用枪杆将裴玛痛打。裴玛被打得发出阵阵惨叫,脸上青筋毕露。听着那惨叫,斯特林默默地想,胜负真是只有一线之差。若及时赶到的不是流风霜而卡顿的话,那现在象条野狗般被按在地上痛打的人该是自己而不是裴玛了吧?第266章帝国的黄昏人类欢歌。

紫川秀立即被唤醒了。听着白川报告,他脸色越来越难看。自己下令诱杀魔神皇,这个结果也未免太难堪了。军阵被魔神皇杀了个穿透,秀字营损兵折将,却连魔神皇一根毛都没伤到。魔神皇真是强悍得可怕,没想到,连秀字营也没办法把他给截下来。唯一可告欣慰的是,魔神皇也没达到他的目标,自己安然无恙。回到中军指挥营时,紫川秀发现,中军营乱成一片,呼声四起:“统领大人死了!”“光明王阵亡了!”紫川秀愕然,转头问白川:“怎么回事?”“大人,魔神皇刚才冲杀了进来。为骗走他,我不得不高呼您阵亡了。失礼了。”“明白了。可你怎么骗走魔神皇呢?”犹豫一下,白川说:“古雷阁下自愿报名充当您的替身,我同意了。”“古雷当我的替身?”紫川秀急切地问:“他没事吧?”“请节哀,大人。古雷阁下已英勇殉国。”多年的军事生涯已把紫川秀的心灵锻炼得如钢铁般冷硬,但咋然听闻古雷的死讯,他还是抑止不住地热血上脑,眼前一黑,一阵眩晕,几乎站立不稳。白川连忙扶住了他,却被紫川秀一手甩开。他怒吼道:“你怎么能命令古雷这样干!你派他去送死!”对着紫川秀愤怒得要喷火的眼睛,白川没做任何回答。她没有解释当时情形的危急,也没有强调魔神皇令人恐怖的强大,更没有向紫川秀解释,古雷是自己申请执行这个任务的。她只是默默地低下了头,单膝跪下,长长的睫毛颤动着,眼里波光盈盈。紫川秀捂住了脸,却捂不住夺眶而出的眼泪。他哽咽地对白川说:“你起来吧。”“大人。。。”“我知道,这不是你的错。魔神皇太强,我们都没办法。”虽然极度悲痛,但紫川秀也清楚白川的良苦用心。若不是她骗走魔神皇,若不是她强行把自己架走——自己武功虽然比古雷强,但也未必能挡魔神皇的雷霆一剑。擦干了眼泪,他已恢复镇定:“走,我们到中军旗下的高台上,到全军都看得到的地方。”站在高台上,右手按刀,紫川秀高大的身影不怒而威。当看到紫川秀的那瞬间,中军营爆发出了一阵欢呼,士兵们欢呼雀跃:“统领大人依然活着!”站在高台上,紫川秀冷峻的声音传遍了中军的每一个角落:“向全军公告,我安然无恙。再有敢传播谣言的,立即斩杀!”参谋部倾巢动员,所有参谋和传令兵都被派了出去,信使举着小旗向前沿部队一路疾奔,高呼声此起彼落:“统领大人平安无事!”、“魔神皇已被击退!”“坚守岗位,听候命令!”当快马信使一路奔来,喊出那声“统领平安无恙”时,整个远东军都如释重负地松了口气,值得庆贺的是,紫川秀阵亡的消息还没传到最前阵,还没引起前沿部队的恐慌。重新接手指挥权后,紫川秀望望头顶被乌云遮盖着的太阳,日头阴蔓,惨白的阳光无力地照在北风呼啸的战场上。这一天的时间过得特别漫长,从战斗开始的凌晨到如今,两军战死的人马都近十万计了。无数早上出发时还活奔乱跳的鲜活生命,此刻他们都静静地躺在冰冷的冬天原野上。但这一天,才只是刚刚过去了一半而已。在这半天时间里,人类军战死了三个红衣旗本,十七个旗本、三十一个副旗本;魔族军也失去了三十一个白披风,多年来不曾亲自出手的魔神皇亲身杀入敌阵,取了远东军首领紫川秀首级。时间,才刚刚是下午三点二十。直到此刻,魔族高层还没没有察觉,被魔神皇干掉的紫川秀是个假货。他们只是不解,在失去首领之后,为什么远东军依然能保持如此旺盛的斗志?不过在他们看来,那不过是远东指挥部封锁紫川秀的阵亡消息罢了,不过是回光返照的冲动,不能持久。魔神皇很乐观地向雷欧和叶尔马宣称:“他们支撑不到天黑了!”魔神皇对未来抱乐观态度,但他的部下可没他老人家这么坚定的信心了。远东军能否坚持到天黑还是个未知数,但裴玛知道,自己是肯定支持不下去了。文河攻打得越来越急,连续向神皇派去了六、七拨求援信使,得来的只有一句答复:“再坚持一个钟头!”皇帝的一个小时,自然和平常人的一个小时是大不相同的。裴玛从中午十二点挺到下午四点,哀嚎得嗓子都哑了,神皇许诺已久的增援终于施然登场了。看到这支期盼已久的增援部队,裴玛差点没被气掉鼻子:魔神皇舍不得从中军和右翼抽调塞内亚族兵马,他派来的增援是由马维率领的十六军团!当马维带部队扑到左翼战场时,士兵们都被眼前的景象吓得呆了。本来是青色和褐色的土地上,现在已经看不出土壤的颜色了,所见之处,都是一片血红。尸骸已经堆满了平原、荒漠和山坡,双方的伤兵在尸骸堆中发出凄惨的呼救声,濒临死亡的重伤人恹恹一息地呻吟着,但声音被淹没在那震耳欲聋的交战声里了。就在这尸山血海之上,活人踩着死人的尸骸和鲜血,仍在厮杀和拼杀。军鼓一通通地震响,一支又一支新部队从森林里出现,沉默地走向那厮杀血场。不论是人类还是魔族,只要还能活动,统统拿起兵器在死命地厮杀,田野和平原上血流成河,鲜血已经流得连土壤都吸收不下了,开始汇成小河向外面流淌。“即使地狱的修罗斗场也不会有这样可怕的景象!”叛军士兵惊骇道:“到这种地步了,他们还在打个不停!他们还是人吗?”十六军团到来给左翼的战斗造成了相当的影响。当他们突然出现时,东南军还以为是帝都的增援提前到达了,疲惫交加的人类官兵兴奋得把帽子都丢上了天空,欢呼声雷动。但当十六军部队在魔族阵地上以战斗队列展开向文河军逼近时,所有的欢呼声顿时哑了。企盼已久的援军居然是敌人!这个事实与希望落差实在太大了,人类军阵中一时出现了混乱。文河大声呼喝道:“弟兄们,看到了吗?来的是魔族的十六军,是那个卖国贼马维的狗腿子们!还记得半年前的奥斯战役吗?谁让我们功败垂成?谁害死了我们那么多弟兄?我们连塞内亚魔族都不怕,难道我们还怕他们的走狗不成?”回应他的,是一片愤怒地喧嚣:“干掉叛徒们!”对于那些在背后出卖自己的叛徒,人类对他们的仇恨甚至更深于魔族。被文河这样大声鼓劲,左翼的东南军以更加凶猛的势头猛扑上前。看到那些穿着魔族军装的人类,东南军将士们气得咬牙切齿,杀得加倍起劲。凭良心说,十六军的表现并没有如魔族嘲笑的那样被“一击即溃”,为打好这场仗,马维也是下了血本的。他骑着战马在阵前来回奔走呼叫,在队列前抛洒大袋大袋的金币来招募敢死队勇士,许诺升官封赏,但是,无论他怎么努力,这支部队始终是缺少一种冲劲和悍不畏死的勇敢,那是胜利军队所必须具备的。而文河的部下们,那些为自己祖国和民族所战斗的士兵们,却充分地具有这种冲劲,骑兵们穿着被打碎的铠甲,浑身是血,举着破损的武器,如疯如狂地朝着叛军队列中冲杀而来,叛军和魔族只能倚靠密集的阵列用长矛来逼退人类骑兵的进攻,却缺少与之对攻的勇气和气魄。裴玛原以为可以凭借十六军的增援把文河一举击溃,但现在,不知是东南军凶不可挡,还是这些人类叛军本来就打得不起劲,裴玛期待已久的援军并没有给战局带来转机,反倒是激怒了人类兵马,文河军团步步逼近,进攻的势头一浪高过一浪,将裴玛和马维压得都喘不过气来,叛军部队到来的作用仅仅是将十一军覆灭的时间向后推移了。下午六时左右,紫川秀与魔神皇的战斗还是没分出胜负。远东军防御的主阵地是山麓下的一个无名小村,惨烈的拉锯战已经持续了三个小时了。装甲兽分成四个五千人队轮番进攻。遭遇魔族的装甲兽,秀字营并不处劣势。装甲兽的缺点和它们的优点一般同样明显:它们的速度太慢,行动也太迟钝了。它们跟不上秀字营的敏捷,往往秀字营士兵连砍了四、五刀,装甲兽才能反应过来做第一下遮挡;等它们慢腾腾地举起棒子呢,秀字营士兵却早往它心窝捅了好几枪了。若在平时,这些打击不过是在为装甲兽挠痒痒罢了,但在内家高手全力灌注了真气的刀刃面前,装甲兽那身坚韧的硬皮被切豆腐般切开,每一下打击都是见血到肉的。缓慢的速度,庞大的身躯,这使装甲兽成了最好的靶子。开始时候,秀字营宰杀装甲兽,轻松得象宰猪。但问题是,装甲兽实在太多了!秀字营战士尽管武艺高强,但面对这一波又一波不间断杀来的白色怪物,内力急速地消耗,没法休息也没法恢复,当体力和内力都被消耗得差不多时候,正如魔神皇所期待的那样,伤亡开始在秀字营中大量地出现了。五点钟左右,天空下起了小雨,冒着雾丝般细雨,秀字营就和魔族装甲兽在无名村前的泥泞的水田里摸滚打爬。每一次进攻,水田里都要多上数百上千具尸体,战士躺倒在刚刚收割完的白花花大地里,鲜血浸得引水的沟渠都变成了深红色。但谁也没料到的是,四个五千人队的装甲兽轮番进攻,依然没能拿下那无名村庄。这下,不但叶尔马惊骇难当,就连魔神皇也感到不可思议了。对面的人类,他们究竟是些怎样的人?魔神皇无法想象,一支失去了指挥官的部队竟有如此的毅力,能在装甲兽面前支持足足三个小时。此时,魔神皇对自己的战绩动摇了,他对雷欧说:“朕很怀疑,紫川秀是否真的死了。”雷欧看过魔神皇带回的首级,虽然他见过紫川秀本人,但时间过了四年,那个血肉模糊的首级实在太难分辨了,他没把握确认这是不是紫川秀本人。看着魔神皇冒着那么大风险冲入敌人阵中带了这个脑袋出来,他也不好意思泼冷水告诉魔神皇:“陛下您很可能杀错了。。。”于是在一片歌颂魔神皇神勇无敌的赞美声中,近卫公爵聪明地选择了沉默。他回答魔神皇道:“陛下,紫川秀此人一向出人意料而且诡计多端。若他用了替身,微臣是不奇怪的。”“雷欧卿,说实话,朕杀的那人,你觉得象紫川秀吗?”“微臣惶恐,实在不是很有把握。”听出了雷欧的言下之意,魔神皇长叹一声:“果然,朕也觉得得手得太轻易了,以紫川秀的名声,他的武功不应如此差劲。难怪对面的远东军如此顽强,没有崩溃迹象。”魔神皇连连摇头,懊悔不已。若有可能,他是很想再杀进去一次的,但上次厮杀耗尽了他的内力,想再次出手,他并无此能力。“陛下,依微臣的看法,即使对面的远东军还能支撑,他们也不过是强弩之末了。只要再给我们两个钟头,我们一定能拿下这个阵地!”“即使拿下阵地,但若紫川秀没死,那击溃远东军绝非易事,裴玛和马维未必能坚持到那个时候。”看看太阳渐渐靠近了西边的地平线,魔神皇不禁有些烦躁:“朕恨不得杀掉叶尔马!这厮谎报,不但误了朕,也误了整个王国!”“陛下,大战正烈,阵前斩将并非吉兆。”“朕知道!但此战一过,朕绝对不会放过他!此人倚老卖老,误朕不少!”雷欧默然。虽然身为同僚,但他对叶尔马并没有多少好感,他并不打算为他辩解。事实上,在魔族军中,对那个傲慢、呆板又夸夸其谈的老将有好感的,几乎一个也没有。天色一直是阴沉的,带着蒙蒙小雨。直到了黄昏,太阳才出来露了一小会脸,无力地向撒满鲜血的大地散布最后的光芒。当最后一丝残阳消失在地平线上时,天空黑了下来。夜晚的到来给疲惫交加的魔族一丝希望。激战了一天,人类总要歇息的吧?他们总要吃饭和睡觉的吧?战斗是一种高强度的激烈运动,体力和精力消耗程度都是惊人的。一天的战斗,无论人类和魔族都挺不住。夜战是魔族的强项,人类不会不知道这点。但令魔族失望了,人类确实是休息停战了,但却只有短暂的两个小时。晚上九点多,在战线中部和右翼的魔族兵又看到了满山遍野的火把疾扑而来!“人类居然敢与我们夜战?”接到报告的魔神皇先是吃惊,随后又是释然。既然人类都敢从阵地里出来和魔族大打野战了,那再在夜晚挑战魔族的强项也不是什么奇事。他唯一奇怪的是人类为什么如此迫不及待,连一夜的时间都等不得?其实斯特林也是有不得已的苦衷。奥斯总督胡新、维纳里总督内依特还有驻安卡拉的远东军副统领林冰都紧急派了信使向他示警报告,侦察发现在东南行省各部出现大规模的魔族军团,正急速向巴丹方向前进。前锋已抵达了巴特利行省首府周边。这支魔族军团进军极速,他们一路不攻城、不掠地,只是急速猛走,一心一意朝着巴丹主战场方向靠拢。而留守各地的人类军队兵力寡弱,也没能力阻止他们的前进。这支魔族军团的数目极庞大,旌旗漫野。林冰率兵跟踪其后,据她的观察,目前光是记录的团队旗帜就不下六十面,估计全军起码不下八十个团队。卡顿来得好快!这是斯特林接到报告后的第一个想法。他暗暗庆幸,明羽的信使来得足够快,给自己多了一天一夜的准备时间。趁着两个小时的休息时间,前线指挥官们一窝蜂地拥回了中央军参谋部,冲斯特林要粮要增援要补给。对着军官们的抱怨,斯特林的答复只有一个:“增援没有!吃完饭休息半个小时,继续进攻!”师团长们眼泪都下来了:“大人,再打下去我们就全光了!”“大人,给十一师留点种子吧!”但当斯特林把那份报告一读,所有人都哑了声。“卡顿亲王距离我们不到三百里了,骑兵急驰,这不过两天的路程!若不能在此之前击溃魔族军,干掉魔神皇,那我们先前的牺牲就都成了白费。更可怕的是,若被魔神皇父子前后夹击,我们都得死无葬身。诸位,现在你们还有什么话吗?”沉寂半个小时后,战场上重又开打。人类主要是在中间和右翼发动进攻,而魔族则咬着牙在左翼对着紫川秀猛击,立志要先击溃远东军。两方都是竭尽全力,但打击的力度却是越来越弱。天空阴沉沉,下着蒙蒙小雨。星星都看不到。罗杰象条被打断了脊梁的赖皮狗一般趴在一汪血泊里,好久都没动弹。两个士兵从他身边走过,其中一个用脚踢踢他:“好象是挂了?”“看样子是个军官。说不定有油水。”另外一个士兵蹲下身,探手去摸罗杰的口袋,刚触到衣裳,罗杰突然坐了起来,把这两个士兵吓得齐声尖叫:“啊!”“两个混球,”罗杰有气无力地问道:“现在几点了?”一个士兵报告:“晚上十一点,长官。”罗杰只感觉嗓子嘶哑,喉咙里干得象是有一把火在烧。他抖抖腰间的行军水壶,却是空荡荡的。他睁大了疲惫的眼睛张望四周,整个村子都在燃烧,稀稀拉拉的房屋和树木都被火焰吞噬了。在火光背景下,村子中活动着一些黯淡的身影,但更多的人却都是或躺或坐在地上的。“有水吗?”没人回答。罗杰回头再看,却发现那两个士兵早已偷偷溜走了。他苦笑着,就着火光,他在地上摸索着,一连搜了五具尸体,才终于找到一个有水的行军壶,一口气半壶水灌进喉咙里,尽管水已微微发酸了,但那股浸彻心肺的清凉却让罗杰周身清爽。他感觉生机和力量重又回到了自己身上,支撑着慢慢站了起来,身体象绑了半吨铅一般沉重。他扬声叫道:“还有多少人活着的?有没有?应个声!”“都死了~”废墟和火光中传回了一片有气无力的喊声。罗杰笑了,一屁股坐了下来,感觉屁股下软软的,坐到装甲兽的尸体上了。他也没力气再站起来了,颤抖着手点燃了手中的香烟,猛吸一口,然后大声叫道:“弟兄们,看来这次大伙真要为国捐躯,放心,圣灵殿有我们的席位。”“滚!你当官的死光了老子都没事呢!”“爷爷我号称不死鸟,圣灵殿留着罗杰大人您自个蹲吧!”士兵们叫骂得厉害,但却有气无力的,刚才的激战已经透支了大家的精力。“秀字营,集合!”火光中,人影晃动。远远近近的,一些幽灵般的身影蹒跚着出现。士兵们参差不齐地排成了一行,接着第二行,第三行,第四行。。。真是奇怪,每次打退魔族的进攻,看着阵地上满地的尸首,罗杰总有种错觉,象是人都死光了,只剩下自己和零散的三两个兵,再也顶不住一次进攻了。但是现在,各个阵地上幸存的士兵重新集合,就如那孱弱的溪流汇成了彭湃的大河,看到那越来越长的队伍,看到那些血污满面却依然闪亮的眼睛,看到那些疲惫不堪却仍旧站得笔直的身影,那些被砍削得破破烂烂的盔甲,那些砍得出了缺口的刀刃和折断的长剑,罗杰陡然又产生了信心,力量重又充满了他的身体,拳头陡然攥紧。他的声音低沉,却蕴含着一股力量感:“弟兄们,增援还没到,看来统领大人那里也碰到了麻烦,我们得靠自己坚持到天亮了。弟兄们,有没有问题?”“有~~”“问题很大条,老子没力气了~~”“要求加班费~~”“还要两个美*********阳怪气声的从队伍里四处响起,引起了一阵哄笑声。罗杰也笑,这就是秀字营的风格,若要这群痞子象斯特林一样一般正经地立正宣誓:“愿为家族服务!”那他准会怀疑太阳从西边出来了。“加班费有的是,金山银海,都放在帝都那好好地等我们去拿呢!总长说了,只要我们能坚持到天亮,发的银子足够大伙用到龟孙子那辈的!统领爷也给我们准备了好多好多美女,每人发六个,足够咱哥们从周一快活到周六的。。。”有人在队列里喊:“那周日呢?”“你还当自己有魔神皇那么猛啊!总得有个休息的时间吧?”哄堂大笑,又渴又累的士兵们笑得都站不住了。发问的士兵一边笑一边大口地咳嗽,咳出来的血都染红了胸口的衣襟,但他自己看不见,他的同伴们仿佛也看不到,大伙笑得那么开心,那么从容,笑容里没有丝毫的忧虑和担忧,就象一群孩子。罗杰笑着说:“放心,银子和美女大把有,但大伙得活着回来领!谁若回不来,你的银子我就帮你花了,你的美女我也帮你安慰了!”“滚!”“杀了这兔崽子!他比魔族还可恶!”远处传来了沉重的踏地声,笑声嘎然而止。罗杰心头一颤,装甲兽又上来了。他环视左右,一个接一个地望过眼前的士兵们。士兵们歪着身子,斜着眼回望着罗杰,一时间,谁都没有出声。罗杰清清嗓子:“总之,大伙要活着回来。拜托了!”回应他的是一阵激烈的吵闹:“放心!不回来岂不是让银子和美女都被你吞了!”在史书上关于巴丹会战的记载部分,特别提到了远东军主阵地,那个无名村庄的战事。在这夜,魔族发起进攻五千装甲兽以上的进攻八次,均被打退。魔神皇惊骇道:‘就算这个村子是铁铸的也被被我们打穿了!守在那里的,真的是人类吗?’中午时投入战斗的五千秀字营,当第二天太阳升起时,存活者不到一千人。无一人投降,无一人逃跑。以前的那个无名村,打那起却有了个新的名字:‘喋血高地’。但论起战斗之惨烈,喋血高地还算不上首位。远东军仅仅只是守,但在东南军主攻方向,斯特林亲领的步骑集团作为进攻方,必须付出更大的代价。四个先锋铁甲师被打得全军覆没,先头进入战场六个步兵师也被打残了,战场上,被打死的人类官兵尸首堆了近一米高,象是在平原上起了一个蜿蜒的城墙,后续部队被堵住了没办法进军。而为了消灭中央军的先头部队,魔族中路指挥官云浅雪同样地伤亡惨重,那天黎明到来时,本有八万士兵的羽林军幸存不到四万人。当黎明到来时,无论是人类也好,魔族也好,都没有力量来发动新的攻势了。两军很多士兵甚至都是在激战的战场枕着尸首睡着了。看着太阳渐渐升起,斯特林统领终于下令,军队停止进攻。事实上,仗打到这个地步,事实已经很明显了,东南、远东联军和魔神皇的军团是势均力敌,谁也奈何不了谁。经过一天一夜的流血,两军都已经衰弱到危险的地步。这种情况下,继续进攻的一方要付出更大的牺牲,有先崩溃的危险。而同时地,魔神皇也和斯特林得出同样的结论。为击溃远东军这个目标,魔族军已经投入太多的牺牲和力量。现在看来,且不说这个目标能否实现,即使打垮远东军了,伤亡惨重的近卫旅也没有余力进行对东南军主力的侧翼打击了,这样消耗战的僵局对人数较少的魔族不利。黎明时分,信使们一个接一个赶到魔王坡,向魔神皇报告了各军的损耗。裴玛甚至丢下军队,亲自跑来见魔神皇。他很坦率地告诉魔神皇,部队伤亡太大,打不下去了。“陛下,第十一军的三十五个团队中有十五个团队被人类彻底打光了,只剩下一面军旗。六个团队被打死过半,三个团队已经彻底溃散了,还有四个团,开战前我安排在左翼的,现在都联系不上了,我甚至不知道他们是被人类歼灭了还是逃跑了。。。”裴玛说得滔滔不绝,眼中饱含着泪水:“陛下,再打下去,我们撑不住了。”在尊敬的魔神皇面前表现出怯弱和动摇,这令他感到十分羞耻。魔神皇陷入沉思。他恬静的脸容映衬着远方连绵起复的群山,仿佛一副轮廓分明的黑白画。他的手上拿着一张白纸,那是参谋们汇总的伤亡数字,那巨大的红字令人震惊。就在这一天一夜的战斗中,五十三个魔族团队已经从王国军队序列中永远地消失了,另外还有三十一个团队被打得失去了战斗力。在巴丹地区聚集了王国所有的军队,战前,谁都以为这场野战会以神族干脆利索的胜利而告终,谁也没料到这一仗打得如此艰难,牺牲会如此恐怖。在这场会战中,人类表现出了令人尊敬的战斗力,意志坚决,不惧牺牲,在与魔族的对攻中甚至还占了上风。两军竭尽全力对攻,最后打了个平手,这个结果令得魔族高层感到极大震撼,但两军不同的是,魔神皇已率领王国的全部军队了,而他面对的仅仅是人类的两个军团。魔神皇不愿意承认,但却不得不面对这个事实:王国的武装力量已经衰弱到了危险的地步。这样的军队,还能再坚持一场战争吗?魔神皇低沉地说:“命令全线停战。裴玛,你想办法跟人类那边联系,就说我们想谈判。”上午八点钟,一个举着白旗的魔族向人类方走来,转达了魔神皇的意思。这个讯息在东南军司令部引起了极大的震动。那个目空一切的魔族至尊,居然低下了他高傲的头颅,要和人类谈判?来不及召集各集团的司令,斯特林统领先会见了使者。“陛下说了,两军先停战。停战以后,神族将退出所有占领紫川家的土地。”“瓦仑要塞呢?”魔族使者慢条斯理地说:“瓦仑要塞也是紫川家土地,自然也还给你们。”斯特林立即说:“那好。请贵国皇帝立即给瓦仑总督发去命令,让他将要塞移交给我远东军副统领林冰大人。她率军就在瓦仑要塞附近。”“要塞自然会还你们,但那要在我们神族大军撤出瓦仑关以后。”“那不可能!”斯特林统领正要一口拒绝,从司令部大门匆匆进来的远东军统领紫川秀急忙一口接了上去:“起码还得把所有的俘虏还给我们。”斯特林愕然。魔族残酷无情,抓到的人类官兵和平民,凡是不肯屈服的,一律屠杀。肯屈服的,就加入十六军团。所以,魔族军中的人类俘虏并不是很多,特意要回他们意义并不是很大。但他知道紫川秀机智,不会做无谓的事,也不出声,看紫川秀怎么说。赶来的紫川秀满头大汗,不等卫兵给他加椅子,他自个就从墙边端了把椅子到谈判桌边坐下。以不容置疑的口吻,他说:“所有被魔族抓去的人类官兵和平民都必须交还我们,要谈判,这就是我们人类的条件。”望了紫川秀一眼,魔族使者向斯特林投了个疑惑的眼神,斯特林统领镇定地说:“这是远东的紫川统领,他的话就是我的话。”再看了紫川秀一眼,确认这个满头大汗,脸色苍白的年轻人就是能跟魔神皇抗衡一天一夜的传奇将领,使者脸上多了分尊敬。他说:“若谈判可成,俘虏自然会还给你们——不过在我军中,人类俘虏数目应该不会很多。”“不不,”紫川秀连连摆手:“你没弄明白我的意思:在魔族军中的所有人类,都必须交给我们——不管他是被俘还是以别的方式被弄到你们那去的!”使者和斯特林统领这才明白过来,使者叫道:“难道你是要我们把整个十六军团都交还你们吗?”“那是自然!”紫川秀一脸杀气:“那些背叛国家的败类,必须要得到应有的惩罚!首当其冲,马维就是一个!这个条件若不成,谈判那就不用说了,我们各自再点兵马来个你死我活吧!”使者皱着眉头不出声。在投诚以后,马维为了凸现自己对魔族的忠心,在各种场合都刻意强调了自己与紫川秀不共戴天的仇恨,所以,这个牵涉了美女皇储紫川宁、远东统领紫川秀和马维等风云人物外加三角恋情、叛变、刺杀外加灭门惨案等大批亮点的故事在魔族高层中流传甚广。关于紫川秀和马维之间的恩怨,他也是知道的。现在紫川秀提出要索取死敌马维,这个要求是很正常的。老实说,对于马维和十六军官兵的命运,使者并不是很关切,哪怕紫川家把他们全宰了下锅,使者也不会感到心疼。他只是顾忌,马维毕竟是陛下亲封的王国公爵,这样交还人类,陛下能不能答应?最后,使者还是叹了口气:“对不起,统领大人,这个条件陛下没有授权我答应。但从我个人来说,我觉得这不是什么问题。”紫川秀点头,很体谅的样子:“那就劳烦贵使再跑一趟,跟贵国陛下说一声了。希望他能怜悯两国将士,不要再让士兵们白白牺牲了。”“希望能如统领大人您所愿吧。这仗,确实不能再打了。我们只想回家。”在那一刻,魔族使节脸上出现了真切的悲痛。紫川秀心念一动:“请问阁下是?”“鲁莽了,还没对统领大人您做自我介绍。我是卡路侯爵,在陛下身边担任高级参谋官。”看到紫川秀探究的目光,白发双鬓的老皇族轻轻抹了下眼角的泪珠:“失礼了。我有两个儿子,一个二十一岁,在羽林军中任团队长;一个十九岁,在十一军中任军团掌旗官。”顿了一下,他轻声说:“在昨天下午和晚上,他们都战死了。”两位统领都沉默了。站在他们面前的,是一个满手血腥的侵略者头目,敌人的高级贵族,也是冷酷无情的敌方谈判代表。他的两个儿子是魔族的高级军官,自然也是凶狠的刽子手,死了那是大快人心。按理说,他们应该对这个顽冥不化老家伙的任何悲痛感到幸灾乐祸才好;或者,应该对他喝道:“这就是你们侵略人类的下场了!”可此刻,他们实在不忍。他们只看到了,在自己面前的是一个白发双鬓的老人在悲痛自己早逝的儿子。老年丧子,白发送黑发,那种无以言述的悲痛超越种族和国界,同样身为有情感的智慧种族,他们感同身受。看到他,他们就象看到了无数人类父母一般,在远方的天际下为传来的噩耗悲痛欲绝。斯特林庄重地说:“很难过听到这个消息。请节哀。”老人点头,轻声说:“谢谢。”泪水再也抑止不住了,从眼中滚滚落下。他起身,再次说声:“失礼了。”然后,他行了个礼,蹒跚着走出了东南军司令部的大门。斯特林望向紫川秀,不满地挑起了眉头。他困惑不解。这是人类和魔族最重大的一次谈判,紫川秀却因为和马维的事而耽搁了下来。这种因私废公的行为不象紫川秀一贯的作风。迎着斯特林责备的目光,紫川秀笑笑:“别这样看着我,我是故意的。”“你故意搞混这次谈判?”“这里距离魔王坡约有十五里,那个信使来回,即使骑马也得一个多小时,再加上汇报和魔神皇考虑的时间,我们很容易就能混来两三个小时。”“可我们要这两三个钟头能干什么呢?”“让部队歇息,恢复体力,全力备战。从现在到今晚,每一分钟对我们都是珍贵的,若不能在明天日出前击溃魔神皇军团,那我们就完蛋了!”斯特林一惊:“怎么说?”“卡顿快到了!”斯特林猛然站起:“在哪里?”“主力还没抵达,但一个小规模的先遣队企图混过我们防线向魔神皇报讯,结果被半兽人的巡逻队发觉了,被我们全歼了。从一个军官身上发现了卡顿写给魔神皇的信,信上报告说,卡顿亲王已抵达了塔伦城,距我们这只有一天半的路程。”“该死!”斯特林狠狠一拳砸在椅子上,将简陋的椅子一下子打了个粉碎:“卡顿来得太快了!数十万大军,他怎么可能这么快!?太反常了!”“若真是三十万大军,卡顿无论如何不可能在四五天里就跑到这来。来的估计只会是少部分骑兵团队——但不论多少,只要让魔神皇知道有三十万大军正在往这赶来,他肯定会鼓足信心跟我们再打,无论达成什么协议都是白费力气。现在我们不忙跟魔族决裂,先拖延时间,等部队做好战斗准备再说。”第265章帝国的黄昏奇兵突起密集的流风军长驱直入,将魔族军阵杀得落花流水。一片混乱,火光、厮杀声、逃命的叫唤,惨叫声,无数的厮杀声汇集成一片洪流,喧嚣直冲天际。“陛下!”近卫旅指挥雷欧公爵领着一队装甲兽来到魔神皇面前,他的眼睛凶狠得可怕,急速地说:“陛下,救救王国,也救救您自己吧!人类还没合围,现在撤退还来得及!”看了他一眼,魔神皇淡淡说:“我怎能离开?”“陛下,现在还来得及!我准备了好马,专门给陛下您和皇子殿下、公主殿下留着的。我和近卫旅为您掩护后路!陛下,您一路请多保重了!”魔神皇脸色阴沉地看着雷欧,好久,他才出声道:“因为朕的决断,王国发起了这次西征。现在,王国一半的将士都死在了这儿,难道朕还能离开吗?朕没有脸面回去见蒙汗那些人幸灾乐祸的嘴脸,也没有脸面回见王国的子民。”“父皇!”一个清脆的女声出来打断了魔神皇,卡丹公主从后帐中走出,她正要向魔神皇行屈膝礼,却被魔神皇打断了:“什么时候了,还那么多虚礼!”“是!父皇,胜败乃兵家常事,父皇您乃国之根本,只要您健在,王国就保住了根本。。。”卡丹正说得流畅,魔神皇却突然打断了她:“卡丹,有些事你不懂。有些人是只能胜,不能败的。一旦失败,他就什么也不是!”卡丹喊道:“父皇,为什么?自古哪有不打败仗的将军?眼前的斯特林,他不也在奥斯打了败仗?在帕依被迫和我们签了城下之盟?紫川秀,他不也不同样在红河湾被凌步虚将军打得落花流水?就连号称人类第一名将的流风霜,她不也同样被紫川秀打败过?”“可他们不是神皇。”魔神皇淡淡地一笑,笑容里带着说不出的骄傲和凄凉:“这世上,只有胜利的卡特皇帝,没有败的卡特。”看到卡丹还要说话,魔神皇摇手:“雷欧,你派人将公主带出包围圈,撤退回国——这是命令,不必再争。”雷欧立即执行。公主的卫队硬推着卡兰公主上了马车,护着她向南驰去。正向东的大道已被东南军和远东军和堵死了,流风霜从西北方斜斜地插了进来,其强势的兵马正急速地向战场外围展开包抄。魔族若要撤退,唯一的出路是在流风霜和东南军合围之前从东南方撤退。叶尔马军团长生气地嚷嚷道:“陛下!请下命令吧,云浅雪那鼠辈,居然敢临阵逃脱!微臣要去拦截羽林军,要让云浅雪那无耻小人知道王国愤怒的可怕!”雷欧望了他一眼,眼中流露鄙夷。叶尔马吹得好听,去拦截羽林军,他拿什么拦截?损兵折将的第三军只是勉强还能支撑在阵地上,只是因为对魔神皇的盲目信仰,士兵们还没开始大批地逃亡。叶尔马不可能不知道,他借口出兵拦截云浅雪,其实不过是想从魔神皇身边躲开好趁机逃跑罢了。魔神皇伫立在帐篷门口,映衬外面的喧嚣和吵嚷,魔神皇的沉默具有万钧的力量。雷欧明白神皇此时的心理:比起输掉这场注定要失败的战争,云浅雪的逃跑对神皇的打击更为沉重。自己一直欣赏和栽培的重臣竟是个贪生怕死的懦夫,这让神皇深感失落。“陛下!羽林将军求见!”“什么?”叶尔马惊叫。魔神皇霍然转身,脸露喜色:“宣他进来!”云浅雪大步行进。他态度端庄地向魔神皇下跪行礼,沉稳地说:“微臣参见陛下!”“时间紧迫,羽林卿请起。”“谢陛下。”“羽林卿,羽林军如今何在?情况如何?”“启禀陛下,在卡兰殿下率领下,羽林军所部正向东南塔伦城方向转进。微臣离开时,我部遭到流风军的追击,但前方并无拦截。”“有多少人马平安脱离包围圈了?”“情况很混乱,无法统计。羽林军约有十二个团能成建制地离开,不到三万人。但还有一些第五军和第十一军的弟兄加入我们队伍,估计有四万人能闯出包围圈。”魔神皇点头,低声说:“只有四万人了吗?入关时的百万之师,到如今只剩下了四万残兵败将?”“陛下,情况应该比微臣估计得要好。人类的包围圈太大,他们的兵力不足维持,必然会有很多空隙。能突围的兵马绝不会只有微臣一部。但据情报说,帝林已拿下了达克,也正朝这里赶来。若他一到,我们就。。。”云浅雪本想说:“插翅难飞。”但他还是换了个温和的说法:“更加困难了。”魔神皇点头,突然问:“云,你为什么回来了?”“微臣无能,不能阻止皇子殿下胡作非为,已是死罪,本就惶恐无地了。若再抛下陛下独自逃生,微臣实在做不出来。”魔神皇沉默了好久,才慢慢出声:“云浅雪,你很好。”“微臣实在愧不敢当。”眼见情况如此紧急,魔神皇和云浅雪却如此平和地对话,将宝贵的时间白白浪费,叶尔马听得心里冒火,插嘴道:“陛下,情况紧急,我们还是先想对策吧?”“叶尔马,放心,你有时间逃跑的。”魔神皇淡淡说道,转身大步出了营帐。雷欧鄙夷地看了叶尔马一眼,低沉地说:“公爵,你的胆怯就象屎一般散发着臭气!”跟在魔神皇的身后,他也出去了。叶尔马膛目结舌地呆在原地,面红耳赤。大火在燃烧,天边一片火红,第三军和近卫旅的残余士兵集合在主营前。比起昨日出战前,士兵的阵列已经大为凋零,残余的士兵们身上带伤,疲倦,委顿,衣裳破烂。但他们眼睛中依然闪烁着那么一股傲气,那是一种不甘服输的愤怒,那是一种不敢相信眼前发生事实的眼神。十六军投降,铁壁军崩溃,羽林军逃亡,西南军被围歼——就在五个小时以前,以上的诸路军团都是不曾一败的强师劲旅,王国不败的象征,但就在他们的眼前,这些威名显赫的皇牌劲旅一个接一个被人类打垮、消灭。那些愚昧而单纯的魔族士兵,坚信魔族王国的强大是无可匹敌的,魔神皇的英明睿智是天生的,王国威力无穷的战争机器制造胜利就象土豆从地里长出来一般天经地义,就象太阳从东方升起一般自然而然。直到如今,成千上万的溃败士兵经过了他们阵地,他们亲眼见到那些哭喊着逃命的士兵与他们同样穿着塞内亚族的服饰,同样有着黄金族的血统战士向他们哭诉着战友如何被人类骑兵大批地屠杀的经历,眼见无敌的军团在自己眼前溃败,英勇的战士被追杀,塞内亚士兵们愤怒得胸口里象团着一团火,愤怒中又带着惶恐:难道,王国真的会失败吗?由魔神皇亲自指挥,有着那么多优秀将领,那么多骁勇战士组成的强大军团,真的会如此一败涂地吗?他们迫切地需要答案,现在,给他们答案的最佳人选出现了,魔神皇出现了!魔神皇出现在军队前面,依然神采飞扬,只是眼神中多了一种深沉的忧郁。他以严峻的眼神注视着众人:“士兵们,塞内亚的勇士们,我的孩子们,我们被打败了。”黑烟在远方冉冉升起,厮杀的声不断传来,死一般的沉寂笼罩在人群上空,没有人喊叫,没有人哭泣,士兵们只是呆呆地望着魔神皇。魔神皇就是他们的神,他们不败的信仰,他们永远照耀天空的太阳。现在,太阳熄灭了。魔神皇平静地说,那平静的声音中,蕴含着强大的力量:“从恒古以来,我们的民族一直在经受着烈狱般的苦难。饥荒,死地,战争,瘟疫,我们的国度是灾难与泪水之邦。我曾以为,我能带领你们走出这个灾难之地,结束这段沾满泪水与死亡的路程。但是,最终我们失败了。我的孩子们,你们英勇战斗,无愧于王国和亲人。因为朕的无能与鲁莽,王国蒙受了巨大的损失,你们付出了巨大的代价。朕愧对王国,更对不起那些为朕而战死的战士们。”对着面前士兵群,魔神皇弯下腰,深深地鞠了一个躬。一阵愕然的波动从人群中荡过,面对魔神皇史无前例的道歉,云浅雪、雷欧等将领们首先反应过来,连忙下跪回礼。紧接着是军官们,犹如大风吹过田野,士兵们如同被风吹倒的稻浪般一排排地跪倒。“失败并不是结束,苦难才刚刚开始。在军事上取得优势以后,人类必然谋求政治上统治我们,他们要掠夺我们的土地,奴役我们的人民,消灭我们的历史、文字和传统,谋求从根本上同化伟大的神族,将我们变成人类的附庸和走狗,让我们的子孙变成人类的雇佣军!士兵们,你们中有人战死,有人幸存。战死的人,朕将带领你们去觐见大魔神,告诉他,他的子民英勇奋战,无愧于王国威名。活下去的战士,你们有着更艰难而坚韧的任务,告诉我们的孩子真相,告诉他们,历史上曾有过这样的魔神王国,他的子民勤劳而坚韧,他的战士骁勇而忠诚,他的皇帝睿智而勇敢,国土幅员广阔,军队强大无比!在强大的魔神王国面前,所有的人类帝国都在颤抖!告诉我们的子孙,所有的人类宣传都是谎言,在团结一致的神族面前,看似强大的人类军队不过土鸡瓦狗,他们不可能永远统治神族!我们之所以失败,并非我们的战士不够勇敢,并非我们的将军不够优秀,唯一的原因,唯一的原因,是我们不够团结,卑鄙的叛徒出卖了我们的王国,而人类却能达成了空前的团结,我们遭遇了历史上最强大的人类军队。神族军队曾经无限接近胜利,虽然最终失败,但我们震撼大陆!士兵们,活下去,并且记住:想永久征服神族这样强悍的民族是不可能的,人类的统治绝不会长久,终有一天,我们的子孙会高举黄金大旗卷土重来!愿他们勇敢,愿他们坚强,愿他们有比我们更好的运气!让子孙们记住我的预言:当黄金狮子旗帜再次闪烁,我们的皇将再次出现!让他们世世代代牢记这句话:“魔神王国万岁!”“魔神王国万岁!”五万人同时呼喝应和,呼声犹如雷霆震撼,远远地回荡在大地上,压倒了远处传来的巨大战斗轰鸣声。主营前一直飘荡的王国黄金狮子旗被降下来了,看见这面旗帜冉冉落下,士兵们痛哭出声。无敌的黄金狮子旗,王国强大与辉煌的象征,终于也黯然谢幕了吗?魔神皇把柔软的丝绸旗帜折叠,递给云浅雪:“将这个交给卡兰。虽然朕这个孩子不是很成器,但这个时候,撑得起王国的也只有他了。”这不仅仅是转交一面旗帜,这更是将皇位传承给卡兰的象征。望着魔神皇英俊而和蔼的脸容,明白陛下已下定了死战于此的决心,喉头象梗着一块铁,云浅雪跪倒,他连一句完整的话都说不出来了:“陛下,请让雷欧大人承担此任务吧。请允许微臣跟随您一同战斗!”“雷欧和近卫旅走不快,会被人类骑兵追上的。云,时代已经不同了。未来的日子,王国更需要的是能审时度势、狡诈多智的政治家,雷欧这种单纯的武士发挥不了什么作用,与其让他在郁郁寡欢中落寞老死,不如让他最后辉煌一次吧。”“陛下!”云浅雪泪如雨下。他接过旗帜,小心地将它收入贴身的口袋,朝魔神皇重重磕了个头:“陛下放心,微臣一定将旗帜安全交到卡兰殿下手中!请陛下您保重!”魔神皇微笑道:“辅助好卡兰,告诉他,有事多听听他妹妹的。”这是云浅雪见到魔神皇的最后一面,魔神皇那明朗的笑容一直回荡在他的心中。这个雄伟绝世的绝世枭雄,一生无敌。即使他最后失败,但回忆起他,无论是敌人或者朋友,谁都不得不承认,他是黄金时代最恐怖,也是最伟大的战士。天色全黑下来了,惨烈的战斗却没有丝毫结束的迹象。在背后斯特林、文河和流风霜三个庞大的战斗集团压迫下,魔族已失去了战胜的任何奢望。魔神皇下令放弃一切辎重,撤退的魔族兵放火烧掉了自己的大营,目的是阻拦背后流风军的追击步伐。燃烧的大营燃起了冲天的火焰,照红了一方的天际,二十里外也看得见。就在通红火光的映照下,魔族军的突围战役打响了。在开路的装甲兽先导下,大群的魔族步兵、骑兵猛扑向远东军的阵地。这是最后的战斗了。装甲兽军团的巨大轰隆声再次响起的同时,紫川秀接到了东南军指挥部的严令:“远东军务必坚到增援抵达,绝不能放魔神皇逃脱!”一方是决意坚守,一方却是拼死逃生,那个最残酷的夜晚,喋血高地成了双方争夺的焦点,魔族军以截然不同以往的决死姿势猛扑上来,与防守高地的秀字营展开了肉搏战。因为在夜间,远程射击武器能发挥的作用很小,两军都只能依靠近身白刃战来厮杀。在夜间与急于逃生的装甲兽近身战斗,这是远东军的噩梦。血红的火光中,厮杀的人影不时闪烁,飞溅的鲜血,奔跑的身影突然地倒地,恐怖的呐喊不绝于耳,最后的勇士发出绝望的吼叫,在喋血高地阵地上,战死者的尸体在平地上垒起一座小山,仅仅半个小时的战斗,远东军就伤亡了五千多人,阵地指挥官罗杰本人被一棍敲得昏迷不醒,被部下抬下了阵地,他的部队被汹涌而来的装甲兽和魔族兵冲得溃不成军,阵地宣告失守。在那烈火漫天的激战夜晚,各处响起了激烈的锣声宣告示警。喋血高地的失守在远东军的阵地上撕开了一个大口子,从这个缺口上,魔族大军急速通过,仓惶逃生。远东军统帅部试图堵上这个缺口,白川和紫川秀带着增援部队想重新夺回喋血高地阵地,但这就好象用啤酒瓶来塞洪水冲垮的江坝一般,根本无济于事。三次反击都被魔族给打了回来,只遗下尸骸累累,装甲兽部队牢牢地控制住这个阵地,作为魔族大军后撤的通道。一次又一次反攻失败,到最后,紫川秀终于颓然地认识到,士气和体力都被严重削弱,如今正处于最低点的远东军是不可能拦得住急于逃生的魔族精锐部队的。“魔神皇军团已突破我防线,向东突围!急需增援!”向斯特林的求援信使派出去了,但在增援到来之前,紫川秀也没闲着。他发现,魔族军的行动虽然混乱,但却是有序可寻的。撤退的魔族兵马很明显地分成两部,一部分是第三军的普通魔族兵,在军官们的带领下,他们急速地小跑前进,不做丝毫停留;而另一部分是以装甲兽为主的近卫旅兵马,这部分兵马坠在大军的后面,利用各种地形就地抵抗,尽可能地阻碍人类兵马的追击。稍一思索,紫川秀立即明白过来:“因为跑不快,所以装甲兽们被留下来充当阻击的敢死队吗?”很自然地,他猜测魔神皇应该在第三军的撤退兵马中。他下令:“不要管那些装甲兽,他们跑不掉的!追第三军去,魔神皇就在前面!”在那兵荒马乱的混乱黑夜里,远东军的各层组织系统完全给打乱了,有的部队被打散,有的部队被消灭,大多数部队都是经历了惨重的减员和伤亡,被魔族冲得七零八落。要想顺当地把命令传达到各个部队,那几乎是件不可能完成的任务。紫川秀对身边的警卫们下令道:“喊吧,大声喊!让听到的部队都跟着喊:‘光明王有令:无论死活,抓到魔神皇的,赏金五百万!’”黑夜里,呼声此起彼落:“魔神皇就在前面!抓住他!”一传十,十传百,黑夜里,越来越多的部队加入了呼喝:“抓到魔神皇,赏金五百万!”呼声越来越大,最后简直是震耳欲聋。每个人都在狂热地呼喝着,眼睛赤红。这不单是为五百万的巨额悬赏激动,更因为呼声透出了一个重要的信息,透出了胜利的预兆!你看,光明王都对魔神皇悬赏了,那肯定是我们快赢了!尽管被魔族冲得七零八落,尽管伤亡惨重,尽管魔族的装甲兽还很嚣张,但胜利的狂喜给了士兵们无穷的动力,一切都乱套了,不顾什么队列阵形,凡是还能爬动的,还有一口气的,统统行动了起来。连在军队中服役的民夫和伙房里的厨子都拿起了扁担菜刀向东追过去。紫川秀本人亲自上第一线参加追击。他带着警卫队,将一路碰到上的散兵游勇都给集合起来。不论是秀字营还是半兽人兵,只要还能走动的,紫川秀对他只有一句话:“拿起武器跟我走!”在那漆黑的混乱中,紫川秀收拢了约莫五千多人。就带着这五千多人,他跟着撤退的魔族军一路追下去。谁也没料到,远东军的主帅竟有这般的胆色,带着一个多团就敢追踪魔神皇带领的装甲兽。在那黑暗的道上,追击的部队与逃跑魔族散兵们不时遭遇,交战接二连三。“不要管他们!只管向东!”紫川秀大吼道。此刻,他的脑子里只有一个念头,那就是必须赶到前面去,拦住魔神皇的去路。若让魔神皇跑了,连续三天的殊死战斗就失去了意义。全都乱套了。若有人能在上空俯视的话,他会发现这夜的混乱呈现极奇怪的状态。在向东的道路上,追击的人类兵马和魔族部队竟是混成一团前进的。魔族兵马急于逃生,人类部队则是一心一意想追上前面的魔神皇,不想与这些散兵游勇们纠缠。于是出现了极罕见的景象:行进中的魔族兵马和人类兵马你中有我,我中有你地混杂在了一起,居然相安无事。双方都在拼命地奔跑,人类想赶到前面去建立第二道拦截阵地,魔族则是想在人类再次包围之前逃逸,这个时候,时间就是生命!在突围时,第三军的魔族兵战斗得十分勇敢,为逃生,他们万众一心,还是作为一支完整的武装部队冲出去的。但就在那漆黑的奔逃道上,听到身后传来的震天呼声,恐惧感控制了魔族官兵的心头。紫川秀的快速穿插更是给魔族制造了无数的混乱和惊恐。黑夜里,惊恐的呼声此起彼伏:“人类追上来了!快逃命吧!”恐慌在撤退的魔族军中蔓延,对生命的渴望压倒了一切。在紫川秀近逼贴身的追击下,第三军井然有序的撤退变成了一次彻底的大溃败,建制被打散,官长的权威被蔑视,丢下了所有的伤员和辎重。溃兵们互相践踏,互相推挤,踩着死人和活人往前,大路、小路、桥梁、平原、山岗、山谷、树林都被溃兵塞满了,丢在路上的背包和武器撒了一地,没人去拣。魔族兵再不肯留下担任阻击的队伍,见到人类也不再攻击,生怕耽搁了逃生的时机。就在这漆黑混乱的夜晚,到处都乱了套。官长找不到士兵,士兵找不到指挥官。军队溃败犹如江河崩溃,一泻不可收拾。溃兵到处乱窜,连紫川秀所带领的追击部队都被冲散了,到后来,他身边就只剩了数百人,在数万人的魔族乱军中到处搜寻魔神皇的身影。每抓到一个魔族,紫川秀都用魔族语厉声疾色地喝问他:“快说,魔神皇在哪里?”不知那些魔族俘虏真不知道魔神皇下落还是因为忠君爱国,没有一个人说出魔神皇下落。紫川秀大为苦恼,在这数万人的军队中寻找魔神皇简直就象在大海里搜针。他都快有些绝望了,却突然看到斜斜里有一彪魔族骑兵经过,他们制服鲜亮,人高马大,显然是魔族兵中的精锐。在这混乱的夜晚,这队魔族骑兵却显出与众不同,进退之间,他们显得更有秩序和纪律。紫川秀眼前一亮:“就是他们了,上!”话音未落,他已第一个冲了上前,雷霆般一刀就把最前面的那个骑兵给砍下马来。后面的骑兵们发一声惊呼就要上来动手,但秀字营的行动更快,一窝蜂地冲了上来。骑兵若不能跑起来,胯下的坐骑反倒成了障碍。秀字营突然冲近身一抱,没等魔族兵把长矛和马刀出来,他们已先扑上去硬生生地把骑兵们从马背上扯了下来,大伙滚在地上厮打开来。这伙骑兵一边打一边哇啦怪叫着什么,紫川秀也听不懂,估计是向经过的魔族兵求救。但这时,大难临头,谁还顾得上别人的事。尽管魔族溃兵潮水般从身边跑过,但却没一个人停下脚步来给他们伸出援手的。事后想起来,连紫川秀自己也觉得顺利得意外:自己身边只带了那么几百人就敢在魔族溃兵中大摇大摆地抓人,那几千上万的魔族兵一旦清醒过来,不被他们撕了才怪!战斗没多久就结束了,几十个魔族骑兵被打死了一半。在秀字营士兵的刀剑威迫下,剩下的全部被缴了械,用皮带绑住双手盘膝坐在地上。紫川秀一个一个地望着他们,其中一个大个子的魔族老兵引起了他的注意。这个魔族老兵一身白毛,身形比普通魔族兵要高出一个头。尽管他竭力想把身形躲在其他魔族兵的身后,但那臃肿而庞大的身躯在矮小的魔族兵中实在是鹤立鸡群,想不引人注意都难。这个魔族老兵身着低级魔族兵的制服,但他的宽下巴脸型和傲慢的眼神却在告诉紫川秀,此人是惯于颐指气使的人物。“你,站起来!”用纯正的魔族语,紫川秀指着那个魔族兵喝道。老魔族磨蹭了一阵,最后才不情不愿地站了起来。他耷拉着脑袋望地上,不与紫川秀的眼光对视。望着他,紫川秀使劲地在脑海里搜寻:这个魔族看起来有点面熟?在哪里见过他了?良久,一个人影渐渐在脑海里浮现。那仿佛是很久远的故事了。七八零年深秋的那个夜晚,那血腥而惊险的一夜。那时候,此人是高高在上的军团长,王国贵族,自己不过是一员投诚的叛将。那晚,在这位王国贵族眼里,自己不会比一只爬虫高贵多少,他拿眼睛扫自己一眼都是莫大的恩惠了。谁能料到呢?世事竟能做如此大的颠倒。当年的卑微者已成为了征服者,而傲慢者却沦为阶下囚。紫川秀平静地说:“叶尔马公爵,好久不见了。”被紫川秀叫出了身份,叶尔马猛然抬起头。他望着紫川秀,眼神里充满了迷惑和恐惧。他不明白,为什么眼前的这位人类军官能一眼就叫出了自己的名字。多年前,他见过紫川秀一面。但在那个宴会上的紫川秀,与眼前这个周身铠甲血腥斑斑的敌将有很大的区别。他小声地咕嘟道:“你是谁?”紫川秀没时间和他废话,直截问道:“魔神皇在哪里?说出来!”叶尔马傲慢地抬起了头,一言不发。他那挑衅地冲着紫川秀昂起的下巴分明是无声地宣布:“我什么都知道,但我就是不说!”“好,很好!”紫川秀冷笑道:“塞内亚贵族,果然很有骨气。”他使个眼色,几个卫兵会意地冲上去,将叶尔马从俘虏群中拖出来,拖到路边的暗地里去。只听好一阵拳脚与肉体的激烈碰撞声和鬼哭狼嚎般的求救声,黑夜里,魔族俘虏们听得脸色发白。过了好一阵,卫兵们拖着叶尔马——那已经不能说是叶尔马了,只能说是一堆看起来很象叶尔马的肉——出来。军官跑到紫川秀身边小声报告:“启禀大人,他招供了。他说,魔神皇没有随第三军突围。他和近卫旅都留在包围圈里面了。”“什么!”紫川秀失声叫出来,他怀疑地看了一眼军官:“可靠吗?”军官也皱起了眉头,魔族的皇帝竟然没有突围而是自愿留下来断后,这个消息未免也太匪夷所思了。“要不,下官再好好地和他聊聊?”“算了。”紫川秀看看叶尔马,他被打得头破血流七窍流血,已快奄奄一息了。再让那军官跟他“好好地聊”下去,估计他就得一命呜呼了。“你另外找几个魔族兵出来,对一下他们的口供,看看是否一致。”审讯的结果很快出来了,除了几个死活不肯开口的死硬分子,魔族兵的招供惊人地一致:“魔神皇没有突围。他还在二号高地附近,与近卫旅在一道。”紫川秀眉头深锁,想了一阵,他做出了决定:“斯特林和流风霜的兵马正在扫荡近卫旅,我们回去作用不大。还是以防万一吧,万一叶尔马撒谎,或者他们都被魔神皇骗了呢?我们继续追!即使抓不到魔神皇,听叶尔马说,羽林云浅雪是和他们一起突围的,只是在途中失散了。这是条大鱼,我们抓他去!”紫川秀的追击直到第二天拂晓东方天色发白,此时,追击的兵马累得连手都抬不起来了,士兵们跑得脸色发白嘴唇发青,若不是顾忌身边的魔族俘虏造反,他们都要在死尸堆上倒下来便睡了。虽然劳累,但这晚的战果却是十分丰厚的,抓到的俘虏长长的一串,起码有四五千人之多。唯一遗憾的是,其中有分量的将领和贵族没几个。除了叶尔马外,只有几个子爵、伯爵之类的“白披风”,想抓的云浅雪没碰到,不知是这位羽林将军腿脚特别灵便还是黑夜里大伙在道上错过了。想想,紫川秀倒也没怎么遗憾。毕竟抓了一个叶尔马,自己已经够幸运了,还想再抓一个云浅雪,把塞内亚首领们给一网打尽,那也未免得陇望蜀了。回程的路上,道上到处堆满了丢弃的武器、尸体、燃烧的辎重车,满目苍夷。后续的步兵部队已经跟上来了,成群结队的远东半兽人兵正在战场各处搜巡,他们在打劫魔族的战利品,搜寻漏网的魔族官兵。虽然疲惫,官兵们却十分兴奋,一路吱吱喳喳说个不停。这晚他们的收获不小,抓俘与杀敌是同功,紫川秀出手大方,远东军功奖丰厚,抓了五千多俘虏,即使其中一半要算紫川秀本人的功劳——估计统领大人也没那么黑吧?——剩下的一半按人头分也有每人四五个俘虏的功劳了,这笔赏金可是不少。何况里面还有几个塞内亚贵族和军官呢?将来人类与魔族若停战了,那光靠这几个贵族的赎金就足够大伙吃喝不愁。紫川秀却没有部下的欢快心情,他眉头紧锁,一路搭拉着脑袋,一副心事沉沉的样子。有熟悉的部下故意逗他开心:“统领大人,是不是心疼奖金啦?”紫川秀笑笑:“兔崽子,看牢你的钱袋,别让他们跑了,没送到俘虏营的可不能算奖金。滚蛋吧!”部下嘻嘻哈哈一笑而散,紫川秀若有所思地张望四周,他在抑止着内心彭湃的激动。人类千年的苦难,终于在今天结束了!巴丹一战消灭近四十万魔族主力,魔族已无力回天了,此战可永载史册。巴丹会战的意义不单是军事上的,更是政治上的。三百年前倚靠明王的神力打退魔族兵,虽然也是胜利,但那样的胜利让人总让人觉得不真实,而魔族也不把人类当战胜者看待,而是把他们看作是躲避在明王羽翼下的寄生虫。这三百年间,魔族屡次西侵的原因就在此了。他们有心理上的优势,认为人类懦弱,不配拥有这块土地,自然好战了。但这次巴丹会战,不是靠明王的神威,不是靠虚无飘渺的神力,而是靠着普普通通的人类兵、半兽人兵真刀实枪地与魔族军白刃见血厮杀,实打实打出来的胜利,这场胜利打出了人类的威风,拿出来心里塌实!这一仗,足可为三百年前的蓝河会战洗耻,人类从此扬眉吐气。紫川秀唯一担心的是,魔神皇到底死了吗?迎面奔来了一队骑兵,紫川秀认出是自己麾下的半兽人骑兵部队,带头的领队正是德昆。他朝德昆挥挥手,后者看到了紫川秀,连忙朝这边奔来。“殿下!”德昆依然是纱布包着一只伤眼,身上血迹斑斑,连身上的毛发都被血浆凝住了,隔着老远就从他身上传来了一阵刺鼻的汗酸味,那味道太冲了,紫川秀只觉得鼻子一酸,一连打了三个喷嚏——连打了快三天的仗,谁都没功夫梳洗,紫川秀估计自己的模样和味道也好不到哪去。“殿下!”“德昆,你站在那,别过来。”紫川秀伸直了手连连摇晃,象是要从手心发出冲击波将德昆推在三尺之外,一手捂着鼻子,瓮声瓮气地说:“怎么?魔神皇抓到了吗?”德昆一愣:“殿下,是白川大人派我来接应您的。魔神皇,我不知道——不是您带兵马去追击魔神皇了吗?您怎么问起我来了?您抓到魔神皇了吗?”紫川秀这才发现,自己犯了一个错误。在追击魔族兵马的同时,自己居然忘记把魔神皇可能还在战场上的事告诉斯特林或者白川了。看紫川秀脸色变幻,德昆猜他肯定是空手而归了。他安慰道:“大人,魔神皇跑了就跑了,没什么大不了的。想想,魔神王国的皇帝象兔子一般被您在黑地里撵了一夜,那个狼狈肯定少不了的。魔神皇能从您面前逃跑一次,那他就坠了架子,将来他还会逃跑第二次、第三次的!没什么大不了的,逃了的魔神皇就一钱不值了,不足为惧了!”紫川秀也懒得跟他解释了,问:“主阵地那边怎样了?”“还在打!近卫旅还在负隅顽抗。第三军撤退后,近卫旅也想突围,但白川大人把他们咬得死死的,追在他们后面撵着尾巴打。近卫旅跑不快,没办法甩开白川大人,只好边打边走。后来文河大人过来了,斯特林那边的军团也开过来了,流风军那边的兵马也咬上来了——流风家的兵马真威风啊,高头大马,一式全是骑兵——眼看我们的人越来越多,近卫旅知道跑不掉了,干脆就找了个高坡团在那死守,四下全是我们的兵马密密围住,听说帝林大人的军队也在赶来,他们是插翅难飞了!”“帝林也来了!”听到这个消息,紫川秀喜出望外。对于这个大哥,他有一种近乎盲目的崇拜和相信,帝林来了,那就再没有解决不了的问题。“那我们快回去,魔神皇可能就在被包围的近卫旅里边!”“什么!”德昆大吃一惊,随即,兴奋的笑容出现在半兽人脸上。他摩拳擦掌地嚷嚷道:“大人,这下我们可要好好大干一场了!这么多人围攻,魔神皇就是三头六臂也逃不掉了!”远东军被魔神皇冲阵杀将如入无物,德昆一直深以为耻。这下有机会复仇,他兴奋得雀跃不已。说着,他突然想到了什么,一拍脑门:“大人,忘说了,刚才的道上,我们抓到一个魔族俘虏,很可能是塞内亚贵族。”“是谁?”“我们从一辆马车上逮的,不知道她的身份。但那马车装饰很华贵,肯定是大人物。殿下,我们见识浅薄,没法分辨此人身份,只有交给您了!”德昆裂开大嘴,眉开眼笑,笑容中藏着几分狡黠,他转头打招呼:“来人,把好东西拿出来献给大人!”看着德昆那狡诈的笑容,再看看那扛着大麻袋的两个半兽人兵,紫川秀忽然觉得眼前的一幕很有种似曾相识的感觉,连德昆那狡猾的笑容好象都在哪里见过。。。有种强烈的预感,紫川秀喃喃道:“天,接下来该不会是。。。”麻袋解开了。卡丹公主清丽依然,她圆睁了清澈的双眼,一眨不眨地看着紫川秀,双眸透明有如水晶。他望着她,她望着他。就在此刻,时间凝固了,两人的身形凝固犹如雕像。无数的往事如潮水般从身边涌过,曾经无忧无虑的青春岁月,山盟海誓的爱情,生死相许的悲欢离合。在家国世事变幻的风云大潮中,作为个人的命运是多么的脆弱。即使贵为公主或者执掌一方的将军,他们的命运不比时代大潮中随浪飘浮的一根火柴棒重多少。沧海桑田,世事变幻,往事并不如烟,最终尽化尘埃。造化弄人竟能至如斯。望着眼前女子清丽的眼睛,紫川秀干咳一声。他不知道该如何面对这双眼睛,从前如此,现在也是如此。该怎么形容和她之间的关系呢?亦敌亦友,惺惺相怜,半生知己。该和她说些什么呢?象老熟人一般若无其事地打个招呼?或者拿出胜利者的威严来呵斥她?好象都不合适。最终,紫川秀只能对着卡丹慢慢地点头,微笑,笑容里充满了苦涩。他抽出了背后的洗月刀,横刀当空平举。“失礼了,公主殿下!”话音未落,洗月刀在空中划过了一道闪电般的弧线劈向卡丹。德昆惊骇得张大了嘴,叫道:“殿下,不要!赎金很值钱的。。。”“噌”的一声脆响,紫川秀已抽刀回鞘。绑着卡丹的绳子寸寸断裂,纷纷落地。紫川秀清朗地说:“您自由了,公主殿下。‘卡丹公主专注地凝视着紫川秀,刚才紫川秀挥刀的过程中,她的眼睛根本没眨,亮丽的眸子里没有丝毫畏惧。她柔声说:“私放敌国将领,紫川统领您难道就不害怕军法?”紫川秀淡淡说:“你不是将领,我也不怕军法——谁敢说出去?德昆,你会吗?”紫川秀斜眼瞄向旁边目瞪口呆的半兽人将军,后者这才醒悟过来,连声说:“殿下,俺什么都没看到,俺什么都没听到——总之,俺什么都不知道!殿下,俺过那边看看,您老人家忙吧,不用管我了!”话音未落,象是怕看到什么不该看的东西似的,半兽人将军一溜烟跑得没影了,那速度,浑不象一个两天两夜没能合眼休息的人。望着德昆跑远了,紫川秀才出声道:“怎么也想不到会在这里见到你。你怎么一个人在这里?”“我的卫队被冲散了,道上碰到溃兵,他们抢走了我车上的马。没有马,我也走不掉了。”“原来如此。”紫川秀这才明白,为什么先撤退的卡丹居然会被后赶来的德昆给俘虏。他对卡丹说:“事不宜迟,你得马上出发。追击的部队不止我一路,若是你落在文河或者流风军手上,我很难再救出来。你从俘虏里面挑一些人出来充当护卫,我再给你分一些马。”紫川秀转身吩咐部下:“想办法找些战马过来——没有?那就叫德昆他们让一些出来!”看着紫川秀大声呵斥那些反应迟钝的部下,卡丹的眼中流露出一丝感激。但内敛的她并没有出声,只是默默地看着紫川秀忙活着为她准备出发的干粮、淡水和战马,在俘虏里挑选合适的人选出来当护卫。当准备完毕,卡丹又坐回了马车上。匆匆的见面之后,再次分别又在眼前。卡丹忽然问道:“阿秀,你可知道我夫君的下落?他是死了,还是被你们活抓了?”紫川秀一愣:“云浅雪?我不知道。。。你不是和他一起走的吗?据我所知,你夫君是与第三军的叶尔马一起突围的。”“不,我夫君是跟着皇太子卡兰的部队一起走的,他们往塔伦城方向撤。父皇也想让我从塔伦城方向撤退,但我实在不放心父皇,一直留在军中,直到昨晚全军总突围时才跟着大队一起离开。”紫川秀皱皱眉,知道这其中一定有什么蹊跷,但兵荒马乱的,也不是追究的时候了。他问:“卡丹,你怎么不问令尊的下落呢?”卡丹脸色一黯:“不必问了。他有机会撤的,但他不肯,说无颜回去。”紫川秀心头一喜,脸上却露出了黯然的表情说:“请节哀。虽然立场不同,但谁都不得不承认,令尊乃盖世英雄,他求仁得仁,再无所憾。”卡丹盈盈地登上马车,转头对紫川秀说:“那么,请多保重,秀川统领。”紫川秀端庄地对她行了一个军礼:“路上保重,卡丹。”望着马车渐渐远去,渐渐消失在太阳升起的地平线上头,紫川秀神情惆怅。他这才注意到一件事,今天的匆匆会晤中,卡丹竟没有一个字提到斯特林。自己的初恋情人,竟是毁灭魔族王国的元凶巨魁,杀害自己父亲和亲人的凶手,料想卡丹的心里,也是矛盾得很吧?云浅雪和卡兰带着第三军和羽林军从战场上逃走了,但更多的魔族军队却被人类的铁钳困住了。蒙那将军和英木兰将军的骑兵军进展神速,飞插战场的两翼,就如两面钢铁城墙,锁死了魔族逃生向东南逃生的通道。各路人类军团士气高涨,突进勇猛。士兵们虽然疲惫,谁都知道,这是痛打落水狗的时候了,要获得战利品,就得靠现在了。现在,被包围的魔族兵已无逃生的希望。塞内亚兵不愧是王国精锐,很多魔族兵都选择了战死而不是被俘。被打散的各个魔族团队和大队排成大大小小的圆形阵,肩并肩抵抗人类的从四面八方的围攻。人类则不住地猛攻,把圈子一再压缩,压缩,象毒蛇一样紧紧缠住了魔族。武器又碰撞起来了,枪在刺,刀在砍,剑在削,砍在肉体和盾牌、盔甲上,乒乒乓乓。一个大圈子被人类打散了,他们又组成十几个小圈子,大群铁甲骑兵冲过,一个又一个魔族组成的圈子被荡平,魔族兵都被马蹄踩成了肉泥,直到所有的魔族兵都象一片森林似的纷纷被砍倒,直到最后一个魔族兵被切断喉咙之前,战斗是不会结束的。流风家士兵脸色发白了,他们很少见到这么残酷的战争。他们喊话保证投降魔族的生命安全,但魔族就象没听到一般,依然在不顾死活地抵抗。这里战斗的残酷远胜于西部边境战斗,在紫川家与流风家的作战中,双方是允许投降的而且俘虏是有可能被交换或者赎回的,流风军对魔族士兵对自己生命的轻蔑深感震惊。无论是围攻者还是被围攻者,双方都根本不把自己的性命当回事。因为魔族知道,他们在这片土地上犯下深重的罪行,双手血腥。即使投降了,人类也不可能放过他们的。被包围的魔族兵很少投降,即使最后防御圈被完全击碎,即使单身一人的魔族兵也不愿向胜利者屈膝,而是选择了战死。蒙那将军说:“他们不是人,全是野兽。我们是在与饿急的狼**手!”对于魔族王国来说,这是遭遇大难崩溃的一天,但也是王国战士展现勇气,最辉煌光荣的一天。最激烈的战斗依然是在远东军的防线周围,近卫旅被包围在此地。流风军是第一次与近卫旅交手,先前,他们对这种巨大而强悍的生物一无所知。轻骑兵们依然想用往常惯用的战术——近身冲刺骑射扰乱然后再突进破阵——他们吃了大亏。轻骑兵所挟带的猎弓对装甲兽只当是挠痒,突进的轻骑冲不破装甲兽的阵列。装甲兽双手一挥,重达八十斤的铁锤横横打来,竟有骑兵连人带马给打飞出五六米,浑身骨骼断裂五脏破裂而死的。从包围开始,突围和反突围的战斗就一直没停过。那些野蛮而强壮的装甲兽不停地冲撞人类的防线,被他们撞死踩死的流风军和紫川军士兵尸体堆成了一座小山。亲眼目睹这这一场景,第一次见到这种刀枪不入又力大无穷的怪物,流风家将领们无不胆战心惊。英木兰惊叹道:“那是什么怪物?我们面前的不是恐龙吧?”流风霜则问道:“能与这样的敌人激战两天两夜,贵军真是了不起。不知贵军是用什么方法抵御这些怪物的?能否向我们传授一点经验?”文河脸色发白,斯特林却是脸色发青,这时他才感到了自己的自私。自己粗暴地向紫川秀下了简单的命令:“死守!”甚至还以军法审判相威胁——现在回想起来,世间之自私残酷无过于此!即使强弩之末的装甲兽依然有这么恐怖的威力,自己要紫川秀独力抵抗全盛时的近卫旅和魔神皇,那简直就是要他去送死!他至今还想不明白,武器简陋兵力单薄的半兽人兵,到底是怎么跟这些怪物战斗的?那是真正的血肉山河,以死坚守!但即使再来一次,自己别无他法,依然要向紫川秀下达这个命令:“死守!”若不是紫川秀拖住了近卫旅主力,这数万恐怖的怪物投入正面战场的话,自己未必能坚持到流风军抵达。战争之残酷就在于此,他使人变得粗暴而残酷,铁石心肠,除胜利外,所有的牺牲和鲜血统统不在考虑范围。他向流风家将领解释:“诸位,先前与近卫旅交战的并非我东南军部队,而是紫川秀大人统率的远东劲旅。”“原来是远东军!”流风军将军们发出了惊叹的感慨:“紫川家在远东竟还有这么强大的军团!”在以往与紫川家的战斗中,紫川家很少把远东军调过来对付自己,对流风家来说,那支从蛮荒之地成长起来的强大军团始终蒙有一层神秘的面纱。想想,能硬撼装甲兽的军队,那是多么恐怖的实力!不少人都在忧虑,虽然与紫川家如今和好了,但国与国之间关系历来变幻莫测,若哪天紫川家一翻脸,真的从远东调来军队的话,那流风家就麻烦了。虽然人类已经取得了全面的绝对优势,但依然对那两万结阵坚守的近卫旅束手无策。硬攻不是不可以,但那要意味着付出巨大的伤亡。天知道要死多少人才能把这些怪物给消灭掉,尤其斯特林手上的都是伤亡惨重的疲兵,士兵们倒在地上就能枕着死尸立即睡着的。比起紫川军来,流风军的伤亡倒是微乎其微。但第一次进攻近卫旅受挫后,流风军立即谨慎起来。斯特林去找流风霜商议协同进攻的事,别的事都好商量,只是谈到进攻,流风霜露出了神秘的含蓄笑容,回绝得又干脆又利索:“我军长途跋涉,劳累不堪,不宜立即投入战斗。斯特林大人,贵部若要进攻,我愿为阁下掠阵,助威呐喊!”斯特林一阵气闷,流风霜只差没说:“斯特林你只管上吧,我精神上鼓励你!”他正在头疼时候,一个消息传来了:“帝都军团已经抵达!帝林监察长大人到了!”七八四年十一月十四日,清晨,天空灰沉沉的,彤云密布。一场雪眼看就要下来。一队身着黑色披风的骑兵和辎重车队穿梭在巴丹平原,这个刚刚经过激战的战场。骑兵和车队穿行于尸积如山的坡地和平原,两军战士的尸骸之多,堆满了道路,以至车队前面不得不派出人专门将尸骸和杂物搬离道路。空气中荡漾着浓郁的血腥味,熏人欲呕。大群的秃鹫在战场各处飞舞着,发出嘈杂的怪叫声。“大人,东南军主营已东移,斯特林大人派人传话了,说就在前方迎接您。”“不必了。”长身玉立的俊美将军淡淡道:“战事正紧,这时候就不必搞那些繁文琐节了。告诉东南军的联系官,我直接到前线与斯特林会合就是。”侍卫官领命正要去传达,忽见前面奔来了一路兵马。看见兵马上方飘扬的东南军主帅旗,他失声道:“大人,斯特林将军已经来了!”帝林脸上动容,策马奔出。果然,那路兵马前头那个熟悉的身影,却不正是斯特林!两人都是飞快地奔近来,同时翻身下马。自从三月间,斯特林出任东南军统领,两人就再不曾见过面。在这战乱岁月,斯特林指挥东南军,帝林坚守帝都,二人都是执掌一方重镇的人物,早养成了矜持沉稳的习性,平闲生死事都不再动心了。唯有在自己久不曾见的生死兄弟面前,那份真情性情才会流露。两人对视,都是心潮澎湃,激动万分。依照军中规矩,斯特林先端正地向帝林敬了一个军礼,帝林微笑着回礼,两人的笑容中都隐隐藏着泪光。“宁殿下很关心这边,催着我过来看。其实,斯特林你坐镇,我是压根不担心的:除了大获全胜,还能有别的结局吗?但殿下催得紧,没办法,呵呵,大哥我就厚着脸皮跑这么一趟了,拿到点捷报消息,也好回去给殿下报功沾点光。”第267章帝国的黄昏血日冉冉。

两个小时后,卡尼侯爵回到了东南军司令部,他带来了魔神皇的答复:“可以将十六军团交还人类。”——事情果然被紫川秀料中了,相比于整个神族大军的存亡,几个人类叛徒的性命实在微不足道,魔神皇没必要为他们误了跟人类的谈判。这次,斯特林要忙着整军备战,没时间来陪他聊天了。他派了几个参谋来陪信使谈,这让卡路很是迷惑不解,怎么只过了两个小时,人类对待自己的待遇就大相径庭了?午饭过后,紫川秀走进了房间,直截了当地告诉使者,对于魔神皇的谈判条件,紫川家族感到无法接受。听了紫川秀的回答,使者的表情颇为丰富。他先是困惑地摇摇脑袋,象是不敢相信所听到的回答。等他确认听到的回答后,他用一种很委屈、象是受到了伤害的口气问紫川秀,紫川家到底想要什么?难道神族和神皇陛下表现得还不够诚意吗?难道紫川家到底看不出,再打下去,只有大家一同进地狱吗?“阁下,“紫川秀打断了他的陈述,他平静地说:“第二轮攻击部队已进入阵地了。您现在离开还来得及。”中午一点,几乎在魔族使者仓惶地离开东南军司令部的同时,战斗又一次打响了,人类再次发动了进攻。半天的休息时间可以恢复士兵的体力,却不足恢复他们斗志和士气。人类方面还好些,他们还有预备队,可以轮番作战。但魔族的底子早就光了。激战之后,士兵们都在战壕和帐篷里睡觉休息,被突然攻上来的人类打了个措手不及,来自奥斯行省的步兵密集地冲入了魔族的阵地,午睡中被惊醒的魔族官兵惊叫着赤手空拳地从战壕里冲出来,被大批地斩杀。“什么?”被部下叫醒的云浅雪又是惊怒又是好笑:“我们在光天化日里被人类偷袭成功了!”团队长支支吾吾地说:“老实说,也不算偷袭。。。他们是大摇大摆地冲杀过来了,只是部队都睡着了,被打得措手不及。。。”“休息不安排哨兵吗?”“连哨兵都睡着了。大家累得要死,听说陛下又和人类开始谈判了,于是都松弛下来了,谁都料不到三个小时,人类马上就攻上来了。。。”“别废话了!”云浅雪匆匆把制服披上,起身出了帐篷。刚刚从午睡中醒来,被正午的日头照下来,云浅雪眼前一黑,头昏目眩。中军营所处是一片高地,但被帐篷前的树木所遮盖,云浅雪没法看清整个战场。巨大的音量如风暴一般扑面而来,云浅雪什么也听不到,但旋即,他能分辩出其中滴答的马蹄声、马嘶声和人类战士呼喝声、魔族兵马的“瓦格拉”声。他侧耳倾听着,觉得右翼传来的交战声更为响亮,传来亲兵们:“你们去观察,看看人类在哪个方向主攻。还有,我军各个部队情况如何?友邻部队情况如何?迅速查探清楚,然后回报于我。我在近卫团的指挥部,你们可到那找我。”亲兵们齐齐领命而去,云浅雪这才跨步上马。近卫团指挥官亲自给他领路,走出了树林,于是战场的局势一览无遗。正前方的远方,整个战场场面如画卷一般地展开,站在高处看整个战场,有一种云雾中的感觉。那些正在奔跑、厮杀、流血、呻吟的士兵们,在远方看,只剩下了一些跳跃的黑点。虽然身处混乱,但塞内亚魔族兵良好的战斗素质在此时发挥了作用,三五个士兵们自发地聚在一起,组成一个又一个小阵。数百上千个小阵构成了团队的防线,而数十个团队一字摆开的,战线如长蛇一般蜿蜒不绝,望都望不到尽头。只一眼,云浅雪立即察觉到了危险,防御摆得太开,阵线太单薄了。这种长蛇阵,人类很容易就可以在某个地段实现突破的。自己手上连一个团的预备队都没有,没法对阵地上的缺口实施堵截。身后传来了马蹄声,云浅雪转身,骑在战马上的凌步虚正朝他疾驰而来。西南大将在马背上冲羽林将军匆匆行了个礼,云浅雪连忙回礼。“将军,你那如何?”“不好。”凌步虚皱着眉头,他正要说话,云浅雪打断了他:“将军,能否给我抽出三个团——”看凌步虚的脸色,他连忙改口说:“两个团!我急需要两个团做预备队,准备与人类打反突击!将军,形势很危险,你那还能抽出部队吗?”凌步虚转头,猎鹰般锐利的目光望向战场。他简单地说:“不能。”“将军,战线一旦被突破,我们都完蛋!这不是吝啬兵力保存实力的时候!”“跟我来。”凌步虚伸手牵过云浅雪战马的缰绳,领着云浅雪向树林后走。云浅雪不住地叫:“去哪里?去哪里?”可凌步虚绝口不答,只是固执地牵着缰绳。云浅雪的卫兵们跟在后面,不知所措。从西北方出了树林,凌步虚遥指指着前方数里外遥遥的大片森林。云浅雪摸不着头脑:“干什么?”“看。”西南大将的话永远是那么的言简意赅。云浅雪疑惑地搭起了眼帘,因为那片丛林距离实在太远了,即使以他良好的眼力也只能看到一片茫茫的绿意,森林的轮廓如同云雾一般隐现。云浅雪扫了一眼,没看到什么异样的东西,他疑惑地看了凌步虚一眼,若不是西南大将历来信誉良好,他真要以为他在开自己玩笑了。凌步虚抬手指去,顺着他手指的方向,云浅雪望去。突然,他一震,揉了揉眼睛,叫道:“那是什么?”在森林的边缘,有一些小点。这些小点的颜色与森林颜色并不一致,好象是活动着的。云浅雪仔细再看,没错,那确实是一些在活动的小点。“那是树木?还是人?”“人。”“什么人?是十六纵队的人?还是当地的农民在观战?”“我问过马维,他说不是他的人。”凌步虚和云浅雪对视一眼,都在对方眼里发现了深深的恐惧。再次打眼帘观察了一阵,云浅雪发现那些小点并没有向战场方向接近,这使得他稍微好受了些:“他们好象停在那不动了?在干什么?”凌步虚淡淡地一挑眉头,表示他也不清楚。“将军,我马上往那个方向派斥候侦察。我希望不是,但若真是我们想象的那样。。。我们必须早做准备。”凌步虚点头:“我部在此设防。”他严峻地望云浅雪一眼,后者立即领会严肃的西南大将没说出口的话了:“以掩护我军撤退。”正面的战斗进行得如火如荼,因为战事的残酷,两军的阵线都大为缩水了,右翼的裴玛军团甚至不能维持其阵线,不得不向中央的云浅雪和凌步虚军团靠拢,最后紧缩在云浅雪军团的右边成为一个大方阵。因为要防御的地方少了,人员密集,处于内线作战的魔族阵地显得巩固了许多,云浅雪一下显得兵力充足起来了。他甚至有余力从羽林军中抽出两个团出来对进攻的文河军团打了一次漂亮的反击,魔族步兵凶狠地挥着刺枪将攻进阵地的人类骑兵打得狼狈地退出。强弩之末的东南军士气被鼓起来了,但却不能持久。文河挥舞着刀剑在前线亲自督战,一连砍倒了几个溃退的部队长官,但士兵们实在太疲倦了。在接近一半的伤亡代价下,视死如归的勇士并不多。斯特林的意志非常坚决,但部队长官执行得都比较敷衍,最勇敢、最坚决的士兵在先前的战斗中都死得差不多了,剩下的多半是些老油条和兵混子,跟魔族稍一接战就退下来了。东南军进攻在下午三点左右就陷入停顿了,进攻的人类士兵如潮水般退了下去,云浅雪还没来得及松一口气,却见一员骑兵以不怕跑死马的速度飞一般的向指挥营扑来。卫队立即上前拦住他们,喝道:“来者何人?擅闯中军营,不怕杀头吗?”领头的骑兵狼狈地滚下马鞍,脱下头盔,于是云浅雪认出他是自己派出的侦察队长。他满面尘土和惊惶,磕磕跌跌地往前跑,却被地上的石头绊了一跤,狼狈地趴倒在地,惹得大营的警戒士兵都哄笑起来了。但很快地,他们笑不出声来了,侦察队长抬起头,凄厉得不似人声的嗓子撕裂空气般惊叫:“示警!示警!大军来了!红潮来了!”云浅雪霍然站起,脸色铁青。此时,西边的地平线上,出现了第一线明晃晃的刺枪闪光。红色的小点汇集成线,密集地向前推进。七八四年十二月十三日,下午三点钟,流风军出现在战场上。流风军团从森林和丛林中现身,以严整的战斗阵容向前推进。走在前面的是展开阵势的三十一个轻骑兵联队,那是流风家的菁华,大多是流风家最强悍最有经验的老兵组成,骑兵们以密集的队列缓步推进,神色森严,身子随着战马的前进而有节奏地微微晃动着。紧跟着骑兵阵的是步兵军团,黑压压的步兵队列犹如森林般一眼望不到尽头,后队还在源源不断地涌出。各联队队长身披华丽的甲盔,举着旗帜在前方为本队向导。传令兵快马奔驰于各队之间,一身红色的斗篷在身后细细飞舞,就象快速掠过天际的流星尾巴,响亮的命令声响彻各阵:“压稳阵脚,保持队列!”“保持速度!”“前队~缓步~!”军阵威严如山,浩荡似海。与流风霜军团一同出现的,还有明辉所部的紫川家西北军。他比流风霜早抵达战场两个钟头,凌步虚发现的小点就是他的兵马。昨天黄昏时候,西北联军强渡了泛着薄冰的瓦涅河,进军巴丹战场,昼夜行军八十里,于清晨九点抵达战场侧后的森林。就在魔神皇与人类谈判时,明辉已在那整顿好了兵马。但作为前锋,他的兵力太弱,不敢单独进入战场,只能催促流风霜一同进兵,流风霜的回答是:“兵马在休整。”直到下午三点,在森林中按兵不动观战的流风家将领们得到流风霜的明确指示:“是时候了,得给斯特林喘口气了!”不到半个小时内,十字军前营指挥使蒙那少将、国防二十八军军长萧元中将、国防二十七军长费加中将、十字军中营指挥使英木兰少将纷纷把部队从森林中拉出来,在魔族军的后方大摇大摆地展开队列。此次来援的西北联军包括了流风霜军团和紫川家西北军团的主力,兵马多达二十五万之众。流风家军阵浩荡,步骑统统赤红,整个军阵俨如红色的海洋,从森林中不断地流淌出来。“流风军到了!流风军到了!”红色的军队抵达,给巴丹战场带来了最大的震荡,不亚于一场八级地震。战局陡然发生变化。听闻流风军出现,魔神皇失手把杯子掉到了地上。望着地平线上源源涌出的军队,望着那山一般闪亮的刀枪剑阵,那飘扬在空中的一面又一面红色霜字旗,他被一种沉重的、极为可怕的预感压得喘不过气来。足足有十分钟时间,魔神皇一句话也说不出来,幕僚们紧闭着口,指挥帐笼罩在一片压抑、沉重的静寂中。“王国完了。”这是所有人心中没出口的一句话。魔神皇与斯特林拉锯了一天一夜没分出胜负的战局,却在流风霜抵达后迅速急转直下。首先与流风军接触的是留驻后方大营的魔族十六军团,稍一接阵,十六军团就如沙子组成的堡垒一般迅速崩溃、瓦解。大势已明,叛军士兵并没有为异族政权殉葬的意思,而且比起原来背叛过的紫川家,向流风家投诚看起来似乎是他们最好的出路了。蒙那将军率领的一个轻骑大队刚刚抵达,叛军们纷纷抛下武器,大部分人就地跪倒投降了,小部分军官和头目则骑马逃跑了。军心士气如此低落,马维连稍微维持一下的努力都没有做,他直截了当地骑上马往魔王坡逃。为了阻挡流风军的前进,魔族并不是没做任何努力。凌步虚紧急从东南军作战的阵线重抽调了五个团回头设防,但就连他本人都对这次阻击不抱任何信心。流风霜出击的时机选择得太好了,魔族军无论是士气还是体力都堕落到了最低点,仓促组成的防线挡不住流风霜宽广的进击面,对于凌步虚部下那些疲惫不堪的魔族步兵,蒙那根本无视,庞大的骑兵队绕开了那道仓促组建的防线,从战线右翼划了一个大弧线,最后猛然冲进了裴玛的军中。本来就被文河打得支撑不住的裴玛军团腹背受敌,终于彻底垮了下来。在迅若雷霆的流风家骑兵前,魔族兵惊叫着四处逃散,土崩瓦解。紧接着,汹涌的骑兵潮水般向云浅雪军团涌来,同时,眼见援军抵达而士气大振的东南军再次发动了进攻。下午五点钟时,蒙那所率领的骑兵部队已在击溃裴玛军团后与文河所部会师了,断绝魔族军向右翼逃窜的可能。魔族军接连不断地遭到来自四面八方的打击,他们连喘口气的时间都没有。东南军的铁甲骑兵冲阵、流风霜的赤色轻骑如一阵暴风般卷过,飞箭、长枪、砍刀、马刀、半兽人的狼牙棒,砍得魔族粉身碎骨,尸积如山。魔族十一军阵地一片慌乱。塞内亚兵骁勇,但毕竟还是想活命。谁都知道,大势已去。到处都是脸色惨白的魔族兵惊惶地四处张望,企图为自己寻得一条逃生的道路。很多魔族军官都在慌乱地脱掉自己的厚实的军官铠甲和别着彩色羽毛的军帽,匆忙从死人堆里拣那些染血的普通士兵制服给自己穿上,这样逃命时候方便点。流风霜军团在战场上出现后,卡兰皇子第一时间就扑到了云浅雪跟前,一个劲地催促他撤兵。“再不走就来不及了!快跑吧,流风霜要断我们后路了!”“殿下,您是真不懂还是装不懂?没有命令敢撤兵,你再得宠,陛下也要砍我们头的!”卡兰怒吼道:“云,你没长眼睛吗?现在还说什么陛下!王国完蛋了,父皇完蛋了!再不走,流风霜和斯特林就要把我们抓了扒皮!你没看吗,马维的十六军垮了,裴玛的十一军也垮了,他溜了!”“什么!”听闻裴玛逃跑的消息,犹如一个晴天霹雳打在云浅雪头上,他耳朵嗡嗡作响,以同样的声量回吼卡兰:“殿下,这不可能!我知道裴玛,他不可能这样做!”“云,你睁大眼睛自己看!除了羽林军,现在还有哪支部队在抵抗!你派人去十一军的阵地看看,看看还有没有人在守!”云浅雪不敢相信,不敢相信自己的好友,那个豪迈、勇敢的贵族将领裴玛会逃跑。但他不知道,在平常时候,人往往能表现出人性中较好的一面,他会显得优雅、大方,游刃有余。但在危急时刻,当恐惧和压力大到他不能承受的地步时,人就露出他的怯弱和弱点来。裴玛也是如此,昼夜不眠不休的战斗压垮了他的意志和判断力。当流风霜的骑兵朝着他指挥部冲来时,被这支生力部队的声威所慑,裴玛失去了理智,不顾所有幕僚和亲卫的阻拦,他几乎是抢过一匹战马,自个逃出了指挥部。得知主帅临阵溃逃,本来就疲惫不堪士气低落的十一军被流风霜一击击溃。不必派人去查探了,出帐篷就可以看见了,溃败的十一军士卒逃得满山遍野,黑压压的一片朝这边涌来。云浅雪铁青着脸下令羽林军对逃过来的十一军士卒放箭,命令他们重新走上战场。于是可怜的溃兵被羽林军的刀枪和流风霜的铁骑夹在中间,进退不能,跑去又跑来,惊慌失措,被大片大片地砍杀,哭号惨叫声震天,溃兵们已经兴不起反抗的念头了,遇刀刀下死,碰剑剑底亡,那种狼狈和凄凉,完全不似曾纵横大陆、征服过半个紫川家和整个远东的无敌劲旅。看到十一军溃败的凄惨情形,卡兰脸都白了,他更加起劲地催促云浅雪快快撤退,不然就真的来不及了。但云浅雪却还在迟疑,王国还存有最后的希望,十五军团没有参加会战,近二十多万魔族官兵还留驻达克城。虽然目前局势极端不妙,但若十五军能及时赶到的话,必能对战局产生极大的变动,王国还是有希望的。但下午六点钟左右,一队兵马自西奔来,宣告了魔族军最后希望的破灭。他们带来消息,遭到帝都军的围攻两日后,慑于帝林的可怕威名,经七个小部族长协商,十五军军团长雷豹公爵决定向人类的帝都军团投降。但雷豹公爵还是留了点情面的,他没有把十五军中塞内亚族的监军使送给人类宰刀,而是在投降前把他们全部礼送出城,放他们回去向魔神皇报信。“皇子殿下,羽林将军,帝林大军得城后并没有据守,而是挥师直扑巴丹而来!帝林兵力雄厚,其军中有可怕的强弓劲弩,其射程超过一般弓箭的两倍,更能连发,威力十分可怕!必须及早通知陛下,早做提防!”被雷豹放回来的监军使见到云浅雪就象见到亲人一般激动,一口气说了下去,却没注意到卡兰皇子和羽林将军阴郁的脸色。云浅雪缓缓点头:“知道了。陛下就在左翼,离这里大概有三里路。我派人给你带路。”监军使感谢地下去了,云浅雪和卡兰对视一眼,都看到了对方眼中的恐惧。“没有援军会来。”“帝林也正在朝这边赶来。”“阿云,”卡兰的神色少见地严肃:“这次是当真的了。我清楚父皇的性格,这次败得这么凄惨,他绝不可能下令撤退的。我们只有两条路,要么陪父皇一起殉葬,要么就得逃命了。”“毋宁死,不能逃。”云浅雪说得斩钉截铁:“殿下,我是统军大将,我对阵地负有责任,而您不是。殿下,我安排人马,送你从东南方出去。我留下来陪陛下战斗到最后!”“云,你根本不明白!”卡兰暴躁地说:“我自个逃出去,那丝毫不难!但丢下父皇自己逃生,回到王国我也难逃一死,卡顿不会放过我的!他随便安排个罪名都能把我给搞死。但带着羽林军回去,有这支强军保护我,卡顿就对我无可奈何了!”“说什么都不可以!羽林军一撤,王国大军就全面崩溃了!”“王国输定了,即使羽林军死守到最后也改变不了败局的!”“起码,”云浅雪忧郁地说:“敌人不是从我的阵地上突破的。即使死,九泉之下见到陛下,我问心无愧。陛下对我恩重如山,将我提拔为亲军长官,又将唯一爱女许配给我,这是最后关键时候,我不能离陛下而去。皇子殿下,您的命令,我一向言听计从,但这次,恕末将不能从命了。若要离开就请抓紧,我会为您准备好快马和卫队。”卡兰皇子脸色变幻,沉默良久,他用一种古怪的声调说:“云,你的心意我明白了。既然如此,那我就陪你坚持到最后吧。”不明白卡兰皇子为何突然改变了心意,但云浅雪还是很高兴:“谢谢,殿下!我们一同到前线去,会合凌步虚大人,大家一起商量,看看还有些什么法子。”“嗯,你带路吧。”云浅雪转身,正要跨步出帐篷,突然背后风声响动,他还没来得及转身,只听到“砰”一声闷响。云浅雪艰难地转过头来,留在视膜里的最后景象,是卡兰皇子那张惊惶的脸。“殿下,你!”眼前一黑,云浅雪整个人向前扑倒,已昏了过去。云浅雪不知道自己在昏迷中躺了多长时间,他感觉好象并不长,似乎连五分钟都不到。只是身下连续不断的摇晃把他给晃醒了,他醒过来时,首先感到的就是一片寂静,面前有一个熟悉的脸孔,正在关切地望着他。卡兰皇子。看到云浅雪醒来,皇子很露出如释重负的表情:“好啦,终于醒过来了!我还一直担心下手太重,把你打坏了呢!老妹非得找我拼命不可。”云浅雪摸了摸脑袋,脑子依然里是一片嗡嗡作响。他慢慢地坐起身来,发现自己是在一辆马车里面,车子正有节奏地晃动着前进。从马车窗口望出去,可以看到大队的羽林军士兵行进在马车的周围,部队行进在郁郁葱葱的树林之间,残阳在森林上露出了最后的余晖。“现在是什么时候了?”“晚上七点多。你昏过去大概一个钟头吧。”“我们在哪里?”“在马车上。”“废话!我问的是地点!”回避了云浅雪咄咄逼人的目光,卡兰轻声说:“在往塔伦城的道上。”“就我们自个?”“还有羽林军。”“你怎么能调动他们的?”“你晕倒了不能理事,我就接手指挥权。然后我就告诉团队长们,陛下有军令,差遣我们到塔伦城执行紧急任务。”“这个谎撒得太假了!”云浅雪怒吼道:“不可能有人相信的!这分明是临阵逃脱!大家不可能看不出来!”卡兰皇子耸耸肩膀,摊开手:“没有一个团队长反对,大家都很高兴地服从了命令。”“怎么可能!”“你可以自己看,事实摆在眼前,整个羽林军都和我们一起走了。”云浅雪睁大了眼睛,呆呆地望着窗外行进的羽林军兵马,什么也说不出来。卡兰亲热地揽住他肩头:“云,不要再一厢情愿了。没人愿意为父皇殉葬。他疯了,我们没必要把大好的生命陪他一起葬送在这里,不是吗?回国以后,我登基后,你就是我的护国大将军,我俩好好开创一番事业,我绝对不会亏待你的,呵呵!”云浅雪转过头来,冷冷地盯着卡兰,对方那张微笑的英俊脸蛋此刻却显得那么令人憎恶。察觉到他目光中的凶狠,卡兰向后靠了一些:“怎么了?”云浅雪冷冷说:“我很想一拳打塌你的鼻子!”吃惊地跳后一步,卡兰连忙举手虚挡在面前:“别!云,我们是斯文人,你要报复就打屁股好了,别打我的脸。”没有理会他,云浅雪扬声喊道:“停车!”马车停住了,云浅雪推门跳下了马车,双脚踏上坚实的大地,他头脑一阵眩晕。被卡兰暗算那拳的后遗症还没有过去,后脑还隐隐作疼。一队羽林军骑兵经过,云浅雪向带队的百人队长说:“把你的战马给我。”百人队长立即下马,将缰绳交给云浅雪。云浅雪翻身上马,这时,卡兰从马车里探头出来叫道:“云,你要去哪里?”云浅雪冷冷说:“到该去的地方。”一抽马鞭,逆着羽林军队列行进的方向,战马向来路奔跑起来,云浅雪听到身后传来了卡兰皇子的喊声:“云,我在塔伦城等你!我们在那会合,记得过来!”虽然听到了,但云浅雪根本没把皇子的话放在心上,这时他一心一意想的只有战局。他心头藏着极大的恐惧:卡兰皇子突然把羽林军从阵地带走,神族大军是否已崩溃了?云浅雪急马回到战场上时已是晚上八点多了,呈现在他面前的是一片混乱而惊恐的景象。一片喧嚣,烈火烧红了夜幕的天际,纷乱的人群,喧嚷的叫喊,谁都看不清谁了。溃败的兵马不断地从云浅雪身边冲过,云浅雪甚至来不及看清他们的旗帜和服装。正如云浅雪所担心的那样,羽林军的撤退不但在流风军面前敞开了阵地,更沉重地打击了魔族军士气。羽林军历来是护卫皇室的亲卫军团,云浅雪本人也是王国数一数二的大将,知道他们都跑了,沮丧和被背叛的愤怒溢满了心头,很多部队发生了骚乱,血流满面的魔族官兵拒绝作战,他们愤怒地把武器砸在地上,叫道:“大伙都死了吧,还打什么?”有些地方,军官不得不杀掉了动摇得最厉害的一些士兵。连塞内亚族战士,魔神皇最忠诚、最坚定的捍卫者们也开始惊慌失措,那是魔族王国彻底崩溃的一个信号。这是魔族王国的最后关头了,魔族军团在各个方面遭到四面突击。流风霜从背后猛攻叶尔马,紫川秀则正面阻挡了叶尔马,裴玛被击溃,云浅雪被击退,凌步虚在努力支撑,他一个军团竟然要阻挡文河、斯特林和蒙那三路大军的围攻。晚上八点钟时候,魔族军中路已被英木兰突破,萧元占领了魔神皇原来的驻地魔王坡,与斯特林的主力会师,费加则从侧后突破,切断了魔族中军与左翼的联系。这时候,魔族大军已经不复作为一个整体而存在了。魔族各个军团不得不为了自己的生存而与四面八方涌来占绝对优势的人类军团浴血奋战。最艰难的苦战依然是在中路。由于羽林军的突然撤退,凌步虚的各个团队被从缺口处滚滚涌来的斯特林大军给打得支离破碎。作为军团长,凌步虚失去了和他所有团队的联系,血战到最后,他守着一面大旗,身边仅剩不到十名卫兵。文河喊话招降他:“凌步虚将军,投降吧,你和我们人类没有血债,可以活命!”凌步虚回喊道:“狗屎!”七八四年十二月十三日,晚上八时,西南大将凌步虚公爵战死。一个小时后,魔族军团长裴玛公爵被俘。先前,裴玛曾从阵地上逃跑,但当他清醒过来后,他痛哭流涕。一直以来,他都以为自己是个坚强、不怕死的勇士,直到生死关头,他才突然明白,自己原来是个胆小怕死的懦夫,这个打击对他来说实在巨大。他想回到原部队继续指挥,但十一军垮掉了。他想到云浅雪的军中去,但找不到云浅雪的指挥部——他还不知道云浅雪和卡兰已经撤离了。此时,战场上已经乱成一团,人类的各路大军齐头并进,魔族军彻底崩溃,溃逃的官兵纷乱如潮,人嚷马嘶,谁都顾不上谁了。这个失去了自己军队的将军徘徊在这片混乱中,逆着人潮前进,失魂落魄。到后来,他遇到了一群十一军的溃兵,命令他们跟着他走,他们据守在一个小山冈上顽抗。一队流风家骑兵从这边路过,只放了一通箭,于是溃兵们一哄而散,只剩裴玛一个人。此时,裴玛已不再是为什么希望和胜利而战,他纯粹是求死。他举着长剑疯狂地大叫:“我是王国公爵,我是军团长!来啊,来啊!杀了我,给我光荣一死!”可是流风家的骑兵只当他是疯子,风一般地从他身边掠过。魔族军大溃,追击正是时候,流风家军功赏赐最为丰厚,谁也不想为了个疯子耽误了杀敌立功。接着开过来的是斯特林麾下的各个步兵团队,人类步兵却以为这个外貌与人类一般无二的魔族皇族是人类——魔族要不战死,要不逃跑了,怎么可能还留在这大喊大叫呢?——就在这种惯性思维的作用下,他们也避开了这个大叫大喊的疯子。裴玛又舞又叫,直到嗓子沙哑,再也发不出声来。他放声大哭,泪如雨下,却没能发出哭声。人类军队一队队潮水般从他身边涌过,却没人停下来给他一剑。直到斯特林统领骑着马从这边经过,看到那边有个手舞足蹈的人,问:“这人是哪个部队的?他是疯子吗?”警卫们上前查看,直到这时,人们才察觉到裴玛的身上的服饰与人类截然不同,注意到他帽子上凌乱的金黄色的羽毛。一片惊呼声:“他是塞内亚皇族!是魔族的贵族!”斯特林策马近前,用魔族语喝道:“我是东南军统领斯特林!你是谁?”听到斯特林的名字,就如被一盆冷水迎头浇下,裴玛从疯狂的状况中清醒过来。他眯起眼睛,打量着眼前这个一手扼杀了魔族希望的人类。用沙哑得几乎不似人声的声音,他咬牙切齿地回答:“王国十一军军长,裴玛!斯特林,决斗吧!你我只有一个能活下来!”他挥着长剑就向斯特林扑来,势若颠虎。对这个败将的举动,斯特林只是报以怜悯的目光。没等裴玛扑出两步,斯特林的卫士一拥而上,毫不费力地将裴玛手中长剑打飞,将他按倒在地上。“你这败将,还想跟我们大人决斗?你不是做梦吧?!”卫士们发出欢快的笑声,象打一条狗一般毫不怜悯地用枪杆将裴玛痛打。裴玛被打得发出阵阵惨叫,脸上青筋毕露。听着那惨叫,斯特林默默地想,胜负真是只有一线之差。若及时赶到的不是流风霜而卡顿的话,那现在象条野狗般被按在地上痛打的人该是自己而不是裴玛了吧?第266章帝国的黄昏人类欢歌两个小时后,卡尼侯爵回到了东南军司令部,他带来了魔神皇的答复:“可以将十六军团交还人类。”——事情果然被紫川秀料中了,相比于整个神族大军的存亡,几个人类叛徒的性命实在微不足道,魔神皇没必要为他们误了跟人类的谈判。这次,斯特林要忙着整军备战,没时间来陪他聊天了。他派了几个参谋来陪信使谈,这让卡路很是迷惑不解,怎么只过了两个小时,人类对待自己的待遇就大相径庭了?午饭过后,紫川秀走进了房间,直截了当地告诉使者,对于魔神皇的谈判条件,紫川家族感到无法接受。听了紫川秀的回答,使者的表情颇为丰富。他先是困惑地摇摇脑袋,象是不敢相信所听到的回答。等他确认听到的回答后,他用一种很委屈、象是受到了伤害的口气问紫川秀,紫川家到底想要什么?难道神族和神皇陛下表现得还不够诚意吗?难道紫川家到底看不出,再打下去,只有大家一同进地狱吗?“阁下,“紫川秀打断了他的陈述,他平静地说:“第二轮攻击部队已进入阵地了。您现在离开还来得及。”中午一点,几乎在魔族使者仓惶地离开东南军司令部的同时,战斗又一次打响了,人类再次发动了进攻。半天的休息时间可以恢复士兵的体力,却不足恢复他们斗志和士气。人类方面还好些,他们还有预备队,可以轮番作战。但魔族的底子早就光了。激战之后,士兵们都在战壕和帐篷里睡觉休息,被突然攻上来的人类打了个措手不及,来自奥斯行省的步兵密集地冲入了魔族的阵地,午睡中被惊醒的魔族官兵惊叫着赤手空拳地从战壕里冲出来,被大批地斩杀。“什么?”被部下叫醒的云浅雪又是惊怒又是好笑:“我们在光天化日里被人类偷袭成功了!”团队长支支吾吾地说:“老实说,也不算偷袭。。。他们是大摇大摆地冲杀过来了,只是部队都睡着了,被打得措手不及。。。”“休息不安排哨兵吗?”“连哨兵都睡着了。大家累得要死,听说陛下又和人类开始谈判了,于是都松弛下来了,谁都料不到三个小时,人类马上就攻上来了。。。”“别废话了!”云浅雪匆匆把制服披上,起身出了帐篷。刚刚从午睡中醒来,被正午的日头照下来,云浅雪眼前一黑,头昏目眩。中军营所处是一片高地,但被帐篷前的树木所遮盖,云浅雪没法看清整个战场。巨大的音量如风暴一般扑面而来,云浅雪什么也听不到,但旋即,他能分辩出其中滴答的马蹄声、马嘶声和人类战士呼喝声、魔族兵马的“瓦格拉”声。他侧耳倾听着,觉得右翼传来的交战声更为响亮,传来亲兵们:“你们去观察,看看人类在哪个方向主攻。还有,我军各个部队情况如何?友邻部队情况如何?迅速查探清楚,然后回报于我。我在近卫团的指挥部,你们可到那找我。”亲兵们齐齐领命而去,云浅雪这才跨步上马。近卫团指挥官亲自给他领路,走出了树林,于是战场的局势一览无遗。正前方的远方,整个战场场面如画卷一般地展开,站在高处看整个战场,有一种云雾中的感觉。那些正在奔跑、厮杀、流血、呻吟的士兵们,在远方看,只剩下了一些跳跃的黑点。虽然身处混乱,但塞内亚魔族兵良好的战斗素质在此时发挥了作用,三五个士兵们自发地聚在一起,组成一个又一个小阵。数百上千个小阵构成了团队的防线,而数十个团队一字摆开的,战线如长蛇一般蜿蜒不绝,望都望不到尽头。只一眼,云浅雪立即察觉到了危险,防御摆得太开,阵线太单薄了。这种长蛇阵,人类很容易就可以在某个地段实现突破的。自己手上连一个团的预备队都没有,没法对阵地上的缺口实施堵截。身后传来了马蹄声,云浅雪转身,骑在战马上的凌步虚正朝他疾驰而来。西南大将在马背上冲羽林将军匆匆行了个礼,云浅雪连忙回礼。“将军,你那如何?”“不好。”凌步虚皱着眉头,他正要说话,云浅雪打断了他:“将军,能否给我抽出三个团——”看凌步虚的脸色,他连忙改口说:“两个团!我急需要两个团做预备队,准备与人类打反突击!将军,形势很危险,你那还能抽出部队吗?”凌步虚转头,猎鹰般锐利的目光望向战场。他简单地说:“不能。”“将军,战线一旦被突破,我们都完蛋!这不是吝啬兵力保存实力的时候!”“跟我来。”凌步虚伸手牵过云浅雪战马的缰绳,领着云浅雪向树林后走。云浅雪不住地叫:“去哪里?去哪里?”可凌步虚绝口不答,只是固执地牵着缰绳。云浅雪的卫兵们跟在后面,不知所措。从西北方出了树林,凌步虚遥指指着前方数里外遥遥的大片森林。云浅雪摸不着头脑:“干什么?”“看。”西南大将的话永远是那么的言简意赅。云浅雪疑惑地搭起了眼帘,因为那片丛林距离实在太远了,即使以他良好的眼力也只能看到一片茫茫的绿意,森林的轮廓如同云雾一般隐现。云浅雪扫了一眼,没看到什么异样的东西,他疑惑地看了凌步虚一眼,若不是西南大将历来信誉良好,他真要以为他在开自己玩笑了。凌步虚抬手指去,顺着他手指的方向,云浅雪望去。突然,他一震,揉了揉眼睛,叫道:“那是什么?”在森林的边缘,有一些小点。这些小点的颜色与森林颜色并不一致,好象是活动着的。云浅雪仔细再看,没错,那确实是一些在活动的小点。“那是树木?还是人?”“人。”“什么人?是十六纵队的人?还是当地的农民在观战?”“我问过马维,他说不是他的人。”凌步虚和云浅雪对视一眼,都在对方眼里发现了深深的恐惧。再次打眼帘观察了一阵,云浅雪发现那些小点并没有向战场方向接近,这使得他稍微好受了些:“他们好象停在那不动了?在干什么?”凌步虚淡淡地一挑眉头,表示他也不清楚。“将军,我马上往那个方向派斥候侦察。我希望不是,但若真是我们想象的那样。。。我们必须早做准备。”凌步虚点头:“我部在此设防。”他严峻地望云浅雪一眼,后者立即领会严肃的西南大将没说出口的话了:“以掩护我军撤退。”正面的战斗进行得如火如荼,因为战事的残酷,两军的阵线都大为缩水了,右翼的裴玛军团甚至不能维持其阵线,不得不向中央的云浅雪和凌步虚军团靠拢,最后紧缩在云浅雪军团的右边成为一个大方阵。因为要防御的地方少了,人员密集,处于内线作战的魔族阵地显得巩固了许多,云浅雪一下显得兵力充足起来了。他甚至有余力从羽林军中抽出两个团出来对进攻的文河军团打了一次漂亮的反击,魔族步兵凶狠地挥着刺枪将攻进阵地的人类骑兵打得狼狈地退出。强弩之末的东南军士气被鼓起来了,但却不能持久。文河挥舞着刀剑在前线亲自督战,一连砍倒了几个溃退的部队长官,但士兵们实在太疲倦了。在接近一半的伤亡代价下,视死如归的勇士并不多。斯特林的意志非常坚决,但部队长官执行得都比较敷衍,最勇敢、最坚决的士兵在先前的战斗中都死得差不多了,剩下的多半是些老油条和兵混子,跟魔族稍一接战就退下来了。东南军进攻在下午三点左右就陷入停顿了,进攻的人类士兵如潮水般退了下去,云浅雪还没来得及松一口气,却见一员骑兵以不怕跑死马的速度飞一般的向指挥营扑来。卫队立即上前拦住他们,喝道:“来者何人?擅闯中军营,不怕杀头吗?”领头的骑兵狼狈地滚下马鞍,脱下头盔,于是云浅雪认出他是自己派出的侦察队长。他满面尘土和惊惶,磕磕跌跌地往前跑,却被地上的石头绊了一跤,狼狈地趴倒在地,惹得大营的警戒士兵都哄笑起来了。但很快地,他们笑不出声来了,侦察队长抬起头,凄厉得不似人声的嗓子撕裂空气般惊叫:“示警!示警!大军来了!红潮来了!”云浅雪霍然站起,脸色铁青。此时,西边的地平线上,出现了第一线明晃晃的刺枪闪光。红色的小点汇集成线,密集地向前推进。七八四年十二月十三日,下午三点钟,流风军出现在战场上。流风军团从森林和丛林中现身,以严整的战斗阵容向前推进。走在前面的是展开阵势的三十一个轻骑兵联队,那是流风家的菁华,大多是流风家最强悍最有经验的老兵组成,骑兵们以密集的队列缓步推进,神色森严,身子随着战马的前进而有节奏地微微晃动着。紧跟着骑兵阵的是步兵军团,黑压压的步兵队列犹如森林般一眼望不到尽头,后队还在源源不断地涌出。各联队队长身披华丽的甲盔,举着旗帜在前方为本队向导。传令兵快马奔驰于各队之间,一身红色的斗篷在身后细细飞舞,就象快速掠过天际的流星尾巴,响亮的命令声响彻各阵:“压稳阵脚,保持队列!”“保持速度!”“前队~缓步~!”军阵威严如山,浩荡似海。与流风霜军团一同出现的,还有明辉所部的紫川家西北军。他比流风霜早抵达战场两个钟头,凌步虚发现的小点就是他的兵马。昨天黄昏时候,西北联军强渡了泛着薄冰的瓦涅河,进军巴丹战场,昼夜行军八十里,于清晨九点抵达战场侧后的森林。就在魔神皇与人类谈判时,明辉已在那整顿好了兵马。但作为前锋,他的兵力太弱,不敢单独进入战场,只能催促流风霜一同进兵,流风霜的回答是:“兵马在休整。”直到下午三点,在森林中按兵不动观战的流风家将领们得到流风霜的明确指示:“是时候了,得给斯特林喘口气了!”不到半个小时内,十字军前营指挥使蒙那少将、国防二十八军军长萧元中将、国防二十七军长费加中将、十字军中营指挥使英木兰少将纷纷把部队从森林中拉出来,在魔族军的后方大摇大摆地展开队列。此次来援的西北联军包括了流风霜军团和紫川家西北军团的主力,兵马多达二十五万之众。流风家军阵浩荡,步骑统统赤红,整个军阵俨如红色的海洋,从森林中不断地流淌出来。“流风军到了!流风军到了!”红色的军队抵达,给巴丹战场带来了最大的震荡,不亚于一场八级地震。战局陡然发生变化。听闻流风军出现,魔神皇失手把杯子掉到了地上。望着地平线上源源涌出的军队,望着那山一般闪亮的刀枪剑阵,那飘扬在空中的一面又一面红色霜字旗,他被一种沉重的、极为可怕的预感压得喘不过气来。足足有十分钟时间,魔神皇一句话也说不出来,幕僚们紧闭着口,指挥帐笼罩在一片压抑、沉重的静寂中。“王国完了。”这是所有人心中没出口的一句话。魔神皇与斯特林拉锯了一天一夜没分出胜负的战局,却在流风霜抵达后迅速急转直下。首先与流风军接触的是留驻后方大营的魔族十六军团,稍一接阵,十六军团就如沙子组成的堡垒一般迅速崩溃、瓦解。大势已明,叛军士兵并没有为异族政权殉葬的意思,而且比起原来背叛过的紫川家,向流风家投诚看起来似乎是他们最好的出路了。蒙那将军率领的一个轻骑大队刚刚抵达,叛军们纷纷抛下武器,大部分人就地跪倒投降了,小部分军官和头目则骑马逃跑了。军心士气如此低落,马维连稍微维持一下的努力都没有做,他直截了当地骑上马往魔王坡逃。为了阻挡流风军的前进,魔族并不是没做任何努力。凌步虚紧急从东南军作战的阵线重抽调了五个团回头设防,但就连他本人都对这次阻击不抱任何信心。流风霜出击的时机选择得太好了,魔族军无论是士气还是体力都堕落到了最低点,仓促组成的防线挡不住流风霜宽广的进击面,对于凌步虚部下那些疲惫不堪的魔族步兵,蒙那根本无视,庞大的骑兵队绕开了那道仓促组建的防线,从战线右翼划了一个大弧线,最后猛然冲进了裴玛的军中。本来就被文河打得支撑不住的裴玛军团腹背受敌,终于彻底垮了下来。在迅若雷霆的流风家骑兵前,魔族兵惊叫着四处逃散,土崩瓦解。紧接着,汹涌的骑兵潮水般向云浅雪军团涌来,同时,眼见援军抵达而士气大振的东南军再次发动了进攻。下午五点钟时,蒙那所率领的骑兵部队已在击溃裴玛军团后与文河所部会师了,断绝魔族军向右翼逃窜的可能。魔族军接连不断地遭到来自四面八方的打击,他们连喘口气的时间都没有。东南军的铁甲骑兵冲阵、流风霜的赤色轻骑如一阵暴风般卷过,飞箭、长枪、砍刀、马刀、半兽人的狼牙棒,砍得魔族粉身碎骨,尸积如山。魔族十一军阵地一片慌乱。塞内亚兵骁勇,但毕竟还是想活命。谁都知道,大势已去。到处都是脸色惨白的魔族兵惊惶地四处张望,企图为自己寻得一条逃生的道路。很多魔族军官都在慌乱地脱掉自己的厚实的军官铠甲和别着彩色羽毛的军帽,匆忙从死人堆里拣那些染血的普通士兵制服给自己穿上,这样逃命时候方便点。流风霜军团在战场上出现后,卡兰皇子第一时间就扑到了云浅雪跟前,一个劲地催促他撤兵。“再不走就来不及了!快跑吧,流风霜要断我们后路了!”“殿下,您是真不懂还是装不懂?没有命令敢撤兵,你再得宠,陛下也要砍我们头的!”卡兰怒吼道:“云,你没长眼睛吗?现在还说什么陛下!王国完蛋了,父皇完蛋了!再不走,流风霜和斯特林就要把我们抓了扒皮!你没看吗,马维的十六军垮了,裴玛的十一军也垮了,他溜了!”“什么!”听闻裴玛逃跑的消息,犹如一个晴天霹雳打在云浅雪头上,他耳朵嗡嗡作响,以同样的声量回吼卡兰:“殿下,这不可能!我知道裴玛,他不可能这样做!”“云,你睁大眼睛自己看!除了羽林军,现在还有哪支部队在抵抗!你派人去十一军的阵地看看,看看还有没有人在守!”云浅雪不敢相信,不敢相信自己的好友,那个豪迈、勇敢的贵族将领裴玛会逃跑。但他不知道,在平常时候,人往往能表现出人性中较好的一面,他会显得优雅、大方,游刃有余。但在危急时刻,当恐惧和压力大到他不能承受的地步时,人就露出他的怯弱和弱点来。裴玛也是如此,昼夜不眠不休的战斗压垮了他的意志和判断力。当流风霜的骑兵朝着他指挥部冲来时,被这支生力部队的声威所慑,裴玛失去了理智,不顾所有幕僚和亲卫的阻拦,他几乎是抢过一匹战马,自个逃出了指挥部。得知主帅临阵溃逃,本来就疲惫不堪士气低落的十一军被流风霜一击击溃。不必派人去查探了,出帐篷就可以看见了,溃败的十一军士卒逃得满山遍野,黑压压的一片朝这边涌来。云浅雪铁青着脸下令羽林军对逃过来的十一军士卒放箭,命令他们重新走上战场。于是可怜的溃兵被羽林军的刀枪和流风霜的铁骑夹在中间,进退不能,跑去又跑来,惊慌失措,被大片大片地砍杀,哭号惨叫声震天,溃兵们已经兴不起反抗的念头了,遇刀刀下死,碰剑剑底亡,那种狼狈和凄凉,完全不似曾纵横大陆、征服过半个紫川家和整个远东的无敌劲旅。看到十一军溃败的凄惨情形,卡兰脸都白了,他更加起劲地催促云浅雪快快撤退,不然就真的来不及了。但云浅雪却还在迟疑,王国还存有最后的希望,十五军团没有参加会战,近二十多万魔族官兵还留驻达克城。虽然目前局势极端不妙,但若十五军能及时赶到的话,必能对战局产生极大的变动,王国还是有希望的。但下午六点钟左右,一队兵马自西奔来,宣告了魔族军最后希望的破灭。他们带来消息,遭到帝都军的围攻两日后,慑于帝林的可怕威名,经七个小部族长协商,十五军军团长雷豹公爵决定向人类的帝都军团投降。但雷豹公爵还是留了点情面的,他没有把十五军中塞内亚族的监军使送给人类宰刀,而是在投降前把他们全部礼送出城,放他们回去向魔神皇报信。“皇子殿下,羽林将军,帝林大军得城后并没有据守,而是挥师直扑巴丹而来!帝林兵力雄厚,其军中有可怕的强弓劲弩,其射程超过一般弓箭的两倍,更能连发,威力十分可怕!必须及早通知陛下,早做提防!”被雷豹放回来的监军使见到云浅雪就象见到亲人一般激动,一口气说了下去,却没注意到卡兰皇子和羽林将军阴郁的脸色。云浅雪缓缓点头:“知道了。陛下就在左翼,离这里大概有三里路。我派人给你带路。”监军使感谢地下去了,云浅雪和卡兰对视一眼,都看到了对方眼中的恐惧。“没有援军会来。”“帝林也正在朝这边赶来。”“阿云,”卡兰的神色少见地严肃:“这次是当真的了。我清楚父皇的性格,这次败得这么凄惨,他绝不可能下令撤退的。我们只有两条路,要么陪父皇一起殉葬,要么就得逃命了。”“毋宁死,不能逃。”云浅雪说得斩钉截铁:“殿下,我是统军大将,我对阵地负有责任,而您不是。殿下,我安排人马,送你从东南方出去。我留下来陪陛下战斗到最后!”“云,你根本不明白!”卡兰暴躁地说:“我自个逃出去,那丝毫不难!但丢下父皇自己逃生,回到王国我也难逃一死,卡顿不会放过我的!他随便安排个罪名都能把我给搞死。但带着羽林军回去,有这支强军保护我,卡顿就对我无可奈何了!”“说什么都不可以!羽林军一撤,王国大军就全面崩溃了!”“王国输定了,即使羽林军死守到最后也改变不了败局的!”“起码,”云浅雪忧郁地说:“敌人不是从我的阵地上突破的。即使死,九泉之下见到陛下,我问心无愧。陛下对我恩重如山,将我提拔为亲军长官,又将唯一爱女许配给我,这是最后关键时候,我不能离陛下而去。皇子殿下,您的命令,我一向言听计从,但这次,恕末将不能从命了。若要离开就请抓紧,我会为您准备好快马和卫队。”卡兰皇子脸色变幻,沉默良久,他用一种古怪的声调说:“云,你的心意我明白了。既然如此,那我就陪你坚持到最后吧。”不明白卡兰皇子为何突然改变了心意,但云浅雪还是很高兴:“谢谢,殿下!我们一同到前线去,会合凌步虚大人,大家一起商量,看看还有些什么法子。”“嗯,你带路吧。”云浅雪转身,正要跨步出帐篷,突然背后风声响动,他还没来得及转身,只听到“砰”一声闷响。云浅雪艰难地转过头来,留在视膜里的最后景象,是卡兰皇子那张惊惶的脸。“殿下,你!”眼前一黑,云浅雪整个人向前扑倒,已昏了过去。云浅雪不知道自己在昏迷中躺了多长时间,他感觉好象并不长,似乎连五分钟都不到。只是身下连续不断的摇晃把他给晃醒了,他醒过来时,首先感到的就是一片寂静,面前有一个熟悉的脸孔,正在关切地望着他。卡兰皇子。看到云浅雪醒来,皇子很露出如释重负的表情:“好啦,终于醒过来了!我还一直担心下手太重,把你打坏了呢!老妹非得找我拼命不可。”云浅雪摸了摸脑袋,脑子依然里是一片嗡嗡作响。他慢慢地坐起身来,发现自己是在一辆马车里面,车子正有节奏地晃动着前进。从马车窗口望出去,可以看到大队的羽林军士兵行进在马车的周围,部队行进在郁郁葱葱的树林之间,残阳在森林上露出了最后的余晖。“现在是什么时候了?”“晚上七点多。你昏过去大概一个钟头吧。”“我们在哪里?”“在马车上。”“废话!我问的是地点!”回避了云浅雪咄咄逼人的目光,卡兰轻声说:“在往塔伦城的道上。”“就我们自个?”“还有羽林军。”“你怎么能调动他们的?”“你晕倒了不能理事,我就接手指挥权。然后我就告诉团队长们,陛下有军令,差遣我们到塔伦城执行紧急任务。”“这个谎撒得太假了!”云浅雪怒吼道:“不可能有人相信的!这分明是临阵逃脱!大家不可能看不出来!”卡兰皇子耸耸肩膀,摊开手:“没有一个团队长反对,大家都很高兴地服从了命令。”“怎么可能!”“你可以自己看,事实摆在眼前,整个羽林军都和我们一起走了。”云浅雪睁大了眼睛,呆呆地望着窗外行进的羽林军兵马,什么也说不出来。卡兰亲热地揽住他肩头:“云,不要再一厢情愿了。没人愿意为父皇殉葬。他疯了,我们没必要把大好的生命陪他一起葬送在这里,不是吗?回国以后,我登基后,你就是我的护国大将军,我俩好好开创一番事业,我绝对不会亏待你的,呵呵!”云浅雪转过头来,冷冷地盯着卡兰,对方那张微笑的英俊脸蛋此刻却显得那么令人憎恶。察觉到他目光中的凶狠,卡兰向后靠了一些:“怎么了?”云浅雪冷冷说:“我很想一拳打塌你的鼻子!”吃惊地跳后一步,卡兰连忙举手虚挡在面前:“别!云,我们是斯文人,你要报复就打屁股好了,别打我的脸。”没有理会他,云浅雪扬声喊道:“停车!”马车停住了,云浅雪推门跳下了马车,双脚踏上坚实的大地,他头脑一阵眩晕。被卡兰暗算那拳的后遗症还没有过去,后脑还隐隐作疼。一队羽林军骑兵经过,云浅雪向带队的百人队长说:“把你的战马给我。”百人队长立即下马,将缰绳交给云浅雪。云浅雪翻身上马,这时,卡兰从马车里探头出来叫道:“云,你要去哪里?”云浅雪冷冷说:“到该去的地方。”一抽马鞭,逆着羽林军队列行进的方向,战马向来路奔跑起来,云浅雪听到身后传来了卡兰皇子的喊声:“云,我在塔伦城等你!我们在那会合,记得过来!”虽然听到了,但云浅雪根本没把皇子的话放在心上,这时他一心一意想的只有战局。他心头藏着极大的恐惧:卡兰皇子突然把羽林军从阵地带走,神族大军是否已崩溃了?云浅雪急马回到战场上时已是晚上八点多了,呈现在他面前的是一片混乱而惊恐的景象。一片喧嚣,烈火烧红了夜幕的天际,纷乱的人群,喧嚷的叫喊,谁都看不清谁了。溃败的兵马不断地从云浅雪身边冲过,云浅雪甚至来不及看清他们的旗帜和服装。正如云浅雪所担心的那样,羽林军的撤退不但在流风军面前敞开了阵地,更沉重地打击了魔族军士气。羽林军历来是护卫皇室的亲卫军团,云浅雪本人也是王国数一数二的大将,知道他们都跑了,沮丧和被背叛的愤怒溢满了心头,很多部队发生了骚乱,血流满面的魔族官兵拒绝作战,他们愤怒地把武器砸在地上,叫道:“大伙都死了吧,还打什么?”有些地方,军官不得不杀掉了动摇得最厉害的一些士兵。连塞内亚族战士,魔神皇最忠诚、最坚定的捍卫者们也开始惊慌失措,那是魔族王国彻底崩溃的一个信号。这是魔族王国的最后关头了,魔族军团在各个方面遭到四面突击。流风霜从背后猛攻叶尔马,紫川秀则正面阻挡了叶尔马,裴玛被击溃,云浅雪被击退,凌步虚在努力支撑,他一个军团竟然要阻挡文河、斯特林和蒙那三路大军的围攻。晚上八点钟时候,魔族军中路已被英木兰突破,萧元占领了魔神皇原来的驻地魔王坡,与斯特林的主力会师,费加则从侧后突破,切断了魔族中军与左翼的联系。这时候,魔族大军已经不复作为一个整体而存在了。魔族各个军团不得不为了自己的生存而与四面八方涌来占绝对优势的人类军团浴血奋战。最艰难的苦战依然是在中路。由于羽林军的突然撤退,凌步虚的各个团队被从缺口处滚滚涌来的斯特林大军给打得支离破碎。作为军团长,凌步虚失去了和他所有团队的联系,血战到最后,他守着一面大旗,身边仅剩不到十名卫兵。文河喊话招降他:“凌步虚将军,投降吧,你和我们人类没有血债,可以活命!”凌步虚回喊道:“狗屎!”七八四年十二月十三日,晚上八时,西南大将凌步虚公爵战死。一个小时后,魔族军团长裴玛公爵被俘。先前,裴玛曾从阵地上逃跑,但当他清醒过来后,他痛哭流涕。一直以来,他都以为自己是个坚强、不怕死的勇士,直到生死关头,他才突然明白,自己原来是个胆小怕死的懦夫,这个打击对他来说实在巨大。他想回到原部队继续指挥,但十一军垮掉了。他想到云浅雪的军中去,但找不到云浅雪的指挥部——他还不知道云浅雪和卡兰已经撤离了。此时,战场上已经乱成一团,人类的各路大军齐头并进,魔族军彻底崩溃,溃逃的官兵纷乱如潮,人嚷马嘶,谁都顾不上谁了。这个失去了自己军队的将军徘徊在这片混乱中,逆着人潮前进,失魂落魄。到后来,他遇到了一群十一军的溃兵,命令他们跟着他走,他们据守在一个小山冈上顽抗。一队流风家骑兵从这边路过,只放了一通箭,于是溃兵们一哄而散,只剩裴玛一个人。此时,裴玛已不再是为什么希望和胜利而战,他纯粹是求死。他举着长剑疯狂地大叫:“我是王国公爵,我是军团长!来啊,来啊!杀了我,给我光荣一死!”可是流风家的骑兵只当他是疯子,风一般地从他身边掠过。魔族军大溃,追击正是时候,流风家军功赏赐最为丰厚,谁也不想为了个疯子耽误了杀敌立功。接着开过来的是斯特林麾下的各个步兵团队,人类步兵却以为这个外貌与人类一般无二的魔族皇族是人类——魔族要不战死,要不逃跑了,怎么可能还留在这大喊大叫呢?——就在这种惯性思维的作用下,他们也避开了这个大叫大喊的疯子。裴玛又舞又叫,直到嗓子沙哑,再也发不出声来。他放声大哭,泪如雨下,却没能发出哭声。人类军队一队队潮水般从他身边涌过,却没人停下来给他一剑。直到斯特林统领骑着马从这边经过,看到那边有个手舞足蹈的人,问:“这人是哪个部队的?他是疯子吗?”警卫们上前查看,直到这时,人们才察觉到裴玛的身上的服饰与人类截然不同,注意到他帽子上凌乱的金黄色的羽毛。一片惊呼声:“他是塞内亚皇族!是魔族的贵族!”斯特林策马近前,用魔族语喝道:“我是东南军统领斯特林!你是谁?”听到斯特林的名字,就如被一盆冷水迎头浇下,裴玛从疯狂的状况中清醒过来。他眯起眼睛,打量着眼前这个一手扼杀了魔族希望的人类。用沙哑得几乎不似人声的声音,他咬牙切齿地回答:“王国十一军军长,裴玛!斯特林,决斗吧!你我只有一个能活下来!”他挥着长剑就向斯特林扑来,势若颠虎。对这个败将的举动,斯特林只是报以怜悯的目光。没等裴玛扑出两步,斯特林的卫士一拥而上,毫不费力地将裴玛手中长剑打飞,将他按倒在地上。“你这败将,还想跟我们大人决斗?你不是做梦吧?!”卫士们发出欢快的笑声,象打一条狗一般毫不怜悯地用枪杆将裴玛痛打。裴玛被打得发出阵阵惨叫,脸上青筋毕露。听着那惨叫,斯特林默默地想,胜负真是只有一线之差。若及时赶到的不是流风霜而卡顿的话,那现在象条野狗般被按在地上痛打的人该是自己而不是裴玛了吧?第266章帝国的黄昏人类欢歌”。

密集的流风军长驱直入,将魔族军阵杀得落花流水。一片混乱,火光、厮杀声、逃命的叫唤,惨叫声,无数的厮杀声汇集成一片洪流,喧嚣直冲天际。“陛下!”近卫旅指挥雷欧公爵领着一队装甲兽来到魔神皇面前,他的眼睛凶狠得可怕,急速地说:“陛下,救救王国,也救救您自己吧!人类还没合围,现在撤退还来得及!”看了他一眼,魔神皇淡淡说:“我怎能离开?”“陛下,现在还来得及!我准备了好马,专门给陛下您和皇子殿下、公主殿下留着的。我和近卫旅为您掩护后路!陛下,您一路请多保重了!”魔神皇脸色阴沉地看着雷欧,好久,他才出声道:“因为朕的决断,王国发起了这次西征。现在,王国一半的将士都死在了这儿,难道朕还能离开吗?朕没有脸面回去见蒙汗那些人幸灾乐祸的嘴脸,也没有脸面回见王国的子民。”“父皇!”一个清脆的女声出来打断了魔神皇,卡丹公主从后帐中走出,她正要向魔神皇行屈膝礼,却被魔神皇打断了:“什么时候了,还那么多虚礼!”“是!父皇,胜败乃兵家常事,父皇您乃国之根本,只要您健在,王国就保住了根本。。。”卡丹正说得流畅,魔神皇却突然打断了她:“卡丹,有些事你不懂。有些人是只能胜,不能败的。一旦失败,他就什么也不是!”卡丹喊道:“父皇,为什么?自古哪有不打败仗的将军?眼前的斯特林,他不也在奥斯打了败仗?在帕依被迫和我们签了城下之盟?紫川秀,他不也不同样在红河湾被凌步虚将军打得落花流水?就连号称人类第一名将的流风霜,她不也同样被紫川秀打败过?”“可他们不是神皇。”魔神皇淡淡地一笑,笑容里带着说不出的骄傲和凄凉:“这世上,只有胜利的卡特皇帝,没有败的卡特。”看到卡丹还要说话,魔神皇摇手:“雷欧,你派人将公主带出包围圈,撤退回国——这是命令,不必再争。”雷欧立即执行。公主的卫队硬推着卡兰公主上了马车,护着她向南驰去。正向东的大道已被东南军和远东军和堵死了,流风霜从西北方斜斜地插了进来,其强势的兵马正急速地向战场外围展开包抄。魔族若要撤退,唯一的出路是在流风霜和东南军合围之前从东南方撤退。叶尔马军团长生气地嚷嚷道:“陛下!请下命令吧,云浅雪那鼠辈,居然敢临阵逃脱!微臣要去拦截羽林军,要让云浅雪那无耻小人知道王国愤怒的可怕!”雷欧望了他一眼,眼中流露鄙夷。叶尔马吹得好听,去拦截羽林军,他拿什么拦截?损兵折将的第三军只是勉强还能支撑在阵地上,只是因为对魔神皇的盲目信仰,士兵们还没开始大批地逃亡。叶尔马不可能不知道,他借口出兵拦截云浅雪,其实不过是想从魔神皇身边躲开好趁机逃跑罢了。魔神皇伫立在帐篷门口,映衬外面的喧嚣和吵嚷,魔神皇的沉默具有万钧的力量。雷欧明白神皇此时的心理:比起输掉这场注定要失败的战争,云浅雪的逃跑对神皇的打击更为沉重。自己一直欣赏和栽培的重臣竟是个贪生怕死的懦夫,这让神皇深感失落。“陛下!羽林将军求见!”“什么?”叶尔马惊叫。魔神皇霍然转身,脸露喜色:“宣他进来!”云浅雪大步行进。他态度端庄地向魔神皇下跪行礼,沉稳地说:“微臣参见陛下!”“时间紧迫,羽林卿请起。”“谢陛下。”“羽林卿,羽林军如今何在?情况如何?”“启禀陛下,在卡兰殿下率领下,羽林军所部正向东南塔伦城方向转进。微臣离开时,我部遭到流风军的追击,但前方并无拦截。”“有多少人马平安脱离包围圈了?”“情况很混乱,无法统计。羽林军约有十二个团能成建制地离开,不到三万人。但还有一些第五军和第十一军的弟兄加入我们队伍,估计有四万人能闯出包围圈。”魔神皇点头,低声说:“只有四万人了吗?入关时的百万之师,到如今只剩下了四万残兵败将?”“陛下,情况应该比微臣估计得要好。人类的包围圈太大,他们的兵力不足维持,必然会有很多空隙。能突围的兵马绝不会只有微臣一部。但据情报说,帝林已拿下了达克,也正朝这里赶来。若他一到,我们就。。。”云浅雪本想说:“插翅难飞。”但他还是换了个温和的说法:“更加困难了。”魔神皇点头,突然问:“云,你为什么回来了?”“微臣无能,不能阻止皇子殿下胡作非为,已是死罪,本就惶恐无地了。若再抛下陛下独自逃生,微臣实在做不出来。”魔神皇沉默了好久,才慢慢出声:“云浅雪,你很好。”“微臣实在愧不敢当。”眼见情况如此紧急,魔神皇和云浅雪却如此平和地对话,将宝贵的时间白白浪费,叶尔马听得心里冒火,插嘴道:“陛下,情况紧急,我们还是先想对策吧?”“叶尔马,放心,你有时间逃跑的。”魔神皇淡淡说道,转身大步出了营帐。雷欧鄙夷地看了叶尔马一眼,低沉地说:“公爵,你的胆怯就象屎一般散发着臭气!”跟在魔神皇的身后,他也出去了。叶尔马膛目结舌地呆在原地,面红耳赤。大火在燃烧,天边一片火红,第三军和近卫旅的残余士兵集合在主营前。比起昨日出战前,士兵的阵列已经大为凋零,残余的士兵们身上带伤,疲倦,委顿,衣裳破烂。但他们眼睛中依然闪烁着那么一股傲气,那是一种不甘服输的愤怒,那是一种不敢相信眼前发生事实的眼神。十六军投降,铁壁军崩溃,羽林军逃亡,西南军被围歼——就在五个小时以前,以上的诸路军团都是不曾一败的强师劲旅,王国不败的象征,但就在他们的眼前,这些威名显赫的皇牌劲旅一个接一个被人类打垮、消灭。那些愚昧而单纯的魔族士兵,坚信魔族王国的强大是无可匹敌的,魔神皇的英明睿智是天生的,王国威力无穷的战争机器制造胜利就象土豆从地里长出来一般天经地义,就象太阳从东方升起一般自然而然。直到如今,成千上万的溃败士兵经过了他们阵地,他们亲眼见到那些哭喊着逃命的士兵与他们同样穿着塞内亚族的服饰,同样有着黄金族的血统战士向他们哭诉着战友如何被人类骑兵大批地屠杀的经历,眼见无敌的军团在自己眼前溃败,英勇的战士被追杀,塞内亚士兵们愤怒得胸口里象团着一团火,愤怒中又带着惶恐:难道,王国真的会失败吗?由魔神皇亲自指挥,有着那么多优秀将领,那么多骁勇战士组成的强大军团,真的会如此一败涂地吗?他们迫切地需要答案,现在,给他们答案的最佳人选出现了,魔神皇出现了!魔神皇出现在军队前面,依然神采飞扬,只是眼神中多了一种深沉的忧郁。他以严峻的眼神注视着众人:“士兵们,塞内亚的勇士们,我的孩子们,我们被打败了。”黑烟在远方冉冉升起,厮杀的声不断传来,死一般的沉寂笼罩在人群上空,没有人喊叫,没有人哭泣,士兵们只是呆呆地望着魔神皇。魔神皇就是他们的神,他们不败的信仰,他们永远照耀天空的太阳。现在,太阳熄灭了。魔神皇平静地说,那平静的声音中,蕴含着强大的力量:“从恒古以来,我们的民族一直在经受着烈狱般的苦难。饥荒,死地,战争,瘟疫,我们的国度是灾难与泪水之邦。我曾以为,我能带领你们走出这个灾难之地,结束这段沾满泪水与死亡的路程。但是,最终我们失败了。我的孩子们,你们英勇战斗,无愧于王国和亲人。因为朕的无能与鲁莽,王国蒙受了巨大的损失,你们付出了巨大的代价。朕愧对王国,更对不起那些为朕而战死的战士们。”对着面前士兵群,魔神皇弯下腰,深深地鞠了一个躬。一阵愕然的波动从人群中荡过,面对魔神皇史无前例的道歉,云浅雪、雷欧等将领们首先反应过来,连忙下跪回礼。紧接着是军官们,犹如大风吹过田野,士兵们如同被风吹倒的稻浪般一排排地跪倒。“失败并不是结束,苦难才刚刚开始。在军事上取得优势以后,人类必然谋求政治上统治我们,他们要掠夺我们的土地,奴役我们的人民,消灭我们的历史、文字和传统,谋求从根本上同化伟大的神族,将我们变成人类的附庸和走狗,让我们的子孙变成人类的雇佣军!士兵们,你们中有人战死,有人幸存。战死的人,朕将带领你们去觐见大魔神,告诉他,他的子民英勇奋战,无愧于王国威名。活下去的战士,你们有着更艰难而坚韧的任务,告诉我们的孩子真相,告诉他们,历史上曾有过这样的魔神王国,他的子民勤劳而坚韧,他的战士骁勇而忠诚,他的皇帝睿智而勇敢,国土幅员广阔,军队强大无比!在强大的魔神王国面前,所有的人类帝国都在颤抖!告诉我们的子孙,所有的人类宣传都是谎言,在团结一致的神族面前,看似强大的人类军队不过土鸡瓦狗,他们不可能永远统治神族!我们之所以失败,并非我们的战士不够勇敢,并非我们的将军不够优秀,唯一的原因,唯一的原因,是我们不够团结,卑鄙的叛徒出卖了我们的王国,而人类却能达成了空前的团结,我们遭遇了历史上最强大的人类军队。神族军队曾经无限接近胜利,虽然最终失败,但我们震撼大陆!士兵们,活下去,并且记住:想永久征服神族这样强悍的民族是不可能的,人类的统治绝不会长久,终有一天,我们的子孙会高举黄金大旗卷土重来!愿他们勇敢,愿他们坚强,愿他们有比我们更好的运气!让子孙们记住我的预言:当黄金狮子旗帜再次闪烁,我们的皇将再次出现!让他们世世代代牢记这句话:“魔神王国万岁!”“魔神王国万岁!”五万人同时呼喝应和,呼声犹如雷霆震撼,远远地回荡在大地上,压倒了远处传来的巨大战斗轰鸣声。主营前一直飘荡的王国黄金狮子旗被降下来了,看见这面旗帜冉冉落下,士兵们痛哭出声。无敌的黄金狮子旗,王国强大与辉煌的象征,终于也黯然谢幕了吗?魔神皇把柔软的丝绸旗帜折叠,递给云浅雪:“将这个交给卡兰。虽然朕这个孩子不是很成器,但这个时候,撑得起王国的也只有他了。”这不仅仅是转交一面旗帜,这更是将皇位传承给卡兰的象征。望着魔神皇英俊而和蔼的脸容,明白陛下已下定了死战于此的决心,喉头象梗着一块铁,云浅雪跪倒,他连一句完整的话都说不出来了:“陛下,请让雷欧大人承担此任务吧。请允许微臣跟随您一同战斗!”“雷欧和近卫旅走不快,会被人类骑兵追上的。云,时代已经不同了。未来的日子,王国更需要的是能审时度势、狡诈多智的政治家,雷欧这种单纯的武士发挥不了什么作用,与其让他在郁郁寡欢中落寞老死,不如让他最后辉煌一次吧。”“陛下!”云浅雪泪如雨下。他接过旗帜,小心地将它收入贴身的口袋,朝魔神皇重重磕了个头:“陛下放心,微臣一定将旗帜安全交到卡兰殿下手中!请陛下您保重!”魔神皇微笑道:“辅助好卡兰,告诉他,有事多听听他妹妹的。”这是云浅雪见到魔神皇的最后一面,魔神皇那明朗的笑容一直回荡在他的心中。这个雄伟绝世的绝世枭雄,一生无敌。即使他最后失败,但回忆起他,无论是敌人或者朋友,谁都不得不承认,他是黄金时代最恐怖,也是最伟大的战士。天色全黑下来了,惨烈的战斗却没有丝毫结束的迹象。在背后斯特林、文河和流风霜三个庞大的战斗集团压迫下,魔族已失去了战胜的任何奢望。魔神皇下令放弃一切辎重,撤退的魔族兵放火烧掉了自己的大营,目的是阻拦背后流风军的追击步伐。燃烧的大营燃起了冲天的火焰,照红了一方的天际,二十里外也看得见。就在通红火光的映照下,魔族军的突围战役打响了。在开路的装甲兽先导下,大群的魔族步兵、骑兵猛扑向远东军的阵地。这是最后的战斗了。装甲兽军团的巨大轰隆声再次响起的同时,紫川秀接到了东南军指挥部的严令:“远东军务必坚到增援抵达,绝不能放魔神皇逃脱!”一方是决意坚守,一方却是拼死逃生,那个最残酷的夜晚,喋血高地成了双方争夺的焦点,魔族军以截然不同以往的决死姿势猛扑上来,与防守高地的秀字营展开了肉搏战。因为在夜间,远程射击武器能发挥的作用很小,两军都只能依靠近身白刃战来厮杀。在夜间与急于逃生的装甲兽近身战斗,这是远东军的噩梦。血红的火光中,厮杀的人影不时闪烁,飞溅的鲜血,奔跑的身影突然地倒地,恐怖的呐喊不绝于耳,最后的勇士发出绝望的吼叫,在喋血高地阵地上,战死者的尸体在平地上垒起一座小山,仅仅半个小时的战斗,远东军就伤亡了五千多人,阵地指挥官罗杰本人被一棍敲得昏迷不醒,被部下抬下了阵地,他的部队被汹涌而来的装甲兽和魔族兵冲得溃不成军,阵地宣告失守。在那烈火漫天的激战夜晚,各处响起了激烈的锣声宣告示警。喋血高地的失守在远东军的阵地上撕开了一个大口子,从这个缺口上,魔族大军急速通过,仓惶逃生。远东军统帅部试图堵上这个缺口,白川和紫川秀带着增援部队想重新夺回喋血高地阵地,但这就好象用啤酒瓶来塞洪水冲垮的江坝一般,根本无济于事。三次反击都被魔族给打了回来,只遗下尸骸累累,装甲兽部队牢牢地控制住这个阵地,作为魔族大军后撤的通道。一次又一次反攻失败,到最后,紫川秀终于颓然地认识到,士气和体力都被严重削弱,如今正处于最低点的远东军是不可能拦得住急于逃生的魔族精锐部队的。“魔神皇军团已突破我防线,向东突围!急需增援!”向斯特林的求援信使派出去了,但在增援到来之前,紫川秀也没闲着。他发现,魔族军的行动虽然混乱,但却是有序可寻的。撤退的魔族兵马很明显地分成两部,一部分是第三军的普通魔族兵,在军官们的带领下,他们急速地小跑前进,不做丝毫停留;而另一部分是以装甲兽为主的近卫旅兵马,这部分兵马坠在大军的后面,利用各种地形就地抵抗,尽可能地阻碍人类兵马的追击。稍一思索,紫川秀立即明白过来:“因为跑不快,所以装甲兽们被留下来充当阻击的敢死队吗?”很自然地,他猜测魔神皇应该在第三军的撤退兵马中。他下令:“不要管那些装甲兽,他们跑不掉的!追第三军去,魔神皇就在前面!”在那兵荒马乱的混乱黑夜里,远东军的各层组织系统完全给打乱了,有的部队被打散,有的部队被消灭,大多数部队都是经历了惨重的减员和伤亡,被魔族冲得七零八落。要想顺当地把命令传达到各个部队,那几乎是件不可能完成的任务。紫川秀对身边的警卫们下令道:“喊吧,大声喊!让听到的部队都跟着喊:‘光明王有令:无论死活,抓到魔神皇的,赏金五百万!’”黑夜里,呼声此起彼落:“魔神皇就在前面!抓住他!”一传十,十传百,黑夜里,越来越多的部队加入了呼喝:“抓到魔神皇,赏金五百万!”呼声越来越大,最后简直是震耳欲聋。每个人都在狂热地呼喝着,眼睛赤红。这不单是为五百万的巨额悬赏激动,更因为呼声透出了一个重要的信息,透出了胜利的预兆!你看,光明王都对魔神皇悬赏了,那肯定是我们快赢了!尽管被魔族冲得七零八落,尽管伤亡惨重,尽管魔族的装甲兽还很嚣张,但胜利的狂喜给了士兵们无穷的动力,一切都乱套了,不顾什么队列阵形,凡是还能爬动的,还有一口气的,统统行动了起来。连在军队中服役的民夫和伙房里的厨子都拿起了扁担菜刀向东追过去。紫川秀本人亲自上第一线参加追击。他带着警卫队,将一路碰到上的散兵游勇都给集合起来。不论是秀字营还是半兽人兵,只要还能走动的,紫川秀对他只有一句话:“拿起武器跟我走!”在那漆黑的混乱中,紫川秀收拢了约莫五千多人。就带着这五千多人,他跟着撤退的魔族军一路追下去。谁也没料到,远东军的主帅竟有这般的胆色,带着一个多团就敢追踪魔神皇带领的装甲兽。在那黑暗的道上,追击的部队与逃跑魔族散兵们不时遭遇,交战接二连三。“不要管他们!只管向东!”紫川秀大吼道。此刻,他的脑子里只有一个念头,那就是必须赶到前面去,拦住魔神皇的去路。若让魔神皇跑了,连续三天的殊死战斗就失去了意义。全都乱套了。若有人能在上空俯视的话,他会发现这夜的混乱呈现极奇怪的状态。在向东的道路上,追击的人类兵马和魔族部队竟是混成一团前进的。魔族兵马急于逃生,人类部队则是一心一意想追上前面的魔神皇,不想与这些散兵游勇们纠缠。于是出现了极罕见的景象:行进中的魔族兵马和人类兵马你中有我,我中有你地混杂在了一起,居然相安无事。双方都在拼命地奔跑,人类想赶到前面去建立第二道拦截阵地,魔族则是想在人类再次包围之前逃逸,这个时候,时间就是生命!在突围时,第三军的魔族兵战斗得十分勇敢,为逃生,他们万众一心,还是作为一支完整的武装部队冲出去的。但就在那漆黑的奔逃道上,听到身后传来的震天呼声,恐惧感控制了魔族官兵的心头。紫川秀的快速穿插更是给魔族制造了无数的混乱和惊恐。黑夜里,惊恐的呼声此起彼伏:“人类追上来了!快逃命吧!”恐慌在撤退的魔族军中蔓延,对生命的渴望压倒了一切。在紫川秀近逼贴身的追击下,第三军井然有序的撤退变成了一次彻底的大溃败,建制被打散,官长的权威被蔑视,丢下了所有的伤员和辎重。溃兵们互相践踏,互相推挤,踩着死人和活人往前,大路、小路、桥梁、平原、山岗、山谷、树林都被溃兵塞满了,丢在路上的背包和武器撒了一地,没人去拣。魔族兵再不肯留下担任阻击的队伍,见到人类也不再攻击,生怕耽搁了逃生的时机。就在这漆黑混乱的夜晚,到处都乱了套。官长找不到士兵,士兵找不到指挥官。军队溃败犹如江河崩溃,一泻不可收拾。溃兵到处乱窜,连紫川秀所带领的追击部队都被冲散了,到后来,他身边就只剩了数百人,在数万人的魔族乱军中到处搜寻魔神皇的身影。每抓到一个魔族,紫川秀都用魔族语厉声疾色地喝问他:“快说,魔神皇在哪里?”不知那些魔族俘虏真不知道魔神皇下落还是因为忠君爱国,没有一个人说出魔神皇下落。紫川秀大为苦恼,在这数万人的军队中寻找魔神皇简直就象在大海里搜针。他都快有些绝望了,却突然看到斜斜里有一彪魔族骑兵经过,他们制服鲜亮,人高马大,显然是魔族兵中的精锐。在这混乱的夜晚,这队魔族骑兵却显出与众不同,进退之间,他们显得更有秩序和纪律。紫川秀眼前一亮:“就是他们了,上!”话音未落,他已第一个冲了上前,雷霆般一刀就把最前面的那个骑兵给砍下马来。后面的骑兵们发一声惊呼就要上来动手,但秀字营的行动更快,一窝蜂地冲了上来。骑兵若不能跑起来,胯下的坐骑反倒成了障碍。秀字营突然冲近身一抱,没等魔族兵把长矛和马刀出来,他们已先扑上去硬生生地把骑兵们从马背上扯了下来,大伙滚在地上厮打开来。这伙骑兵一边打一边哇啦怪叫着什么,紫川秀也听不懂,估计是向经过的魔族兵求救。但这时,大难临头,谁还顾得上别人的事。尽管魔族溃兵潮水般从身边跑过,但却没一个人停下脚步来给他们伸出援手的。事后想起来,连紫川秀自己也觉得顺利得意外:自己身边只带了那么几百人就敢在魔族溃兵中大摇大摆地抓人,那几千上万的魔族兵一旦清醒过来,不被他们撕了才怪!战斗没多久就结束了,几十个魔族骑兵被打死了一半。在秀字营士兵的刀剑威迫下,剩下的全部被缴了械,用皮带绑住双手盘膝坐在地上。紫川秀一个一个地望着他们,其中一个大个子的魔族老兵引起了他的注意。这个魔族老兵一身白毛,身形比普通魔族兵要高出一个头。尽管他竭力想把身形躲在其他魔族兵的身后,但那臃肿而庞大的身躯在矮小的魔族兵中实在是鹤立鸡群,想不引人注意都难。这个魔族老兵身着低级魔族兵的制服,但他的宽下巴脸型和傲慢的眼神却在告诉紫川秀,此人是惯于颐指气使的人物。“你,站起来!”用纯正的魔族语,紫川秀指着那个魔族兵喝道。老魔族磨蹭了一阵,最后才不情不愿地站了起来。他耷拉着脑袋望地上,不与紫川秀的眼光对视。望着他,紫川秀使劲地在脑海里搜寻:这个魔族看起来有点面熟?在哪里见过他了?良久,一个人影渐渐在脑海里浮现。那仿佛是很久远的故事了。七八零年深秋的那个夜晚,那血腥而惊险的一夜。那时候,此人是高高在上的军团长,王国贵族,自己不过是一员投诚的叛将。那晚,在这位王国贵族眼里,自己不会比一只爬虫高贵多少,他拿眼睛扫自己一眼都是莫大的恩惠了。谁能料到呢?世事竟能做如此大的颠倒。当年的卑微者已成为了征服者,而傲慢者却沦为阶下囚。紫川秀平静地说:“叶尔马公爵,好久不见了。”被紫川秀叫出了身份,叶尔马猛然抬起头。他望着紫川秀,眼神里充满了迷惑和恐惧。他不明白,为什么眼前的这位人类军官能一眼就叫出了自己的名字。多年前,他见过紫川秀一面。但在那个宴会上的紫川秀,与眼前这个周身铠甲血腥斑斑的敌将有很大的区别。他小声地咕嘟道:“你是谁?”紫川秀没时间和他废话,直截问道:“魔神皇在哪里?说出来!”叶尔马傲慢地抬起了头,一言不发。他那挑衅地冲着紫川秀昂起的下巴分明是无声地宣布:“我什么都知道,但我就是不说!”“好,很好!”紫川秀冷笑道:“塞内亚贵族,果然很有骨气。”他使个眼色,几个卫兵会意地冲上去,将叶尔马从俘虏群中拖出来,拖到路边的暗地里去。只听好一阵拳脚与肉体的激烈碰撞声和鬼哭狼嚎般的求救声,黑夜里,魔族俘虏们听得脸色发白。过了好一阵,卫兵们拖着叶尔马——那已经不能说是叶尔马了,只能说是一堆看起来很象叶尔马的肉——出来。军官跑到紫川秀身边小声报告:“启禀大人,他招供了。他说,魔神皇没有随第三军突围。他和近卫旅都留在包围圈里面了。”“什么!”紫川秀失声叫出来,他怀疑地看了一眼军官:“可靠吗?”军官也皱起了眉头,魔族的皇帝竟然没有突围而是自愿留下来断后,这个消息未免也太匪夷所思了。“要不,下官再好好地和他聊聊?”“算了。”紫川秀看看叶尔马,他被打得头破血流七窍流血,已快奄奄一息了。再让那军官跟他“好好地聊”下去,估计他就得一命呜呼了。“你另外找几个魔族兵出来,对一下他们的口供,看看是否一致。”审讯的结果很快出来了,除了几个死活不肯开口的死硬分子,魔族兵的招供惊人地一致:“魔神皇没有突围。他还在二号高地附近,与近卫旅在一道。”紫川秀眉头深锁,想了一阵,他做出了决定:“斯特林和流风霜的兵马正在扫荡近卫旅,我们回去作用不大。还是以防万一吧,万一叶尔马撒谎,或者他们都被魔神皇骗了呢?我们继续追!即使抓不到魔神皇,听叶尔马说,羽林云浅雪是和他们一起突围的,只是在途中失散了。这是条大鱼,我们抓他去!”紫川秀的追击直到第二天拂晓东方天色发白,此时,追击的兵马累得连手都抬不起来了,士兵们跑得脸色发白嘴唇发青,若不是顾忌身边的魔族俘虏造反,他们都要在死尸堆上倒下来便睡了。虽然劳累,但这晚的战果却是十分丰厚的,抓到的俘虏长长的一串,起码有四五千人之多。唯一遗憾的是,其中有分量的将领和贵族没几个。除了叶尔马外,只有几个子爵、伯爵之类的“白披风”,想抓的云浅雪没碰到,不知是这位羽林将军腿脚特别灵便还是黑夜里大伙在道上错过了。想想,紫川秀倒也没怎么遗憾。毕竟抓了一个叶尔马,自己已经够幸运了,还想再抓一个云浅雪,把塞内亚首领们给一网打尽,那也未免得陇望蜀了。回程的路上,道上到处堆满了丢弃的武器、尸体、燃烧的辎重车,满目苍夷。后续的步兵部队已经跟上来了,成群结队的远东半兽人兵正在战场各处搜巡,他们在打劫魔族的战利品,搜寻漏网的魔族官兵。虽然疲惫,官兵们却十分兴奋,一路吱吱喳喳说个不停。这晚他们的收获不小,抓俘与杀敌是同功,紫川秀出手大方,远东军功奖丰厚,抓了五千多俘虏,即使其中一半要算紫川秀本人的功劳——估计统领大人也没那么黑吧?——剩下的一半按人头分也有每人四五个俘虏的功劳了,这笔赏金可是不少。何况里面还有几个塞内亚贵族和军官呢?将来人类与魔族若停战了,那光靠这几个贵族的赎金就足够大伙吃喝不愁。紫川秀却没有部下的欢快心情,他眉头紧锁,一路搭拉着脑袋,一副心事沉沉的样子。有熟悉的部下故意逗他开心:“统领大人,是不是心疼奖金啦?”紫川秀笑笑:“兔崽子,看牢你的钱袋,别让他们跑了,没送到俘虏营的可不能算奖金。滚蛋吧!”部下嘻嘻哈哈一笑而散,紫川秀若有所思地张望四周,他在抑止着内心彭湃的激动。人类千年的苦难,终于在今天结束了!巴丹一战消灭近四十万魔族主力,魔族已无力回天了,此战可永载史册。巴丹会战的意义不单是军事上的,更是政治上的。三百年前倚靠明王的神力打退魔族兵,虽然也是胜利,但那样的胜利让人总让人觉得不真实,而魔族也不把人类当战胜者看待,而是把他们看作是躲避在明王羽翼下的寄生虫。这三百年间,魔族屡次西侵的原因就在此了。他们有心理上的优势,认为人类懦弱,不配拥有这块土地,自然好战了。但这次巴丹会战,不是靠明王的神威,不是靠虚无飘渺的神力,而是靠着普普通通的人类兵、半兽人兵真刀实枪地与魔族军白刃见血厮杀,实打实打出来的胜利,这场胜利打出了人类的威风,拿出来心里塌实!这一仗,足可为三百年前的蓝河会战洗耻,人类从此扬眉吐气。紫川秀唯一担心的是,魔神皇到底死了吗?迎面奔来了一队骑兵,紫川秀认出是自己麾下的半兽人骑兵部队,带头的领队正是德昆。他朝德昆挥挥手,后者看到了紫川秀,连忙朝这边奔来。“殿下!”德昆依然是纱布包着一只伤眼,身上血迹斑斑,连身上的毛发都被血浆凝住了,隔着老远就从他身上传来了一阵刺鼻的汗酸味,那味道太冲了,紫川秀只觉得鼻子一酸,一连打了三个喷嚏——连打了快三天的仗,谁都没功夫梳洗,紫川秀估计自己的模样和味道也好不到哪去。“殿下!”“德昆,你站在那,别过来。”紫川秀伸直了手连连摇晃,象是要从手心发出冲击波将德昆推在三尺之外,一手捂着鼻子,瓮声瓮气地说:“怎么?魔神皇抓到了吗?”德昆一愣:“殿下,是白川大人派我来接应您的。魔神皇,我不知道——不是您带兵马去追击魔神皇了吗?您怎么问起我来了?您抓到魔神皇了吗?”紫川秀这才发现,自己犯了一个错误。在追击魔族兵马的同时,自己居然忘记把魔神皇可能还在战场上的事告诉斯特林或者白川了。看紫川秀脸色变幻,德昆猜他肯定是空手而归了。他安慰道:“大人,魔神皇跑了就跑了,没什么大不了的。想想,魔神王国的皇帝象兔子一般被您在黑地里撵了一夜,那个狼狈肯定少不了的。魔神皇能从您面前逃跑一次,那他就坠了架子,将来他还会逃跑第二次、第三次的!没什么大不了的,逃了的魔神皇就一钱不值了,不足为惧了!”紫川秀也懒得跟他解释了,问:“主阵地那边怎样了?”“还在打!近卫旅还在负隅顽抗。第三军撤退后,近卫旅也想突围,但白川大人把他们咬得死死的,追在他们后面撵着尾巴打。近卫旅跑不快,没办法甩开白川大人,只好边打边走。后来文河大人过来了,斯特林那边的军团也开过来了,流风军那边的兵马也咬上来了——流风家的兵马真威风啊,高头大马,一式全是骑兵——眼看我们的人越来越多,近卫旅知道跑不掉了,干脆就找了个高坡团在那死守,四下全是我们的兵马密密围住,听说帝林大人的军队也在赶来,他们是插翅难飞了!”“帝林也来了!”听到这个消息,紫川秀喜出望外。对于这个大哥,他有一种近乎盲目的崇拜和相信,帝林来了,那就再没有解决不了的问题。“那我们快回去,魔神皇可能就在被包围的近卫旅里边!”“什么!”德昆大吃一惊,随即,兴奋的笑容出现在半兽人脸上。他摩拳擦掌地嚷嚷道:“大人,这下我们可要好好大干一场了!这么多人围攻,魔神皇就是三头六臂也逃不掉了!”远东军被魔神皇冲阵杀将如入无物,德昆一直深以为耻。这下有机会复仇,他兴奋得雀跃不已。说着,他突然想到了什么,一拍脑门:“大人,忘说了,刚才的道上,我们抓到一个魔族俘虏,很可能是塞内亚贵族。”“是谁?”“我们从一辆马车上逮的,不知道她的身份。但那马车装饰很华贵,肯定是大人物。殿下,我们见识浅薄,没法分辨此人身份,只有交给您了!”德昆裂开大嘴,眉开眼笑,笑容中藏着几分狡黠,他转头打招呼:“来人,把好东西拿出来献给大人!”看着德昆那狡诈的笑容,再看看那扛着大麻袋的两个半兽人兵,紫川秀忽然觉得眼前的一幕很有种似曾相识的感觉,连德昆那狡猾的笑容好象都在哪里见过。。。有种强烈的预感,紫川秀喃喃道:“天,接下来该不会是。。。”麻袋解开了。卡丹公主清丽依然,她圆睁了清澈的双眼,一眨不眨地看着紫川秀,双眸透明有如水晶。他望着她,她望着他。就在此刻,时间凝固了,两人的身形凝固犹如雕像。无数的往事如潮水般从身边涌过,曾经无忧无虑的青春岁月,山盟海誓的爱情,生死相许的悲欢离合。在家国世事变幻的风云大潮中,作为个人的命运是多么的脆弱。即使贵为公主或者执掌一方的将军,他们的命运不比时代大潮中随浪飘浮的一根火柴棒重多少。沧海桑田,世事变幻,往事并不如烟,最终尽化尘埃。造化弄人竟能至如斯。望着眼前女子清丽的眼睛,紫川秀干咳一声。他不知道该如何面对这双眼睛,从前如此,现在也是如此。该怎么形容和她之间的关系呢?亦敌亦友,惺惺相怜,半生知己。该和她说些什么呢?象老熟人一般若无其事地打个招呼?或者拿出胜利者的威严来呵斥她?好象都不合适。最终,紫川秀只能对着卡丹慢慢地点头,微笑,笑容里充满了苦涩。他抽出了背后的洗月刀,横刀当空平举。“失礼了,公主殿下!”话音未落,洗月刀在空中划过了一道闪电般的弧线劈向卡丹。德昆惊骇得张大了嘴,叫道:“殿下,不要!赎金很值钱的。。。”“噌”的一声脆响,紫川秀已抽刀回鞘。绑着卡丹的绳子寸寸断裂,纷纷落地。紫川秀清朗地说:“您自由了,公主殿下。‘卡丹公主专注地凝视着紫川秀,刚才紫川秀挥刀的过程中,她的眼睛根本没眨,亮丽的眸子里没有丝毫畏惧。她柔声说:“私放敌国将领,紫川统领您难道就不害怕军法?”紫川秀淡淡说:“你不是将领,我也不怕军法——谁敢说出去?德昆,你会吗?”紫川秀斜眼瞄向旁边目瞪口呆的半兽人将军,后者这才醒悟过来,连声说:“殿下,俺什么都没看到,俺什么都没听到——总之,俺什么都不知道!殿下,俺过那边看看,您老人家忙吧,不用管我了!”话音未落,象是怕看到什么不该看的东西似的,半兽人将军一溜烟跑得没影了,那速度,浑不象一个两天两夜没能合眼休息的人。望着德昆跑远了,紫川秀才出声道:“怎么也想不到会在这里见到你。你怎么一个人在这里?”“我的卫队被冲散了,道上碰到溃兵,他们抢走了我车上的马。没有马,我也走不掉了。”“原来如此。”紫川秀这才明白,为什么先撤退的卡丹居然会被后赶来的德昆给俘虏。他对卡丹说:“事不宜迟,你得马上出发。追击的部队不止我一路,若是你落在文河或者流风军手上,我很难再救出来。你从俘虏里面挑一些人出来充当护卫,我再给你分一些马。”紫川秀转身吩咐部下:“想办法找些战马过来——没有?那就叫德昆他们让一些出来!”看着紫川秀大声呵斥那些反应迟钝的部下,卡丹的眼中流露出一丝感激。但内敛的她并没有出声,只是默默地看着紫川秀忙活着为她准备出发的干粮、淡水和战马,在俘虏里挑选合适的人选出来当护卫。当准备完毕,卡丹又坐回了马车上。匆匆的见面之后,再次分别又在眼前。卡丹忽然问道:“阿秀,你可知道我夫君的下落?他是死了,还是被你们活抓了?”紫川秀一愣:“云浅雪?我不知道。。。你不是和他一起走的吗?据我所知,你夫君是与第三军的叶尔马一起突围的。”“不,我夫君是跟着皇太子卡兰的部队一起走的,他们往塔伦城方向撤。父皇也想让我从塔伦城方向撤退,但我实在不放心父皇,一直留在军中,直到昨晚全军总突围时才跟着大队一起离开。”紫川秀皱皱眉,知道这其中一定有什么蹊跷,但兵荒马乱的,也不是追究的时候了。他问:“卡丹,你怎么不问令尊的下落呢?”卡丹脸色一黯:“不必问了。他有机会撤的,但他不肯,说无颜回去。”紫川秀心头一喜,脸上却露出了黯然的表情说:“请节哀。虽然立场不同,但谁都不得不承认,令尊乃盖世英雄,他求仁得仁,再无所憾。”卡丹盈盈地登上马车,转头对紫川秀说:“那么,请多保重,秀川统领。”紫川秀端庄地对她行了一个军礼:“路上保重,卡丹。”望着马车渐渐远去,渐渐消失在太阳升起的地平线上头,紫川秀神情惆怅。他这才注意到一件事,今天的匆匆会晤中,卡丹竟没有一个字提到斯特林。自己的初恋情人,竟是毁灭魔族王国的元凶巨魁,杀害自己父亲和亲人的凶手,料想卡丹的心里,也是矛盾得很吧?云浅雪和卡兰带着第三军和羽林军从战场上逃走了,但更多的魔族军队却被人类的铁钳困住了。蒙那将军和英木兰将军的骑兵军进展神速,飞插战场的两翼,就如两面钢铁城墙,锁死了魔族逃生向东南逃生的通道。各路人类军团士气高涨,突进勇猛。士兵们虽然疲惫,谁都知道,这是痛打落水狗的时候了,要获得战利品,就得靠现在了。现在,被包围的魔族兵已无逃生的希望。塞内亚兵不愧是王国精锐,很多魔族兵都选择了战死而不是被俘。被打散的各个魔族团队和大队排成大大小小的圆形阵,肩并肩抵抗人类的从四面八方的围攻。人类则不住地猛攻,把圈子一再压缩,压缩,象毒蛇一样紧紧缠住了魔族。武器又碰撞起来了,枪在刺,刀在砍,剑在削,砍在肉体和盾牌、盔甲上,乒乒乓乓。一个大圈子被人类打散了,他们又组成十几个小圈子,大群铁甲骑兵冲过,一个又一个魔族组成的圈子被荡平,魔族兵都被马蹄踩成了肉泥,直到所有的魔族兵都象一片森林似的纷纷被砍倒,直到最后一个魔族兵被切断喉咙之前,战斗是不会结束的。流风家士兵脸色发白了,他们很少见到这么残酷的战争。他们喊话保证投降魔族的生命安全,但魔族就象没听到一般,依然在不顾死活地抵抗。这里战斗的残酷远胜于西部边境战斗,在紫川家与流风家的作战中,双方是允许投降的而且俘虏是有可能被交换或者赎回的,流风军对魔族士兵对自己生命的轻蔑深感震惊。无论是围攻者还是被围攻者,双方都根本不把自己的性命当回事。因为魔族知道,他们在这片土地上犯下深重的罪行,双手血腥。即使投降了,人类也不可能放过他们的。被包围的魔族兵很少投降,即使最后防御圈被完全击碎,即使单身一人的魔族兵也不愿向胜利者屈膝,而是选择了战死。蒙那将军说:“他们不是人,全是野兽。我们是在与饿急的狼**手!”对于魔族王国来说,这是遭遇大难崩溃的一天,但也是王国战士展现勇气,最辉煌光荣的一天。最激烈的战斗依然是在远东军的防线周围,近卫旅被包围在此地。流风军是第一次与近卫旅交手,先前,他们对这种巨大而强悍的生物一无所知。轻骑兵们依然想用往常惯用的战术——近身冲刺骑射扰乱然后再突进破阵——他们吃了大亏。轻骑兵所挟带的猎弓对装甲兽只当是挠痒,突进的轻骑冲不破装甲兽的阵列。装甲兽双手一挥,重达八十斤的铁锤横横打来,竟有骑兵连人带马给打飞出五六米,浑身骨骼断裂五脏破裂而死的。从包围开始,突围和反突围的战斗就一直没停过。那些野蛮而强壮的装甲兽不停地冲撞人类的防线,被他们撞死踩死的流风军和紫川军士兵尸体堆成了一座小山。亲眼目睹这这一场景,第一次见到这种刀枪不入又力大无穷的怪物,流风家将领们无不胆战心惊。英木兰惊叹道:“那是什么怪物?我们面前的不是恐龙吧?”流风霜则问道:“能与这样的敌人激战两天两夜,贵军真是了不起。不知贵军是用什么方法抵御这些怪物的?能否向我们传授一点经验?”文河脸色发白,斯特林却是脸色发青,这时他才感到了自己的自私。自己粗暴地向紫川秀下了简单的命令:“死守!”甚至还以军法审判相威胁——现在回想起来,世间之自私残酷无过于此!即使强弩之末的装甲兽依然有这么恐怖的威力,自己要紫川秀独力抵抗全盛时的近卫旅和魔神皇,那简直就是要他去送死!他至今还想不明白,武器简陋兵力单薄的半兽人兵,到底是怎么跟这些怪物战斗的?那是真正的血肉山河,以死坚守!但即使再来一次,自己别无他法,依然要向紫川秀下达这个命令:“死守!”若不是紫川秀拖住了近卫旅主力,这数万恐怖的怪物投入正面战场的话,自己未必能坚持到流风军抵达。战争之残酷就在于此,他使人变得粗暴而残酷,铁石心肠,除胜利外,所有的牺牲和鲜血统统不在考虑范围。他向流风家将领解释:“诸位,先前与近卫旅交战的并非我东南军部队,而是紫川秀大人统率的远东劲旅。”“原来是远东军!”流风军将军们发出了惊叹的感慨:“紫川家在远东竟还有这么强大的军团!”在以往与紫川家的战斗中,紫川家很少把远东军调过来对付自己,对流风家来说,那支从蛮荒之地成长起来的强大军团始终蒙有一层神秘的面纱。想想,能硬撼装甲兽的军队,那是多么恐怖的实力!不少人都在忧虑,虽然与紫川家如今和好了,但国与国之间关系历来变幻莫测,若哪天紫川家一翻脸,真的从远东调来军队的话,那流风家就麻烦了。虽然人类已经取得了全面的绝对优势,但依然对那两万结阵坚守的近卫旅束手无策。硬攻不是不可以,但那要意味着付出巨大的伤亡。天知道要死多少人才能把这些怪物给消灭掉,尤其斯特林手上的都是伤亡惨重的疲兵,士兵们倒在地上就能枕着死尸立即睡着的。比起紫川军来,流风军的伤亡倒是微乎其微。但第一次进攻近卫旅受挫后,流风军立即谨慎起来。斯特林去找流风霜商议协同进攻的事,别的事都好商量,只是谈到进攻,流风霜露出了神秘的含蓄笑容,回绝得又干脆又利索:“我军长途跋涉,劳累不堪,不宜立即投入战斗。斯特林大人,贵部若要进攻,我愿为阁下掠阵,助威呐喊!”斯特林一阵气闷,流风霜只差没说:“斯特林你只管上吧,我精神上鼓励你!”他正在头疼时候,一个消息传来了:“帝都军团已经抵达!帝林监察长大人到了!”七八四年十一月十四日,清晨,天空灰沉沉的,彤云密布。一场雪眼看就要下来。一队身着黑色披风的骑兵和辎重车队穿梭在巴丹平原,这个刚刚经过激战的战场。骑兵和车队穿行于尸积如山的坡地和平原,两军战士的尸骸之多,堆满了道路,以至车队前面不得不派出人专门将尸骸和杂物搬离道路。空气中荡漾着浓郁的血腥味,熏人欲呕。大群的秃鹫在战场各处飞舞着,发出嘈杂的怪叫声。“大人,东南军主营已东移,斯特林大人派人传话了,说就在前方迎接您。”“不必了。”长身玉立的俊美将军淡淡道:“战事正紧,这时候就不必搞那些繁文琐节了。告诉东南军的联系官,我直接到前线与斯特林会合就是。”侍卫官领命正要去传达,忽见前面奔来了一路兵马。看见兵马上方飘扬的东南军主帅旗,他失声道:“大人,斯特林将军已经来了!”帝林脸上动容,策马奔出。果然,那路兵马前头那个熟悉的身影,却不正是斯特林!两人都是飞快地奔近来,同时翻身下马。自从三月间,斯特林出任东南军统领,两人就再不曾见过面。在这战乱岁月,斯特林指挥东南军,帝林坚守帝都,二人都是执掌一方重镇的人物,早养成了矜持沉稳的习性,平闲生死事都不再动心了。唯有在自己久不曾见的生死兄弟面前,那份真情性情才会流露。两人对视,都是心潮澎湃,激动万分。依照军中规矩,斯特林先端正地向帝林敬了一个军礼,帝林微笑着回礼,两人的笑容中都隐隐藏着泪光。“宁殿下很关心这边,催着我过来看。其实,斯特林你坐镇,我是压根不担心的:除了大获全胜,还能有别的结局吗?但殿下催得紧,没办法,呵呵,大哥我就厚着脸皮跑这么一趟了,拿到点捷报消息,也好回去给殿下报功沾点光。”第267章帝国的黄昏血日冉冉。

密集的流风军长驱直入,将魔族军阵杀得落花流水。一片混乱,火光、厮杀声、逃命的叫唤,惨叫声,无数的厮杀声汇集成一片洪流,喧嚣直冲天际。“陛下!”近卫旅指挥雷欧公爵领着一队装甲兽来到魔神皇面前,他的眼睛凶狠得可怕,急速地说:“陛下,救救王国,也救救您自己吧!人类还没合围,现在撤退还来得及!”看了他一眼,魔神皇淡淡说:“我怎能离开?”“陛下,现在还来得及!我准备了好马,专门给陛下您和皇子殿下、公主殿下留着的。我和近卫旅为您掩护后路!陛下,您一路请多保重了!”魔神皇脸色阴沉地看着雷欧,好久,他才出声道:“因为朕的决断,王国发起了这次西征。现在,王国一半的将士都死在了这儿,难道朕还能离开吗?朕没有脸面回去见蒙汗那些人幸灾乐祸的嘴脸,也没有脸面回见王国的子民。”“父皇!”一个清脆的女声出来打断了魔神皇,卡丹公主从后帐中走出,她正要向魔神皇行屈膝礼,却被魔神皇打断了:“什么时候了,还那么多虚礼!”“是!父皇,胜败乃兵家常事,父皇您乃国之根本,只要您健在,王国就保住了根本。。。”卡丹正说得流畅,魔神皇却突然打断了她:“卡丹,有些事你不懂。有些人是只能胜,不能败的。一旦失败,他就什么也不是!”卡丹喊道:“父皇,为什么?自古哪有不打败仗的将军?眼前的斯特林,他不也在奥斯打了败仗?在帕依被迫和我们签了城下之盟?紫川秀,他不也不同样在红河湾被凌步虚将军打得落花流水?就连号称人类第一名将的流风霜,她不也同样被紫川秀打败过?”“可他们不是神皇。”魔神皇淡淡地一笑,笑容里带着说不出的骄傲和凄凉:“这世上,只有胜利的卡特皇帝,没有败的卡特。”看到卡丹还要说话,魔神皇摇手:“雷欧,你派人将公主带出包围圈,撤退回国——这是命令,不必再争。”雷欧立即执行。公主的卫队硬推着卡兰公主上了马车,护着她向南驰去。正向东的大道已被东南军和远东军和堵死了,流风霜从西北方斜斜地插了进来,其强势的兵马正急速地向战场外围展开包抄。魔族若要撤退,唯一的出路是在流风霜和东南军合围之前从东南方撤退。叶尔马军团长生气地嚷嚷道:“陛下!请下命令吧,云浅雪那鼠辈,居然敢临阵逃脱!微臣要去拦截羽林军,要让云浅雪那无耻小人知道王国愤怒的可怕!”雷欧望了他一眼,眼中流露鄙夷。叶尔马吹得好听,去拦截羽林军,他拿什么拦截?损兵折将的第三军只是勉强还能支撑在阵地上,只是因为对魔神皇的盲目信仰,士兵们还没开始大批地逃亡。叶尔马不可能不知道,他借口出兵拦截云浅雪,其实不过是想从魔神皇身边躲开好趁机逃跑罢了。魔神皇伫立在帐篷门口,映衬外面的喧嚣和吵嚷,魔神皇的沉默具有万钧的力量。雷欧明白神皇此时的心理:比起输掉这场注定要失败的战争,云浅雪的逃跑对神皇的打击更为沉重。自己一直欣赏和栽培的重臣竟是个贪生怕死的懦夫,这让神皇深感失落。“陛下!羽林将军求见!”“什么?”叶尔马惊叫。魔神皇霍然转身,脸露喜色:“宣他进来!”云浅雪大步行进。他态度端庄地向魔神皇下跪行礼,沉稳地说:“微臣参见陛下!”“时间紧迫,羽林卿请起。”“谢陛下。”“羽林卿,羽林军如今何在?情况如何?”“启禀陛下,在卡兰殿下率领下,羽林军所部正向东南塔伦城方向转进。微臣离开时,我部遭到流风军的追击,但前方并无拦截。”“有多少人马平安脱离包围圈了?”“情况很混乱,无法统计。羽林军约有十二个团能成建制地离开,不到三万人。但还有一些第五军和第十一军的弟兄加入我们队伍,估计有四万人能闯出包围圈。”魔神皇点头,低声说:“只有四万人了吗?入关时的百万之师,到如今只剩下了四万残兵败将?”“陛下,情况应该比微臣估计得要好。人类的包围圈太大,他们的兵力不足维持,必然会有很多空隙。能突围的兵马绝不会只有微臣一部。但据情报说,帝林已拿下了达克,也正朝这里赶来。若他一到,我们就。。。”云浅雪本想说:“插翅难飞。”但他还是换了个温和的说法:“更加困难了。”魔神皇点头,突然问:“云,你为什么回来了?”“微臣无能,不能阻止皇子殿下胡作非为,已是死罪,本就惶恐无地了。若再抛下陛下独自逃生,微臣实在做不出来。”魔神皇沉默了好久,才慢慢出声:“云浅雪,你很好。”“微臣实在愧不敢当。”眼见情况如此紧急,魔神皇和云浅雪却如此平和地对话,将宝贵的时间白白浪费,叶尔马听得心里冒火,插嘴道:“陛下,情况紧急,我们还是先想对策吧?”“叶尔马,放心,你有时间逃跑的。”魔神皇淡淡说道,转身大步出了营帐。雷欧鄙夷地看了叶尔马一眼,低沉地说:“公爵,你的胆怯就象屎一般散发着臭气!”跟在魔神皇的身后,他也出去了。叶尔马膛目结舌地呆在原地,面红耳赤。大火在燃烧,天边一片火红,第三军和近卫旅的残余士兵集合在主营前。比起昨日出战前,士兵的阵列已经大为凋零,残余的士兵们身上带伤,疲倦,委顿,衣裳破烂。但他们眼睛中依然闪烁着那么一股傲气,那是一种不甘服输的愤怒,那是一种不敢相信眼前发生事实的眼神。十六军投降,铁壁军崩溃,羽林军逃亡,西南军被围歼——就在五个小时以前,以上的诸路军团都是不曾一败的强师劲旅,王国不败的象征,但就在他们的眼前,这些威名显赫的皇牌劲旅一个接一个被人类打垮、消灭。那些愚昧而单纯的魔族士兵,坚信魔族王国的强大是无可匹敌的,魔神皇的英明睿智是天生的,王国威力无穷的战争机器制造胜利就象土豆从地里长出来一般天经地义,就象太阳从东方升起一般自然而然。直到如今,成千上万的溃败士兵经过了他们阵地,他们亲眼见到那些哭喊着逃命的士兵与他们同样穿着塞内亚族的服饰,同样有着黄金族的血统战士向他们哭诉着战友如何被人类骑兵大批地屠杀的经历,眼见无敌的军团在自己眼前溃败,英勇的战士被追杀,塞内亚士兵们愤怒得胸口里象团着一团火,愤怒中又带着惶恐:难道,王国真的会失败吗?由魔神皇亲自指挥,有着那么多优秀将领,那么多骁勇战士组成的强大军团,真的会如此一败涂地吗?他们迫切地需要答案,现在,给他们答案的最佳人选出现了,魔神皇出现了!魔神皇出现在军队前面,依然神采飞扬,只是眼神中多了一种深沉的忧郁。他以严峻的眼神注视着众人:“士兵们,塞内亚的勇士们,我的孩子们,我们被打败了。”黑烟在远方冉冉升起,厮杀的声不断传来,死一般的沉寂笼罩在人群上空,没有人喊叫,没有人哭泣,士兵们只是呆呆地望着魔神皇。魔神皇就是他们的神,他们不败的信仰,他们永远照耀天空的太阳。现在,太阳熄灭了。魔神皇平静地说,那平静的声音中,蕴含着强大的力量:“从恒古以来,我们的民族一直在经受着烈狱般的苦难。饥荒,死地,战争,瘟疫,我们的国度是灾难与泪水之邦。我曾以为,我能带领你们走出这个灾难之地,结束这段沾满泪水与死亡的路程。但是,最终我们失败了。我的孩子们,你们英勇战斗,无愧于王国和亲人。因为朕的无能与鲁莽,王国蒙受了巨大的损失,你们付出了巨大的代价。朕愧对王国,更对不起那些为朕而战死的战士们。”对着面前士兵群,魔神皇弯下腰,深深地鞠了一个躬。一阵愕然的波动从人群中荡过,面对魔神皇史无前例的道歉,云浅雪、雷欧等将领们首先反应过来,连忙下跪回礼。紧接着是军官们,犹如大风吹过田野,士兵们如同被风吹倒的稻浪般一排排地跪倒。“失败并不是结束,苦难才刚刚开始。在军事上取得优势以后,人类必然谋求政治上统治我们,他们要掠夺我们的土地,奴役我们的人民,消灭我们的历史、文字和传统,谋求从根本上同化伟大的神族,将我们变成人类的附庸和走狗,让我们的子孙变成人类的雇佣军!士兵们,你们中有人战死,有人幸存。战死的人,朕将带领你们去觐见大魔神,告诉他,他的子民英勇奋战,无愧于王国威名。活下去的战士,你们有着更艰难而坚韧的任务,告诉我们的孩子真相,告诉他们,历史上曾有过这样的魔神王国,他的子民勤劳而坚韧,他的战士骁勇而忠诚,他的皇帝睿智而勇敢,国土幅员广阔,军队强大无比!在强大的魔神王国面前,所有的人类帝国都在颤抖!告诉我们的子孙,所有的人类宣传都是谎言,在团结一致的神族面前,看似强大的人类军队不过土鸡瓦狗,他们不可能永远统治神族!我们之所以失败,并非我们的战士不够勇敢,并非我们的将军不够优秀,唯一的原因,唯一的原因,是我们不够团结,卑鄙的叛徒出卖了我们的王国,而人类却能达成了空前的团结,我们遭遇了历史上最强大的人类军队。神族军队曾经无限接近胜利,虽然最终失败,但我们震撼大陆!士兵们,活下去,并且记住:想永久征服神族这样强悍的民族是不可能的,人类的统治绝不会长久,终有一天,我们的子孙会高举黄金大旗卷土重来!愿他们勇敢,愿他们坚强,愿他们有比我们更好的运气!让子孙们记住我的预言:当黄金狮子旗帜再次闪烁,我们的皇将再次出现!让他们世世代代牢记这句话:“魔神王国万岁!”“魔神王国万岁!”五万人同时呼喝应和,呼声犹如雷霆震撼,远远地回荡在大地上,压倒了远处传来的巨大战斗轰鸣声。主营前一直飘荡的王国黄金狮子旗被降下来了,看见这面旗帜冉冉落下,士兵们痛哭出声。无敌的黄金狮子旗,王国强大与辉煌的象征,终于也黯然谢幕了吗?魔神皇把柔软的丝绸旗帜折叠,递给云浅雪:“将这个交给卡兰。虽然朕这个孩子不是很成器,但这个时候,撑得起王国的也只有他了。”这不仅仅是转交一面旗帜,这更是将皇位传承给卡兰的象征。望着魔神皇英俊而和蔼的脸容,明白陛下已下定了死战于此的决心,喉头象梗着一块铁,云浅雪跪倒,他连一句完整的话都说不出来了:“陛下,请让雷欧大人承担此任务吧。请允许微臣跟随您一同战斗!”“雷欧和近卫旅走不快,会被人类骑兵追上的。云,时代已经不同了。未来的日子,王国更需要的是能审时度势、狡诈多智的政治家,雷欧这种单纯的武士发挥不了什么作用,与其让他在郁郁寡欢中落寞老死,不如让他最后辉煌一次吧。”“陛下!”云浅雪泪如雨下。他接过旗帜,小心地将它收入贴身的口袋,朝魔神皇重重磕了个头:“陛下放心,微臣一定将旗帜安全交到卡兰殿下手中!请陛下您保重!”魔神皇微笑道:“辅助好卡兰,告诉他,有事多听听他妹妹的。”这是云浅雪见到魔神皇的最后一面,魔神皇那明朗的笑容一直回荡在他的心中。这个雄伟绝世的绝世枭雄,一生无敌。即使他最后失败,但回忆起他,无论是敌人或者朋友,谁都不得不承认,他是黄金时代最恐怖,也是最伟大的战士。天色全黑下来了,惨烈的战斗却没有丝毫结束的迹象。在背后斯特林、文河和流风霜三个庞大的战斗集团压迫下,魔族已失去了战胜的任何奢望。魔神皇下令放弃一切辎重,撤退的魔族兵放火烧掉了自己的大营,目的是阻拦背后流风军的追击步伐。燃烧的大营燃起了冲天的火焰,照红了一方的天际,二十里外也看得见。就在通红火光的映照下,魔族军的突围战役打响了。在开路的装甲兽先导下,大群的魔族步兵、骑兵猛扑向远东军的阵地。这是最后的战斗了。装甲兽军团的巨大轰隆声再次响起的同时,紫川秀接到了东南军指挥部的严令:“远东军务必坚到增援抵达,绝不能放魔神皇逃脱!”一方是决意坚守,一方却是拼死逃生,那个最残酷的夜晚,喋血高地成了双方争夺的焦点,魔族军以截然不同以往的决死姿势猛扑上来,与防守高地的秀字营展开了肉搏战。因为在夜间,远程射击武器能发挥的作用很小,两军都只能依靠近身白刃战来厮杀。在夜间与急于逃生的装甲兽近身战斗,这是远东军的噩梦。血红的火光中,厮杀的人影不时闪烁,飞溅的鲜血,奔跑的身影突然地倒地,恐怖的呐喊不绝于耳,最后的勇士发出绝望的吼叫,在喋血高地阵地上,战死者的尸体在平地上垒起一座小山,仅仅半个小时的战斗,远东军就伤亡了五千多人,阵地指挥官罗杰本人被一棍敲得昏迷不醒,被部下抬下了阵地,他的部队被汹涌而来的装甲兽和魔族兵冲得溃不成军,阵地宣告失守。在那烈火漫天的激战夜晚,各处响起了激烈的锣声宣告示警。喋血高地的失守在远东军的阵地上撕开了一个大口子,从这个缺口上,魔族大军急速通过,仓惶逃生。远东军统帅部试图堵上这个缺口,白川和紫川秀带着增援部队想重新夺回喋血高地阵地,但这就好象用啤酒瓶来塞洪水冲垮的江坝一般,根本无济于事。三次反击都被魔族给打了回来,只遗下尸骸累累,装甲兽部队牢牢地控制住这个阵地,作为魔族大军后撤的通道。一次又一次反攻失败,到最后,紫川秀终于颓然地认识到,士气和体力都被严重削弱,如今正处于最低点的远东军是不可能拦得住急于逃生的魔族精锐部队的。“魔神皇军团已突破我防线,向东突围!急需增援!”向斯特林的求援信使派出去了,但在增援到来之前,紫川秀也没闲着。他发现,魔族军的行动虽然混乱,但却是有序可寻的。撤退的魔族兵马很明显地分成两部,一部分是第三军的普通魔族兵,在军官们的带领下,他们急速地小跑前进,不做丝毫停留;而另一部分是以装甲兽为主的近卫旅兵马,这部分兵马坠在大军的后面,利用各种地形就地抵抗,尽可能地阻碍人类兵马的追击。稍一思索,紫川秀立即明白过来:“因为跑不快,所以装甲兽们被留下来充当阻击的敢死队吗?”很自然地,他猜测魔神皇应该在第三军的撤退兵马中。他下令:“不要管那些装甲兽,他们跑不掉的!追第三军去,魔神皇就在前面!”在那兵荒马乱的混乱黑夜里,远东军的各层组织系统完全给打乱了,有的部队被打散,有的部队被消灭,大多数部队都是经历了惨重的减员和伤亡,被魔族冲得七零八落。要想顺当地把命令传达到各个部队,那几乎是件不可能完成的任务。紫川秀对身边的警卫们下令道:“喊吧,大声喊!让听到的部队都跟着喊:‘光明王有令:无论死活,抓到魔神皇的,赏金五百万!’”黑夜里,呼声此起彼落:“魔神皇就在前面!抓住他!”一传十,十传百,黑夜里,越来越多的部队加入了呼喝:“抓到魔神皇,赏金五百万!”呼声越来越大,最后简直是震耳欲聋。每个人都在狂热地呼喝着,眼睛赤红。这不单是为五百万的巨额悬赏激动,更因为呼声透出了一个重要的信息,透出了胜利的预兆!你看,光明王都对魔神皇悬赏了,那肯定是我们快赢了!尽管被魔族冲得七零八落,尽管伤亡惨重,尽管魔族的装甲兽还很嚣张,但胜利的狂喜给了士兵们无穷的动力,一切都乱套了,不顾什么队列阵形,凡是还能爬动的,还有一口气的,统统行动了起来。连在军队中服役的民夫和伙房里的厨子都拿起了扁担菜刀向东追过去。紫川秀本人亲自上第一线参加追击。他带着警卫队,将一路碰到上的散兵游勇都给集合起来。不论是秀字营还是半兽人兵,只要还能走动的,紫川秀对他只有一句话:“拿起武器跟我走!”在那漆黑的混乱中,紫川秀收拢了约莫五千多人。就带着这五千多人,他跟着撤退的魔族军一路追下去。谁也没料到,远东军的主帅竟有这般的胆色,带着一个多团就敢追踪魔神皇带领的装甲兽。在那黑暗的道上,追击的部队与逃跑魔族散兵们不时遭遇,交战接二连三。“不要管他们!只管向东!”紫川秀大吼道。此刻,他的脑子里只有一个念头,那就是必须赶到前面去,拦住魔神皇的去路。若让魔神皇跑了,连续三天的殊死战斗就失去了意义。全都乱套了。若有人能在上空俯视的话,他会发现这夜的混乱呈现极奇怪的状态。在向东的道路上,追击的人类兵马和魔族部队竟是混成一团前进的。魔族兵马急于逃生,人类部队则是一心一意想追上前面的魔神皇,不想与这些散兵游勇们纠缠。于是出现了极罕见的景象:行进中的魔族兵马和人类兵马你中有我,我中有你地混杂在了一起,居然相安无事。双方都在拼命地奔跑,人类想赶到前面去建立第二道拦截阵地,魔族则是想在人类再次包围之前逃逸,这个时候,时间就是生命!在突围时,第三军的魔族兵战斗得十分勇敢,为逃生,他们万众一心,还是作为一支完整的武装部队冲出去的。但就在那漆黑的奔逃道上,听到身后传来的震天呼声,恐惧感控制了魔族官兵的心头。紫川秀的快速穿插更是给魔族制造了无数的混乱和惊恐。黑夜里,惊恐的呼声此起彼伏:“人类追上来了!快逃命吧!”恐慌在撤退的魔族军中蔓延,对生命的渴望压倒了一切。在紫川秀近逼贴身的追击下,第三军井然有序的撤退变成了一次彻底的大溃败,建制被打散,官长的权威被蔑视,丢下了所有的伤员和辎重。溃兵们互相践踏,互相推挤,踩着死人和活人往前,大路、小路、桥梁、平原、山岗、山谷、树林都被溃兵塞满了,丢在路上的背包和武器撒了一地,没人去拣。魔族兵再不肯留下担任阻击的队伍,见到人类也不再攻击,生怕耽搁了逃生的时机。就在这漆黑混乱的夜晚,到处都乱了套。官长找不到士兵,士兵找不到指挥官。军队溃败犹如江河崩溃,一泻不可收拾。溃兵到处乱窜,连紫川秀所带领的追击部队都被冲散了,到后来,他身边就只剩了数百人,在数万人的魔族乱军中到处搜寻魔神皇的身影。每抓到一个魔族,紫川秀都用魔族语厉声疾色地喝问他:“快说,魔神皇在哪里?”不知那些魔族俘虏真不知道魔神皇下落还是因为忠君爱国,没有一个人说出魔神皇下落。紫川秀大为苦恼,在这数万人的军队中寻找魔神皇简直就象在大海里搜针。他都快有些绝望了,却突然看到斜斜里有一彪魔族骑兵经过,他们制服鲜亮,人高马大,显然是魔族兵中的精锐。在这混乱的夜晚,这队魔族骑兵却显出与众不同,进退之间,他们显得更有秩序和纪律。紫川秀眼前一亮:“就是他们了,上!”话音未落,他已第一个冲了上前,雷霆般一刀就把最前面的那个骑兵给砍下马来。后面的骑兵们发一声惊呼就要上来动手,但秀字营的行动更快,一窝蜂地冲了上来。骑兵若不能跑起来,胯下的坐骑反倒成了障碍。秀字营突然冲近身一抱,没等魔族兵把长矛和马刀出来,他们已先扑上去硬生生地把骑兵们从马背上扯了下来,大伙滚在地上厮打开来。这伙骑兵一边打一边哇啦怪叫着什么,紫川秀也听不懂,估计是向经过的魔族兵求救。但这时,大难临头,谁还顾得上别人的事。尽管魔族溃兵潮水般从身边跑过,但却没一个人停下脚步来给他们伸出援手的。事后想起来,连紫川秀自己也觉得顺利得意外:自己身边只带了那么几百人就敢在魔族溃兵中大摇大摆地抓人,那几千上万的魔族兵一旦清醒过来,不被他们撕了才怪!战斗没多久就结束了,几十个魔族骑兵被打死了一半。在秀字营士兵的刀剑威迫下,剩下的全部被缴了械,用皮带绑住双手盘膝坐在地上。紫川秀一个一个地望着他们,其中一个大个子的魔族老兵引起了他的注意。这个魔族老兵一身白毛,身形比普通魔族兵要高出一个头。尽管他竭力想把身形躲在其他魔族兵的身后,但那臃肿而庞大的身躯在矮小的魔族兵中实在是鹤立鸡群,想不引人注意都难。这个魔族老兵身着低级魔族兵的制服,但他的宽下巴脸型和傲慢的眼神却在告诉紫川秀,此人是惯于颐指气使的人物。“你,站起来!”用纯正的魔族语,紫川秀指着那个魔族兵喝道。老魔族磨蹭了一阵,最后才不情不愿地站了起来。他耷拉着脑袋望地上,不与紫川秀的眼光对视。望着他,紫川秀使劲地在脑海里搜寻:这个魔族看起来有点面熟?在哪里见过他了?良久,一个人影渐渐在脑海里浮现。那仿佛是很久远的故事了。七八零年深秋的那个夜晚,那血腥而惊险的一夜。那时候,此人是高高在上的军团长,王国贵族,自己不过是一员投诚的叛将。那晚,在这位王国贵族眼里,自己不会比一只爬虫高贵多少,他拿眼睛扫自己一眼都是莫大的恩惠了。谁能料到呢?世事竟能做如此大的颠倒。当年的卑微者已成为了征服者,而傲慢者却沦为阶下囚。紫川秀平静地说:“叶尔马公爵,好久不见了。”被紫川秀叫出了身份,叶尔马猛然抬起头。他望着紫川秀,眼神里充满了迷惑和恐惧。他不明白,为什么眼前的这位人类军官能一眼就叫出了自己的名字。多年前,他见过紫川秀一面。但在那个宴会上的紫川秀,与眼前这个周身铠甲血腥斑斑的敌将有很大的区别。他小声地咕嘟道:“你是谁?”紫川秀没时间和他废话,直截问道:“魔神皇在哪里?说出来!”叶尔马傲慢地抬起了头,一言不发。他那挑衅地冲着紫川秀昂起的下巴分明是无声地宣布:“我什么都知道,但我就是不说!”“好,很好!”紫川秀冷笑道:“塞内亚贵族,果然很有骨气。”他使个眼色,几个卫兵会意地冲上去,将叶尔马从俘虏群中拖出来,拖到路边的暗地里去。只听好一阵拳脚与肉体的激烈碰撞声和鬼哭狼嚎般的求救声,黑夜里,魔族俘虏们听得脸色发白。过了好一阵,卫兵们拖着叶尔马——那已经不能说是叶尔马了,只能说是一堆看起来很象叶尔马的肉——出来。军官跑到紫川秀身边小声报告:“启禀大人,他招供了。他说,魔神皇没有随第三军突围。他和近卫旅都留在包围圈里面了。”“什么!”紫川秀失声叫出来,他怀疑地看了一眼军官:“可靠吗?”军官也皱起了眉头,魔族的皇帝竟然没有突围而是自愿留下来断后,这个消息未免也太匪夷所思了。“要不,下官再好好地和他聊聊?”“算了。”紫川秀看看叶尔马,他被打得头破血流七窍流血,已快奄奄一息了。再让那军官跟他“好好地聊”下去,估计他就得一命呜呼了。“你另外找几个魔族兵出来,对一下他们的口供,看看是否一致。”审讯的结果很快出来了,除了几个死活不肯开口的死硬分子,魔族兵的招供惊人地一致:“魔神皇没有突围。他还在二号高地附近,与近卫旅在一道。”紫川秀眉头深锁,想了一阵,他做出了决定:“斯特林和流风霜的兵马正在扫荡近卫旅,我们回去作用不大。还是以防万一吧,万一叶尔马撒谎,或者他们都被魔神皇骗了呢?我们继续追!即使抓不到魔神皇,听叶尔马说,羽林云浅雪是和他们一起突围的,只是在途中失散了。这是条大鱼,我们抓他去!”紫川秀的追击直到第二天拂晓东方天色发白,此时,追击的兵马累得连手都抬不起来了,士兵们跑得脸色发白嘴唇发青,若不是顾忌身边的魔族俘虏造反,他们都要在死尸堆上倒下来便睡了。虽然劳累,但这晚的战果却是十分丰厚的,抓到的俘虏长长的一串,起码有四五千人之多。唯一遗憾的是,其中有分量的将领和贵族没几个。除了叶尔马外,只有几个子爵、伯爵之类的“白披风”,想抓的云浅雪没碰到,不知是这位羽林将军腿脚特别灵便还是黑夜里大伙在道上错过了。想想,紫川秀倒也没怎么遗憾。毕竟抓了一个叶尔马,自己已经够幸运了,还想再抓一个云浅雪,把塞内亚首领们给一网打尽,那也未免得陇望蜀了。回程的路上,道上到处堆满了丢弃的武器、尸体、燃烧的辎重车,满目苍夷。后续的步兵部队已经跟上来了,成群结队的远东半兽人兵正在战场各处搜巡,他们在打劫魔族的战利品,搜寻漏网的魔族官兵。虽然疲惫,官兵们却十分兴奋,一路吱吱喳喳说个不停。这晚他们的收获不小,抓俘与杀敌是同功,紫川秀出手大方,远东军功奖丰厚,抓了五千多俘虏,即使其中一半要算紫川秀本人的功劳——估计统领大人也没那么黑吧?——剩下的一半按人头分也有每人四五个俘虏的功劳了,这笔赏金可是不少。何况里面还有几个塞内亚贵族和军官呢?将来人类与魔族若停战了,那光靠这几个贵族的赎金就足够大伙吃喝不愁。紫川秀却没有部下的欢快心情,他眉头紧锁,一路搭拉着脑袋,一副心事沉沉的样子。有熟悉的部下故意逗他开心:“统领大人,是不是心疼奖金啦?”紫川秀笑笑:“兔崽子,看牢你的钱袋,别让他们跑了,没送到俘虏营的可不能算奖金。滚蛋吧!”部下嘻嘻哈哈一笑而散,紫川秀若有所思地张望四周,他在抑止着内心彭湃的激动。人类千年的苦难,终于在今天结束了!巴丹一战消灭近四十万魔族主力,魔族已无力回天了,此战可永载史册。巴丹会战的意义不单是军事上的,更是政治上的。三百年前倚靠明王的神力打退魔族兵,虽然也是胜利,但那样的胜利让人总让人觉得不真实,而魔族也不把人类当战胜者看待,而是把他们看作是躲避在明王羽翼下的寄生虫。这三百年间,魔族屡次西侵的原因就在此了。他们有心理上的优势,认为人类懦弱,不配拥有这块土地,自然好战了。但这次巴丹会战,不是靠明王的神威,不是靠虚无飘渺的神力,而是靠着普普通通的人类兵、半兽人兵真刀实枪地与魔族军白刃见血厮杀,实打实打出来的胜利,这场胜利打出了人类的威风,拿出来心里塌实!这一仗,足可为三百年前的蓝河会战洗耻,人类从此扬眉吐气。紫川秀唯一担心的是,魔神皇到底死了吗?迎面奔来了一队骑兵,紫川秀认出是自己麾下的半兽人骑兵部队,带头的领队正是德昆。他朝德昆挥挥手,后者看到了紫川秀,连忙朝这边奔来。“殿下!”德昆依然是纱布包着一只伤眼,身上血迹斑斑,连身上的毛发都被血浆凝住了,隔着老远就从他身上传来了一阵刺鼻的汗酸味,那味道太冲了,紫川秀只觉得鼻子一酸,一连打了三个喷嚏——连打了快三天的仗,谁都没功夫梳洗,紫川秀估计自己的模样和味道也好不到哪去。“殿下!”“德昆,你站在那,别过来。”紫川秀伸直了手连连摇晃,象是要从手心发出冲击波将德昆推在三尺之外,一手捂着鼻子,瓮声瓮气地说:“怎么?魔神皇抓到了吗?”德昆一愣:“殿下,是白川大人派我来接应您的。魔神皇,我不知道——不是您带兵马去追击魔神皇了吗?您怎么问起我来了?您抓到魔神皇了吗?”紫川秀这才发现,自己犯了一个错误。在追击魔族兵马的同时,自己居然忘记把魔神皇可能还在战场上的事告诉斯特林或者白川了。看紫川秀脸色变幻,德昆猜他肯定是空手而归了。他安慰道:“大人,魔神皇跑了就跑了,没什么大不了的。想想,魔神王国的皇帝象兔子一般被您在黑地里撵了一夜,那个狼狈肯定少不了的。魔神皇能从您面前逃跑一次,那他就坠了架子,将来他还会逃跑第二次、第三次的!没什么大不了的,逃了的魔神皇就一钱不值了,不足为惧了!”紫川秀也懒得跟他解释了,问:“主阵地那边怎样了?”“还在打!近卫旅还在负隅顽抗。第三军撤退后,近卫旅也想突围,但白川大人把他们咬得死死的,追在他们后面撵着尾巴打。近卫旅跑不快,没办法甩开白川大人,只好边打边走。后来文河大人过来了,斯特林那边的军团也开过来了,流风军那边的兵马也咬上来了——流风家的兵马真威风啊,高头大马,一式全是骑兵——眼看我们的人越来越多,近卫旅知道跑不掉了,干脆就找了个高坡团在那死守,四下全是我们的兵马密密围住,听说帝林大人的军队也在赶来,他们是插翅难飞了!”“帝林也来了!”听到这个消息,紫川秀喜出望外。对于这个大哥,他有一种近乎盲目的崇拜和相信,帝林来了,那就再没有解决不了的问题。“那我们快回去,魔神皇可能就在被包围的近卫旅里边!”“什么!”德昆大吃一惊,随即,兴奋的笑容出现在半兽人脸上。他摩拳擦掌地嚷嚷道:“大人,这下我们可要好好大干一场了!这么多人围攻,魔神皇就是三头六臂也逃不掉了!”远东军被魔神皇冲阵杀将如入无物,德昆一直深以为耻。这下有机会复仇,他兴奋得雀跃不已。说着,他突然想到了什么,一拍脑门:“大人,忘说了,刚才的道上,我们抓到一个魔族俘虏,很可能是塞内亚贵族。”“是谁?”“我们从一辆马车上逮的,不知道她的身份。但那马车装饰很华贵,肯定是大人物。殿下,我们见识浅薄,没法分辨此人身份,只有交给您了!”德昆裂开大嘴,眉开眼笑,笑容中藏着几分狡黠,他转头打招呼:“来人,把好东西拿出来献给大人!”看着德昆那狡诈的笑容,再看看那扛着大麻袋的两个半兽人兵,紫川秀忽然觉得眼前的一幕很有种似曾相识的感觉,连德昆那狡猾的笑容好象都在哪里见过。。。有种强烈的预感,紫川秀喃喃道:“天,接下来该不会是。。。”麻袋解开了。卡丹公主清丽依然,她圆睁了清澈的双眼,一眨不眨地看着紫川秀,双眸透明有如水晶。他望着她,她望着他。就在此刻,时间凝固了,两人的身形凝固犹如雕像。无数的往事如潮水般从身边涌过,曾经无忧无虑的青春岁月,山盟海誓的爱情,生死相许的悲欢离合。在家国世事变幻的风云大潮中,作为个人的命运是多么的脆弱。即使贵为公主或者执掌一方的将军,他们的命运不比时代大潮中随浪飘浮的一根火柴棒重多少。沧海桑田,世事变幻,往事并不如烟,最终尽化尘埃。造化弄人竟能至如斯。望着眼前女子清丽的眼睛,紫川秀干咳一声。他不知道该如何面对这双眼睛,从前如此,现在也是如此。该怎么形容和她之间的关系呢?亦敌亦友,惺惺相怜,半生知己。该和她说些什么呢?象老熟人一般若无其事地打个招呼?或者拿出胜利者的威严来呵斥她?好象都不合适。最终,紫川秀只能对着卡丹慢慢地点头,微笑,笑容里充满了苦涩。他抽出了背后的洗月刀,横刀当空平举。“失礼了,公主殿下!”话音未落,洗月刀在空中划过了一道闪电般的弧线劈向卡丹。德昆惊骇得张大了嘴,叫道:“殿下,不要!赎金很值钱的。。。”“噌”的一声脆响,紫川秀已抽刀回鞘。绑着卡丹的绳子寸寸断裂,纷纷落地。紫川秀清朗地说:“您自由了,公主殿下。‘卡丹公主专注地凝视着紫川秀,刚才紫川秀挥刀的过程中,她的眼睛根本没眨,亮丽的眸子里没有丝毫畏惧。她柔声说:“私放敌国将领,紫川统领您难道就不害怕军法?”紫川秀淡淡说:“你不是将领,我也不怕军法——谁敢说出去?德昆,你会吗?”紫川秀斜眼瞄向旁边目瞪口呆的半兽人将军,后者这才醒悟过来,连声说:“殿下,俺什么都没看到,俺什么都没听到——总之,俺什么都不知道!殿下,俺过那边看看,您老人家忙吧,不用管我了!”话音未落,象是怕看到什么不该看的东西似的,半兽人将军一溜烟跑得没影了,那速度,浑不象一个两天两夜没能合眼休息的人。望着德昆跑远了,紫川秀才出声道:“怎么也想不到会在这里见到你。你怎么一个人在这里?”“我的卫队被冲散了,道上碰到溃兵,他们抢走了我车上的马。没有马,我也走不掉了。”“原来如此。”紫川秀这才明白,为什么先撤退的卡丹居然会被后赶来的德昆给俘虏。他对卡丹说:“事不宜迟,你得马上出发。追击的部队不止我一路,若是你落在文河或者流风军手上,我很难再救出来。你从俘虏里面挑一些人出来充当护卫,我再给你分一些马。”紫川秀转身吩咐部下:“想办法找些战马过来——没有?那就叫德昆他们让一些出来!”看着紫川秀大声呵斥那些反应迟钝的部下,卡丹的眼中流露出一丝感激。但内敛的她并没有出声,只是默默地看着紫川秀忙活着为她准备出发的干粮、淡水和战马,在俘虏里挑选合适的人选出来当护卫。当准备完毕,卡丹又坐回了马车上。匆匆的见面之后,再次分别又在眼前。卡丹忽然问道:“阿秀,你可知道我夫君的下落?他是死了,还是被你们活抓了?”紫川秀一愣:“云浅雪?我不知道。。。你不是和他一起走的吗?据我所知,你夫君是与第三军的叶尔马一起突围的。”“不,我夫君是跟着皇太子卡兰的部队一起走的,他们往塔伦城方向撤。父皇也想让我从塔伦城方向撤退,但我实在不放心父皇,一直留在军中,直到昨晚全军总突围时才跟着大队一起离开。”紫川秀皱皱眉,知道这其中一定有什么蹊跷,但兵荒马乱的,也不是追究的时候了。他问:“卡丹,你怎么不问令尊的下落呢?”卡丹脸色一黯:“不必问了。他有机会撤的,但他不肯,说无颜回去。”紫川秀心头一喜,脸上却露出了黯然的表情说:“请节哀。虽然立场不同,但谁都不得不承认,令尊乃盖世英雄,他求仁得仁,再无所憾。”卡丹盈盈地登上马车,转头对紫川秀说:“那么,请多保重,秀川统领。”紫川秀端庄地对她行了一个军礼:“路上保重,卡丹。”望着马车渐渐远去,渐渐消失在太阳升起的地平线上头,紫川秀神情惆怅。他这才注意到一件事,今天的匆匆会晤中,卡丹竟没有一个字提到斯特林。自己的初恋情人,竟是毁灭魔族王国的元凶巨魁,杀害自己父亲和亲人的凶手,料想卡丹的心里,也是矛盾得很吧?云浅雪和卡兰带着第三军和羽林军从战场上逃走了,但更多的魔族军队却被人类的铁钳困住了。蒙那将军和英木兰将军的骑兵军进展神速,飞插战场的两翼,就如两面钢铁城墙,锁死了魔族逃生向东南逃生的通道。各路人类军团士气高涨,突进勇猛。士兵们虽然疲惫,谁都知道,这是痛打落水狗的时候了,要获得战利品,就得靠现在了。现在,被包围的魔族兵已无逃生的希望。塞内亚兵不愧是王国精锐,很多魔族兵都选择了战死而不是被俘。被打散的各个魔族团队和大队排成大大小小的圆形阵,肩并肩抵抗人类的从四面八方的围攻。人类则不住地猛攻,把圈子一再压缩,压缩,象毒蛇一样紧紧缠住了魔族。武器又碰撞起来了,枪在刺,刀在砍,剑在削,砍在肉体和盾牌、盔甲上,乒乒乓乓。一个大圈子被人类打散了,他们又组成十几个小圈子,大群铁甲骑兵冲过,一个又一个魔族组成的圈子被荡平,魔族兵都被马蹄踩成了肉泥,直到所有的魔族兵都象一片森林似的纷纷被砍倒,直到最后一个魔族兵被切断喉咙之前,战斗是不会结束的。流风家士兵脸色发白了,他们很少见到这么残酷的战争。他们喊话保证投降魔族的生命安全,但魔族就象没听到一般,依然在不顾死活地抵抗。这里战斗的残酷远胜于西部边境战斗,在紫川家与流风家的作战中,双方是允许投降的而且俘虏是有可能被交换或者赎回的,流风军对魔族士兵对自己生命的轻蔑深感震惊。无论是围攻者还是被围攻者,双方都根本不把自己的性命当回事。因为魔族知道,他们在这片土地上犯下深重的罪行,双手血腥。即使投降了,人类也不可能放过他们的。被包围的魔族兵很少投降,即使最后防御圈被完全击碎,即使单身一人的魔族兵也不愿向胜利者屈膝,而是选择了战死。蒙那将军说:“他们不是人,全是野兽。我们是在与饿急的狼**手!”对于魔族王国来说,这是遭遇大难崩溃的一天,但也是王国战士展现勇气,最辉煌光荣的一天。最激烈的战斗依然是在远东军的防线周围,近卫旅被包围在此地。流风军是第一次与近卫旅交手,先前,他们对这种巨大而强悍的生物一无所知。轻骑兵们依然想用往常惯用的战术——近身冲刺骑射扰乱然后再突进破阵——他们吃了大亏。轻骑兵所挟带的猎弓对装甲兽只当是挠痒,突进的轻骑冲不破装甲兽的阵列。装甲兽双手一挥,重达八十斤的铁锤横横打来,竟有骑兵连人带马给打飞出五六米,浑身骨骼断裂五脏破裂而死的。从包围开始,突围和反突围的战斗就一直没停过。那些野蛮而强壮的装甲兽不停地冲撞人类的防线,被他们撞死踩死的流风军和紫川军士兵尸体堆成了一座小山。亲眼目睹这这一场景,第一次见到这种刀枪不入又力大无穷的怪物,流风家将领们无不胆战心惊。英木兰惊叹道:“那是什么怪物?我们面前的不是恐龙吧?”流风霜则问道:“能与这样的敌人激战两天两夜,贵军真是了不起。不知贵军是用什么方法抵御这些怪物的?能否向我们传授一点经验?”文河脸色发白,斯特林却是脸色发青,这时他才感到了自己的自私。自己粗暴地向紫川秀下了简单的命令:“死守!”甚至还以军法审判相威胁——现在回想起来,世间之自私残酷无过于此!即使强弩之末的装甲兽依然有这么恐怖的威力,自己要紫川秀独力抵抗全盛时的近卫旅和魔神皇,那简直就是要他去送死!他至今还想不明白,武器简陋兵力单薄的半兽人兵,到底是怎么跟这些怪物战斗的?那是真正的血肉山河,以死坚守!但即使再来一次,自己别无他法,依然要向紫川秀下达这个命令:“死守!”若不是紫川秀拖住了近卫旅主力,这数万恐怖的怪物投入正面战场的话,自己未必能坚持到流风军抵达。战争之残酷就在于此,他使人变得粗暴而残酷,铁石心肠,除胜利外,所有的牺牲和鲜血统统不在考虑范围。他向流风家将领解释:“诸位,先前与近卫旅交战的并非我东南军部队,而是紫川秀大人统率的远东劲旅。”“原来是远东军!”流风军将军们发出了惊叹的感慨:“紫川家在远东竟还有这么强大的军团!”在以往与紫川家的战斗中,紫川家很少把远东军调过来对付自己,对流风家来说,那支从蛮荒之地成长起来的强大军团始终蒙有一层神秘的面纱。想想,能硬撼装甲兽的军队,那是多么恐怖的实力!不少人都在忧虑,虽然与紫川家如今和好了,但国与国之间关系历来变幻莫测,若哪天紫川家一翻脸,真的从远东调来军队的话,那流风家就麻烦了。虽然人类已经取得了全面的绝对优势,但依然对那两万结阵坚守的近卫旅束手无策。硬攻不是不可以,但那要意味着付出巨大的伤亡。天知道要死多少人才能把这些怪物给消灭掉,尤其斯特林手上的都是伤亡惨重的疲兵,士兵们倒在地上就能枕着死尸立即睡着的。比起紫川军来,流风军的伤亡倒是微乎其微。但第一次进攻近卫旅受挫后,流风军立即谨慎起来。斯特林去找流风霜商议协同进攻的事,别的事都好商量,只是谈到进攻,流风霜露出了神秘的含蓄笑容,回绝得又干脆又利索:“我军长途跋涉,劳累不堪,不宜立即投入战斗。斯特林大人,贵部若要进攻,我愿为阁下掠阵,助威呐喊!”斯特林一阵气闷,流风霜只差没说:“斯特林你只管上吧,我精神上鼓励你!”他正在头疼时候,一个消息传来了:“帝都军团已经抵达!帝林监察长大人到了!”七八四年十一月十四日,清晨,天空灰沉沉的,彤云密布。一场雪眼看就要下来。一队身着黑色披风的骑兵和辎重车队穿梭在巴丹平原,这个刚刚经过激战的战场。骑兵和车队穿行于尸积如山的坡地和平原,两军战士的尸骸之多,堆满了道路,以至车队前面不得不派出人专门将尸骸和杂物搬离道路。空气中荡漾着浓郁的血腥味,熏人欲呕。大群的秃鹫在战场各处飞舞着,发出嘈杂的怪叫声。“大人,东南军主营已东移,斯特林大人派人传话了,说就在前方迎接您。”“不必了。”长身玉立的俊美将军淡淡道:“战事正紧,这时候就不必搞那些繁文琐节了。告诉东南军的联系官,我直接到前线与斯特林会合就是。”侍卫官领命正要去传达,忽见前面奔来了一路兵马。看见兵马上方飘扬的东南军主帅旗,他失声道:“大人,斯特林将军已经来了!”帝林脸上动容,策马奔出。果然,那路兵马前头那个熟悉的身影,却不正是斯特林!两人都是飞快地奔近来,同时翻身下马。自从三月间,斯特林出任东南军统领,两人就再不曾见过面。在这战乱岁月,斯特林指挥东南军,帝林坚守帝都,二人都是执掌一方重镇的人物,早养成了矜持沉稳的习性,平闲生死事都不再动心了。唯有在自己久不曾见的生死兄弟面前,那份真情性情才会流露。两人对视,都是心潮澎湃,激动万分。依照军中规矩,斯特林先端正地向帝林敬了一个军礼,帝林微笑着回礼,两人的笑容中都隐隐藏着泪光。“宁殿下很关心这边,催着我过来看。其实,斯特林你坐镇,我是压根不担心的:除了大获全胜,还能有别的结局吗?但殿下催得紧,没办法,呵呵,大哥我就厚着脸皮跑这么一趟了,拿到点捷报消息,也好回去给殿下报功沾点光。”第267章帝国的黄昏血日冉冉。

步、骑混合的魔族近卫旅源源不断地从在巴丹城左侧的山麓林中开出来,隆隆蹄声和脚步响彻山麓,兵马掀起一阵黄色的尘雾,黑色的阵头和飞舞的旗帜在漫天的尘雾中若隐若现。“启禀大人,魔族部队向我阵地全面进攻!”“我看到了,而且看得比你清楚!”紫川秀没好气地说。他实在难以理解魔神皇的想法,放着进攻最凶猛的文河不对付,也不理睬猛攻魔王坡的斯特林,偏偏找上缩在一边的自己——莫非自己踩过魔神皇的尾巴吗?他问传令兵:“斯特林怎么说?”“斯特林大人说,中军兵力很吃紧。他没办法把重甲骑兵抽调给我们。”“还有呢?”“远东军务必坚持到日落。当文河将军会击溃敌十一军后,中军就能腾出手增援我们。”“坚持?魔神皇调了第三军和整个近卫旅攻打我们,斯特林就给我们坚持两个字吗?”将军们站在紫川秀身旁,神情紧张。谁也没料到,在面临文河集团和中央集团强大压力的时候,魔神皇竟有这样的魄力,把手中最强悍的力量调来对付远东军。罗杰飞步走近,远远就叫道:“大人,敌人逼近了,是装甲兽军团!撤吗?”他知道紫川秀的作战风格,远东军最第264章帝国的黄昏喋血高地。

紫川秀立即被唤醒了。听着白川报告,他脸色越来越难看。自己下令诱杀魔神皇,这个结果也未免太难堪了。军阵被魔神皇杀了个穿透,秀字营损兵折将,却连魔神皇一根毛都没伤到。魔神皇真是强悍得可怕,没想到,连秀字营也没办法把他给截下来。唯一可告欣慰的是,魔神皇也没达到他的目标,自己安然无恙。回到中军指挥营时,紫川秀发现,中军营乱成一片,呼声四起:“统领大人死了!”“光明王阵亡了!”紫川秀愕然,转头问白川:“怎么回事?”“大人,魔神皇刚才冲杀了进来。为骗走他,我不得不高呼您阵亡了。失礼了。”“明白了。可你怎么骗走魔神皇呢?”犹豫一下,白川说:“古雷阁下自愿报名充当您的替身,我同意了。”“古雷当我的替身?”紫川秀急切地问:“他没事吧?”“请节哀,大人。古雷阁下已英勇殉国。”多年的军事生涯已把紫川秀的心灵锻炼得如钢铁般冷硬,但咋然听闻古雷的死讯,他还是抑止不住地热血上脑,眼前一黑,一阵眩晕,几乎站立不稳。白川连忙扶住了他,却被紫川秀一手甩开。他怒吼道:“你怎么能命令古雷这样干!你派他去送死!”对着紫川秀愤怒得要喷火的眼睛,白川没做任何回答。她没有解释当时情形的危急,也没有强调魔神皇令人恐怖的强大,更没有向紫川秀解释,古雷是自己申请执行这个任务的。她只是默默地低下了头,单膝跪下,长长的睫毛颤动着,眼里波光盈盈。紫川秀捂住了脸,却捂不住夺眶而出的眼泪。他哽咽地对白川说:“你起来吧。”“大人。。。”“我知道,这不是你的错。魔神皇太强,我们都没办法。”虽然极度悲痛,但紫川秀也清楚白川的良苦用心。若不是她骗走魔神皇,若不是她强行把自己架走——自己武功虽然比古雷强,但也未必能挡魔神皇的雷霆一剑。擦干了眼泪,他已恢复镇定:“走,我们到中军旗下的高台上,到全军都看得到的地方。”站在高台上,右手按刀,紫川秀高大的身影不怒而威。当看到紫川秀的那瞬间,中军营爆发出了一阵欢呼,士兵们欢呼雀跃:“统领大人依然活着!”站在高台上,紫川秀冷峻的声音传遍了中军的每一个角落:“向全军公告,我安然无恙。再有敢传播谣言的,立即斩杀!”参谋部倾巢动员,所有参谋和传令兵都被派了出去,信使举着小旗向前沿部队一路疾奔,高呼声此起彼落:“统领大人平安无事!”、“魔神皇已被击退!”“坚守岗位,听候命令!”当快马信使一路奔来,喊出那声“统领平安无恙”时,整个远东军都如释重负地松了口气,值得庆贺的是,紫川秀阵亡的消息还没传到最前阵,还没引起前沿部队的恐慌。重新接手指挥权后,紫川秀望望头顶被乌云遮盖着的太阳,日头阴蔓,惨白的阳光无力地照在北风呼啸的战场上。这一天的时间过得特别漫长,从战斗开始的凌晨到如今,两军战死的人马都近十万计了。无数早上出发时还活奔乱跳的鲜活生命,此刻他们都静静地躺在冰冷的冬天原野上。但这一天,才只是刚刚过去了一半而已。在这半天时间里,人类军战死了三个红衣旗本,十七个旗本、三十一个副旗本;魔族军也失去了三十一个白披风,多年来不曾亲自出手的魔神皇亲身杀入敌阵,取了远东军首领紫川秀首级。时间,才刚刚是下午三点二十。直到此刻,魔族高层还没没有察觉,被魔神皇干掉的紫川秀是个假货。他们只是不解,在失去首领之后,为什么远东军依然能保持如此旺盛的斗志?不过在他们看来,那不过是远东指挥部封锁紫川秀的阵亡消息罢了,不过是回光返照的冲动,不能持久。魔神皇很乐观地向雷欧和叶尔马宣称:“他们支撑不到天黑了!”魔神皇对未来抱乐观态度,但他的部下可没他老人家这么坚定的信心了。远东军能否坚持到天黑还是个未知数,但裴玛知道,自己是肯定支持不下去了。文河攻打得越来越急,连续向神皇派去了六、七拨求援信使,得来的只有一句答复:“再坚持一个钟头!”皇帝的一个小时,自然和平常人的一个小时是大不相同的。裴玛从中午十二点挺到下午四点,哀嚎得嗓子都哑了,神皇许诺已久的增援终于施然登场了。看到这支期盼已久的增援部队,裴玛差点没被气掉鼻子:魔神皇舍不得从中军和右翼抽调塞内亚族兵马,他派来的增援是由马维率领的十六军团!当马维带部队扑到左翼战场时,士兵们都被眼前的景象吓得呆了。本来是青色和褐色的土地上,现在已经看不出土壤的颜色了,所见之处,都是一片血红。尸骸已经堆满了平原、荒漠和山坡,双方的伤兵在尸骸堆中发出凄惨的呼救声,濒临死亡的重伤人恹恹一息地呻吟着,但声音被淹没在那震耳欲聋的交战声里了。就在这尸山血海之上,活人踩着死人的尸骸和鲜血,仍在厮杀和拼杀。军鼓一通通地震响,一支又一支新部队从森林里出现,沉默地走向那厮杀血场。不论是人类还是魔族,只要还能活动,统统拿起兵器在死命地厮杀,田野和平原上血流成河,鲜血已经流得连土壤都吸收不下了,开始汇成小河向外面流淌。“即使地狱的修罗斗场也不会有这样可怕的景象!”叛军士兵惊骇道:“到这种地步了,他们还在打个不停!他们还是人吗?”十六军团到来给左翼的战斗造成了相当的影响。当他们突然出现时,东南军还以为是帝都的增援提前到达了,疲惫交加的人类官兵兴奋得把帽子都丢上了天空,欢呼声雷动。但当十六军部队在魔族阵地上以战斗队列展开向文河军逼近时,所有的欢呼声顿时哑了。企盼已久的援军居然是敌人!这个事实与希望落差实在太大了,人类军阵中一时出现了混乱。文河大声呼喝道:“弟兄们,看到了吗?来的是魔族的十六军,是那个卖国贼马维的狗腿子们!还记得半年前的奥斯战役吗?谁让我们功败垂成?谁害死了我们那么多弟兄?我们连塞内亚魔族都不怕,难道我们还怕他们的走狗不成?”回应他的,是一片愤怒地喧嚣:“干掉叛徒们!”对于那些在背后出卖自己的叛徒,人类对他们的仇恨甚至更深于魔族。被文河这样大声鼓劲,左翼的东南军以更加凶猛的势头猛扑上前。看到那些穿着魔族军装的人类,东南军将士们气得咬牙切齿,杀得加倍起劲。凭良心说,十六军的表现并没有如魔族嘲笑的那样被“一击即溃”,为打好这场仗,马维也是下了血本的。他骑着战马在阵前来回奔走呼叫,在队列前抛洒大袋大袋的金币来招募敢死队勇士,许诺升官封赏,但是,无论他怎么努力,这支部队始终是缺少一种冲劲和悍不畏死的勇敢,那是胜利军队所必须具备的。而文河的部下们,那些为自己祖国和民族所战斗的士兵们,却充分地具有这种冲劲,骑兵们穿着被打碎的铠甲,浑身是血,举着破损的武器,如疯如狂地朝着叛军队列中冲杀而来,叛军和魔族只能倚靠密集的阵列用长矛来逼退人类骑兵的进攻,却缺少与之对攻的勇气和气魄。裴玛原以为可以凭借十六军的增援把文河一举击溃,但现在,不知是东南军凶不可挡,还是这些人类叛军本来就打得不起劲,裴玛期待已久的援军并没有给战局带来转机,反倒是激怒了人类兵马,文河军团步步逼近,进攻的势头一浪高过一浪,将裴玛和马维压得都喘不过气来,叛军部队到来的作用仅仅是将十一军覆灭的时间向后推移了。下午六时左右,紫川秀与魔神皇的战斗还是没分出胜负。远东军防御的主阵地是山麓下的一个无名小村,惨烈的拉锯战已经持续了三个小时了。装甲兽分成四个五千人队轮番进攻。遭遇魔族的装甲兽,秀字营并不处劣势。装甲兽的缺点和它们的优点一般同样明显:它们的速度太慢,行动也太迟钝了。它们跟不上秀字营的敏捷,往往秀字营士兵连砍了四、五刀,装甲兽才能反应过来做第一下遮挡;等它们慢腾腾地举起棒子呢,秀字营士兵却早往它心窝捅了好几枪了。若在平时,这些打击不过是在为装甲兽挠痒痒罢了,但在内家高手全力灌注了真气的刀刃面前,装甲兽那身坚韧的硬皮被切豆腐般切开,每一下打击都是见血到肉的。缓慢的速度,庞大的身躯,这使装甲兽成了最好的靶子。开始时候,秀字营宰杀装甲兽,轻松得象宰猪。但问题是,装甲兽实在太多了!秀字营战士尽管武艺高强,但面对这一波又一波不间断杀来的白色怪物,内力急速地消耗,没法休息也没法恢复,当体力和内力都被消耗得差不多时候,正如魔神皇所期待的那样,伤亡开始在秀字营中大量地出现了。五点钟左右,天空下起了小雨,冒着雾丝般细雨,秀字营就和魔族装甲兽在无名村前的泥泞的水田里摸滚打爬。每一次进攻,水田里都要多上数百上千具尸体,战士躺倒在刚刚收割完的白花花大地里,鲜血浸得引水的沟渠都变成了深红色。但谁也没料到的是,四个五千人队的装甲兽轮番进攻,依然没能拿下那无名村庄。这下,不但叶尔马惊骇难当,就连魔神皇也感到不可思议了。对面的人类,他们究竟是些怎样的人?魔神皇无法想象,一支失去了指挥官的部队竟有如此的毅力,能在装甲兽面前支持足足三个小时。此时,魔神皇对自己的战绩动摇了,他对雷欧说:“朕很怀疑,紫川秀是否真的死了。”雷欧看过魔神皇带回的首级,虽然他见过紫川秀本人,但时间过了四年,那个血肉模糊的首级实在太难分辨了,他没把握确认这是不是紫川秀本人。看着魔神皇冒着那么大风险冲入敌人阵中带了这个脑袋出来,他也不好意思泼冷水告诉魔神皇:“陛下您很可能杀错了。。。”于是在一片歌颂魔神皇神勇无敌的赞美声中,近卫公爵聪明地选择了沉默。他回答魔神皇道:“陛下,紫川秀此人一向出人意料而且诡计多端。若他用了替身,微臣是不奇怪的。”“雷欧卿,说实话,朕杀的那人,你觉得象紫川秀吗?”“微臣惶恐,实在不是很有把握。”听出了雷欧的言下之意,魔神皇长叹一声:“果然,朕也觉得得手得太轻易了,以紫川秀的名声,他的武功不应如此差劲。难怪对面的远东军如此顽强,没有崩溃迹象。”魔神皇连连摇头,懊悔不已。若有可能,他是很想再杀进去一次的,但上次厮杀耗尽了他的内力,想再次出手,他并无此能力。“陛下,依微臣的看法,即使对面的远东军还能支撑,他们也不过是强弩之末了。只要再给我们两个钟头,我们一定能拿下这个阵地!”“即使拿下阵地,但若紫川秀没死,那击溃远东军绝非易事,裴玛和马维未必能坚持到那个时候。”看看太阳渐渐靠近了西边的地平线,魔神皇不禁有些烦躁:“朕恨不得杀掉叶尔马!这厮谎报,不但误了朕,也误了整个王国!”“陛下,大战正烈,阵前斩将并非吉兆。”“朕知道!但此战一过,朕绝对不会放过他!此人倚老卖老,误朕不少!”雷欧默然。虽然身为同僚,但他对叶尔马并没有多少好感,他并不打算为他辩解。事实上,在魔族军中,对那个傲慢、呆板又夸夸其谈的老将有好感的,几乎一个也没有。天色一直是阴沉的,带着蒙蒙小雨。直到了黄昏,太阳才出来露了一小会脸,无力地向撒满鲜血的大地散布最后的光芒。当最后一丝残阳消失在地平线上时,天空黑了下来。夜晚的到来给疲惫交加的魔族一丝希望。激战了一天,人类总要歇息的吧?他们总要吃饭和睡觉的吧?战斗是一种高强度的激烈运动,体力和精力消耗程度都是惊人的。一天的战斗,无论人类和魔族都挺不住。夜战是魔族的强项,人类不会不知道这点。但令魔族失望了,人类确实是休息停战了,但却只有短暂的两个小时。晚上九点多,在战线中部和右翼的魔族兵又看到了满山遍野的火把疾扑而来!“人类居然敢与我们夜战?”接到报告的魔神皇先是吃惊,随后又是释然。既然人类都敢从阵地里出来和魔族大打野战了,那再在夜晚挑战魔族的强项也不是什么奇事。他唯一奇怪的是人类为什么如此迫不及待,连一夜的时间都等不得?其实斯特林也是有不得已的苦衷。奥斯总督胡新、维纳里总督内依特还有驻安卡拉的远东军副统领林冰都紧急派了信使向他示警报告,侦察发现在东南行省各部出现大规模的魔族军团,正急速向巴丹方向前进。前锋已抵达了巴特利行省首府周边。这支魔族军团进军极速,他们一路不攻城、不掠地,只是急速猛走,一心一意朝着巴丹主战场方向靠拢。而留守各地的人类军队兵力寡弱,也没能力阻止他们的前进。这支魔族军团的数目极庞大,旌旗漫野。林冰率兵跟踪其后,据她的观察,目前光是记录的团队旗帜就不下六十面,估计全军起码不下八十个团队。卡顿来得好快!这是斯特林接到报告后的第一个想法。他暗暗庆幸,明羽的信使来得足够快,给自己多了一天一夜的准备时间。趁着两个小时的休息时间,前线指挥官们一窝蜂地拥回了中央军参谋部,冲斯特林要粮要增援要补给。对着军官们的抱怨,斯特林的答复只有一个:“增援没有!吃完饭休息半个小时,继续进攻!”师团长们眼泪都下来了:“大人,再打下去我们就全光了!”“大人,给十一师留点种子吧!”但当斯特林把那份报告一读,所有人都哑了声。“卡顿亲王距离我们不到三百里了,骑兵急驰,这不过两天的路程!若不能在此之前击溃魔族军,干掉魔神皇,那我们先前的牺牲就都成了白费。更可怕的是,若被魔神皇父子前后夹击,我们都得死无葬身。诸位,现在你们还有什么话吗?”沉寂半个小时后,战场上重又开打。人类主要是在中间和右翼发动进攻,而魔族则咬着牙在左翼对着紫川秀猛击,立志要先击溃远东军。两方都是竭尽全力,但打击的力度却是越来越弱。天空阴沉沉,下着蒙蒙小雨。星星都看不到。罗杰象条被打断了脊梁的赖皮狗一般趴在一汪血泊里,好久都没动弹。两个士兵从他身边走过,其中一个用脚踢踢他:“好象是挂了?”“看样子是个军官。说不定有油水。”另外一个士兵蹲下身,探手去摸罗杰的口袋,刚触到衣裳,罗杰突然坐了起来,把这两个士兵吓得齐声尖叫:“啊!”“两个混球,”罗杰有气无力地问道:“现在几点了?”一个士兵报告:“晚上十一点,长官。”罗杰只感觉嗓子嘶哑,喉咙里干得象是有一把火在烧。他抖抖腰间的行军水壶,却是空荡荡的。他睁大了疲惫的眼睛张望四周,整个村子都在燃烧,稀稀拉拉的房屋和树木都被火焰吞噬了。在火光背景下,村子中活动着一些黯淡的身影,但更多的人却都是或躺或坐在地上的。“有水吗?”没人回答。罗杰回头再看,却发现那两个士兵早已偷偷溜走了。他苦笑着,就着火光,他在地上摸索着,一连搜了五具尸体,才终于找到一个有水的行军壶,一口气半壶水灌进喉咙里,尽管水已微微发酸了,但那股浸彻心肺的清凉却让罗杰周身清爽。他感觉生机和力量重又回到了自己身上,支撑着慢慢站了起来,身体象绑了半吨铅一般沉重。他扬声叫道:“还有多少人活着的?有没有?应个声!”“都死了~”废墟和火光中传回了一片有气无力的喊声。罗杰笑了,一屁股坐了下来,感觉屁股下软软的,坐到装甲兽的尸体上了。他也没力气再站起来了,颤抖着手点燃了手中的香烟,猛吸一口,然后大声叫道:“弟兄们,看来这次大伙真要为国捐躯,放心,圣灵殿有我们的席位。”“滚!你当官的死光了老子都没事呢!”“爷爷我号称不死鸟,圣灵殿留着罗杰大人您自个蹲吧!”士兵们叫骂得厉害,但却有气无力的,刚才的激战已经透支了大家的精力。“秀字营,集合!”火光中,人影晃动。远远近近的,一些幽灵般的身影蹒跚着出现。士兵们参差不齐地排成了一行,接着第二行,第三行,第四行。。。真是奇怪,每次打退魔族的进攻,看着阵地上满地的尸首,罗杰总有种错觉,象是人都死光了,只剩下自己和零散的三两个兵,再也顶不住一次进攻了。但是现在,各个阵地上幸存的士兵重新集合,就如那孱弱的溪流汇成了彭湃的大河,看到那越来越长的队伍,看到那些血污满面却依然闪亮的眼睛,看到那些疲惫不堪却仍旧站得笔直的身影,那些被砍削得破破烂烂的盔甲,那些砍得出了缺口的刀刃和折断的长剑,罗杰陡然又产生了信心,力量重又充满了他的身体,拳头陡然攥紧。他的声音低沉,却蕴含着一股力量感:“弟兄们,增援还没到,看来统领大人那里也碰到了麻烦,我们得靠自己坚持到天亮了。弟兄们,有没有问题?”“有~~”“问题很大条,老子没力气了~~”“要求加班费~~”“还要两个美*********阳怪气声的从队伍里四处响起,引起了一阵哄笑声。罗杰也笑,这就是秀字营的风格,若要这群痞子象斯特林一样一般正经地立正宣誓:“愿为家族服务!”那他准会怀疑太阳从西边出来了。“加班费有的是,金山银海,都放在帝都那好好地等我们去拿呢!总长说了,只要我们能坚持到天亮,发的银子足够大伙用到龟孙子那辈的!统领爷也给我们准备了好多好多美女,每人发六个,足够咱哥们从周一快活到周六的。。。”有人在队列里喊:“那周日呢?”“你还当自己有魔神皇那么猛啊!总得有个休息的时间吧?”哄堂大笑,又渴又累的士兵们笑得都站不住了。发问的士兵一边笑一边大口地咳嗽,咳出来的血都染红了胸口的衣襟,但他自己看不见,他的同伴们仿佛也看不到,大伙笑得那么开心,那么从容,笑容里没有丝毫的忧虑和担忧,就象一群孩子。罗杰笑着说:“放心,银子和美女大把有,但大伙得活着回来领!谁若回不来,你的银子我就帮你花了,你的美女我也帮你安慰了!”“滚!”“杀了这兔崽子!他比魔族还可恶!”远处传来了沉重的踏地声,笑声嘎然而止。罗杰心头一颤,装甲兽又上来了。他环视左右,一个接一个地望过眼前的士兵们。士兵们歪着身子,斜着眼回望着罗杰,一时间,谁都没有出声。罗杰清清嗓子:“总之,大伙要活着回来。拜托了!”回应他的是一阵激烈的吵闹:“放心!不回来岂不是让银子和美女都被你吞了!”在史书上关于巴丹会战的记载部分,特别提到了远东军主阵地,那个无名村庄的战事。在这夜,魔族发起进攻五千装甲兽以上的进攻八次,均被打退。魔神皇惊骇道:‘就算这个村子是铁铸的也被被我们打穿了!守在那里的,真的是人类吗?’中午时投入战斗的五千秀字营,当第二天太阳升起时,存活者不到一千人。无一人投降,无一人逃跑。以前的那个无名村,打那起却有了个新的名字:‘喋血高地’。但论起战斗之惨烈,喋血高地还算不上首位。远东军仅仅只是守,但在东南军主攻方向,斯特林亲领的步骑集团作为进攻方,必须付出更大的代价。四个先锋铁甲师被打得全军覆没,先头进入战场六个步兵师也被打残了,战场上,被打死的人类官兵尸首堆了近一米高,象是在平原上起了一个蜿蜒的城墙,后续部队被堵住了没办法进军。而为了消灭中央军的先头部队,魔族中路指挥官云浅雪同样地伤亡惨重,那天黎明到来时,本有八万士兵的羽林军幸存不到四万人。当黎明到来时,无论是人类也好,魔族也好,都没有力量来发动新的攻势了。两军很多士兵甚至都是在激战的战场枕着尸首睡着了。看着太阳渐渐升起,斯特林统领终于下令,军队停止进攻。事实上,仗打到这个地步,事实已经很明显了,东南、远东联军和魔神皇的军团是势均力敌,谁也奈何不了谁。经过一天一夜的流血,两军都已经衰弱到危险的地步。这种情况下,继续进攻的一方要付出更大的牺牲,有先崩溃的危险。而同时地,魔神皇也和斯特林得出同样的结论。为击溃远东军这个目标,魔族军已经投入太多的牺牲和力量。现在看来,且不说这个目标能否实现,即使打垮远东军了,伤亡惨重的近卫旅也没有余力进行对东南军主力的侧翼打击了,这样消耗战的僵局对人数较少的魔族不利。黎明时分,信使们一个接一个赶到魔王坡,向魔神皇报告了各军的损耗。裴玛甚至丢下军队,亲自跑来见魔神皇。他很坦率地告诉魔神皇,部队伤亡太大,打不下去了。“陛下,第十一军的三十五个团队中有十五个团队被人类彻底打光了,只剩下一面军旗。六个团队被打死过半,三个团队已经彻底溃散了,还有四个团,开战前我安排在左翼的,现在都联系不上了,我甚至不知道他们是被人类歼灭了还是逃跑了。。。”裴玛说得滔滔不绝,眼中饱含着泪水:“陛下,再打下去,我们撑不住了。”在尊敬的魔神皇面前表现出怯弱和动摇,这令他感到十分羞耻。魔神皇陷入沉思。他恬静的脸容映衬着远方连绵起复的群山,仿佛一副轮廓分明的黑白画。他的手上拿着一张白纸,那是参谋们汇总的伤亡数字,那巨大的红字令人震惊。就在这一天一夜的战斗中,五十三个魔族团队已经从王国军队序列中永远地消失了,另外还有三十一个团队被打得失去了战斗力。在巴丹地区聚集了王国所有的军队,战前,谁都以为这场野战会以神族干脆利索的胜利而告终,谁也没料到这一仗打得如此艰难,牺牲会如此恐怖。在这场会战中,人类表现出了令人尊敬的战斗力,意志坚决,不惧牺牲,在与魔族的对攻中甚至还占了上风。两军竭尽全力对攻,最后打了个平手,这个结果令得魔族高层感到极大震撼,但两军不同的是,魔神皇已率领王国的全部军队了,而他面对的仅仅是人类的两个军团。魔神皇不愿意承认,但却不得不面对这个事实:王国的武装力量已经衰弱到了危险的地步。这样的军队,还能再坚持一场战争吗?魔神皇低沉地说:“命令全线停战。裴玛,你想办法跟人类那边联系,就说我们想谈判。”上午八点钟,一个举着白旗的魔族向人类方走来,转达了魔神皇的意思。这个讯息在东南军司令部引起了极大的震动。那个目空一切的魔族至尊,居然低下了他高傲的头颅,要和人类谈判?来不及召集各集团的司令,斯特林统领先会见了使者。“陛下说了,两军先停战。停战以后,神族将退出所有占领紫川家的土地。”“瓦仑要塞呢?”魔族使者慢条斯理地说:“瓦仑要塞也是紫川家土地,自然也还给你们。”斯特林立即说:“那好。请贵国皇帝立即给瓦仑总督发去命令,让他将要塞移交给我远东军副统领林冰大人。她率军就在瓦仑要塞附近。”“要塞自然会还你们,但那要在我们神族大军撤出瓦仑关以后。”“那不可能!”斯特林统领正要一口拒绝,从司令部大门匆匆进来的远东军统领紫川秀急忙一口接了上去:“起码还得把所有的俘虏还给我们。”斯特林愕然。魔族残酷无情,抓到的人类官兵和平民,凡是不肯屈服的,一律屠杀。肯屈服的,就加入十六军团。所以,魔族军中的人类俘虏并不是很多,特意要回他们意义并不是很大。但他知道紫川秀机智,不会做无谓的事,也不出声,看紫川秀怎么说。赶来的紫川秀满头大汗,不等卫兵给他加椅子,他自个就从墙边端了把椅子到谈判桌边坐下。以不容置疑的口吻,他说:“所有被魔族抓去的人类官兵和平民都必须交还我们,要谈判,这就是我们人类的条件。”望了紫川秀一眼,魔族使者向斯特林投了个疑惑的眼神,斯特林统领镇定地说:“这是远东的紫川统领,他的话就是我的话。”再看了紫川秀一眼,确认这个满头大汗,脸色苍白的年轻人就是能跟魔神皇抗衡一天一夜的传奇将领,使者脸上多了分尊敬。他说:“若谈判可成,俘虏自然会还给你们——不过在我军中,人类俘虏数目应该不会很多。”“不不,”紫川秀连连摆手:“你没弄明白我的意思:在魔族军中的所有人类,都必须交给我们——不管他是被俘还是以别的方式被弄到你们那去的!”使者和斯特林统领这才明白过来,使者叫道:“难道你是要我们把整个十六军团都交还你们吗?”“那是自然!”紫川秀一脸杀气:“那些背叛国家的败类,必须要得到应有的惩罚!首当其冲,马维就是一个!这个条件若不成,谈判那就不用说了,我们各自再点兵马来个你死我活吧!”使者皱着眉头不出声。在投诚以后,马维为了凸现自己对魔族的忠心,在各种场合都刻意强调了自己与紫川秀不共戴天的仇恨,所以,这个牵涉了美女皇储紫川宁、远东统领紫川秀和马维等风云人物外加三角恋情、叛变、刺杀外加灭门惨案等大批亮点的故事在魔族高层中流传甚广。关于紫川秀和马维之间的恩怨,他也是知道的。现在紫川秀提出要索取死敌马维,这个要求是很正常的。老实说,对于马维和十六军官兵的命运,使者并不是很关切,哪怕紫川家把他们全宰了下锅,使者也不会感到心疼。他只是顾忌,马维毕竟是陛下亲封的王国公爵,这样交还人类,陛下能不能答应?最后,使者还是叹了口气:“对不起,统领大人,这个条件陛下没有授权我答应。但从我个人来说,我觉得这不是什么问题。”紫川秀点头,很体谅的样子:“那就劳烦贵使再跑一趟,跟贵国陛下说一声了。希望他能怜悯两国将士,不要再让士兵们白白牺牲了。”“希望能如统领大人您所愿吧。这仗,确实不能再打了。我们只想回家。”在那一刻,魔族使节脸上出现了真切的悲痛。紫川秀心念一动:“请问阁下是?”“鲁莽了,还没对统领大人您做自我介绍。我是卡路侯爵,在陛下身边担任高级参谋官。”看到紫川秀探究的目光,白发双鬓的老皇族轻轻抹了下眼角的泪珠:“失礼了。我有两个儿子,一个二十一岁,在羽林军中任团队长;一个十九岁,在十一军中任军团掌旗官。”顿了一下,他轻声说:“在昨天下午和晚上,他们都战死了。”两位统领都沉默了。站在他们面前的,是一个满手血腥的侵略者头目,敌人的高级贵族,也是冷酷无情的敌方谈判代表。他的两个儿子是魔族的高级军官,自然也是凶狠的刽子手,死了那是大快人心。按理说,他们应该对这个顽冥不化老家伙的任何悲痛感到幸灾乐祸才好;或者,应该对他喝道:“这就是你们侵略人类的下场了!”可此刻,他们实在不忍。他们只看到了,在自己面前的是一个白发双鬓的老人在悲痛自己早逝的儿子。老年丧子,白发送黑发,那种无以言述的悲痛超越种族和国界,同样身为有情感的智慧种族,他们感同身受。看到他,他们就象看到了无数人类父母一般,在远方的天际下为传来的噩耗悲痛欲绝。斯特林庄重地说:“很难过听到这个消息。请节哀。”老人点头,轻声说:“谢谢。”泪水再也抑止不住了,从眼中滚滚落下。他起身,再次说声:“失礼了。”然后,他行了个礼,蹒跚着走出了东南军司令部的大门。斯特林望向紫川秀,不满地挑起了眉头。他困惑不解。这是人类和魔族最重大的一次谈判,紫川秀却因为和马维的事而耽搁了下来。这种因私废公的行为不象紫川秀一贯的作风。迎着斯特林责备的目光,紫川秀笑笑:“别这样看着我,我是故意的。”“你故意搞混这次谈判?”“这里距离魔王坡约有十五里,那个信使来回,即使骑马也得一个多小时,再加上汇报和魔神皇考虑的时间,我们很容易就能混来两三个小时。”“可我们要这两三个钟头能干什么呢?”“让部队歇息,恢复体力,全力备战。从现在到今晚,每一分钟对我们都是珍贵的,若不能在明天日出前击溃魔神皇军团,那我们就完蛋了!”斯特林一惊:“怎么说?”“卡顿快到了!”斯特林猛然站起:“在哪里?”“主力还没抵达,但一个小规模的先遣队企图混过我们防线向魔神皇报讯,结果被半兽人的巡逻队发觉了,被我们全歼了。从一个军官身上发现了卡顿写给魔神皇的信,信上报告说,卡顿亲王已抵达了塔伦城,距我们这只有一天半的路程。”“该死!”斯特林狠狠一拳砸在椅子上,将简陋的椅子一下子打了个粉碎:“卡顿来得太快了!数十万大军,他怎么可能这么快!?太反常了!”“若真是三十万大军,卡顿无论如何不可能在四五天里就跑到这来。来的估计只会是少部分骑兵团队——但不论多少,只要让魔神皇知道有三十万大军正在往这赶来,他肯定会鼓足信心跟我们再打,无论达成什么协议都是白费力气。现在我们不忙跟魔族决裂,先拖延时间,等部队做好战斗准备再说。”第265章帝国的黄昏奇兵突起。

密集的流风军长驱直入,将魔族军阵杀得落花流水。一片混乱,火光、厮杀声、逃命的叫唤,惨叫声,无数的厮杀声汇集成一片洪流,喧嚣直冲天际。“陛下!”近卫旅指挥雷欧公爵领着一队装甲兽来到魔神皇面前,他的眼睛凶狠得可怕,急速地说:“陛下,救救王国,也救救您自己吧!人类还没合围,现在撤退还来得及!”看了他一眼,魔神皇淡淡说:“我怎能离开?”“陛下,现在还来得及!我准备了好马,专门给陛下您和皇子殿下、公主殿下留着的。我和近卫旅为您掩护后路!陛下,您一路请多保重了!”魔神皇脸色阴沉地看着雷欧,好久,他才出声道:“因为朕的决断,王国发起了这次西征。现在,王国一半的将士都死在了这儿,难道朕还能离开吗?朕没有脸面回去见蒙汗那些人幸灾乐祸的嘴脸,也没有脸面回见王国的子民。”“父皇!”一个清脆的女声出来打断了魔神皇,卡丹公主从后帐中走出,她正要向魔神皇行屈膝礼,却被魔神皇打断了:“什么时候了,还那么多虚礼!”“是!父皇,胜败乃兵家常事,父皇您乃国之根本,只要您健在,王国就保住了根本。。。”卡丹正说得流畅,魔神皇却突然打断了她:“卡丹,有些事你不懂。有些人是只能胜,不能败的。一旦失败,他就什么也不是!”卡丹喊道:“父皇,为什么?自古哪有不打败仗的将军?眼前的斯特林,他不也在奥斯打了败仗?在帕依被迫和我们签了城下之盟?紫川秀,他不也不同样在红河湾被凌步虚将军打得落花流水?就连号称人类第一名将的流风霜,她不也同样被紫川秀打败过?”“可他们不是神皇。”魔神皇淡淡地一笑,笑容里带着说不出的骄傲和凄凉:“这世上,只有胜利的卡特皇帝,没有败的卡特。”看到卡丹还要说话,魔神皇摇手:“雷欧,你派人将公主带出包围圈,撤退回国——这是命令,不必再争。”雷欧立即执行。公主的卫队硬推着卡兰公主上了马车,护着她向南驰去。正向东的大道已被东南军和远东军和堵死了,流风霜从西北方斜斜地插了进来,其强势的兵马正急速地向战场外围展开包抄。魔族若要撤退,唯一的出路是在流风霜和东南军合围之前从东南方撤退。叶尔马军团长生气地嚷嚷道:“陛下!请下命令吧,云浅雪那鼠辈,居然敢临阵逃脱!微臣要去拦截羽林军,要让云浅雪那无耻小人知道王国愤怒的可怕!”雷欧望了他一眼,眼中流露鄙夷。叶尔马吹得好听,去拦截羽林军,他拿什么拦截?损兵折将的第三军只是勉强还能支撑在阵地上,只是因为对魔神皇的盲目信仰,士兵们还没开始大批地逃亡。叶尔马不可能不知道,他借口出兵拦截云浅雪,其实不过是想从魔神皇身边躲开好趁机逃跑罢了。魔神皇伫立在帐篷门口,映衬外面的喧嚣和吵嚷,魔神皇的沉默具有万钧的力量。雷欧明白神皇此时的心理:比起输掉这场注定要失败的战争,云浅雪的逃跑对神皇的打击更为沉重。自己一直欣赏和栽培的重臣竟是个贪生怕死的懦夫,这让神皇深感失落。“陛下!羽林将军求见!”“什么?”叶尔马惊叫。魔神皇霍然转身,脸露喜色:“宣他进来!”云浅雪大步行进。他态度端庄地向魔神皇下跪行礼,沉稳地说:“微臣参见陛下!”“时间紧迫,羽林卿请起。”“谢陛下。”“羽林卿,羽林军如今何在?情况如何?”“启禀陛下,在卡兰殿下率领下,羽林军所部正向东南塔伦城方向转进。微臣离开时,我部遭到流风军的追击,但前方并无拦截。”“有多少人马平安脱离包围圈了?”“情况很混乱,无法统计。羽林军约有十二个团能成建制地离开,不到三万人。但还有一些第五军和第十一军的弟兄加入我们队伍,估计有四万人能闯出包围圈。”魔神皇点头,低声说:“只有四万人了吗?入关时的百万之师,到如今只剩下了四万残兵败将?”“陛下,情况应该比微臣估计得要好。人类的包围圈太大,他们的兵力不足维持,必然会有很多空隙。能突围的兵马绝不会只有微臣一部。但据情报说,帝林已拿下了达克,也正朝这里赶来。若他一到,我们就。。。”云浅雪本想说:“插翅难飞。”但他还是换了个温和的说法:“更加困难了。”魔神皇点头,突然问:“云,你为什么回来了?”“微臣无能,不能阻止皇子殿下胡作非为,已是死罪,本就惶恐无地了。若再抛下陛下独自逃生,微臣实在做不出来。”魔神皇沉默了好久,才慢慢出声:“云浅雪,你很好。”“微臣实在愧不敢当。”眼见情况如此紧急,魔神皇和云浅雪却如此平和地对话,将宝贵的时间白白浪费,叶尔马听得心里冒火,插嘴道:“陛下,情况紧急,我们还是先想对策吧?”“叶尔马,放心,你有时间逃跑的。”魔神皇淡淡说道,转身大步出了营帐。雷欧鄙夷地看了叶尔马一眼,低沉地说:“公爵,你的胆怯就象屎一般散发着臭气!”跟在魔神皇的身后,他也出去了。叶尔马膛目结舌地呆在原地,面红耳赤。大火在燃烧,天边一片火红,第三军和近卫旅的残余士兵集合在主营前。比起昨日出战前,士兵的阵列已经大为凋零,残余的士兵们身上带伤,疲倦,委顿,衣裳破烂。但他们眼睛中依然闪烁着那么一股傲气,那是一种不甘服输的愤怒,那是一种不敢相信眼前发生事实的眼神。十六军投降,铁壁军崩溃,羽林军逃亡,西南军被围歼——就在五个小时以前,以上的诸路军团都是不曾一败的强师劲旅,王国不败的象征,但就在他们的眼前,这些威名显赫的皇牌劲旅一个接一个被人类打垮、消灭。那些愚昧而单纯的魔族士兵,坚信魔族王国的强大是无可匹敌的,魔神皇的英明睿智是天生的,王国威力无穷的战争机器制造胜利就象土豆从地里长出来一般天经地义,就象太阳从东方升起一般自然而然。直到如今,成千上万的溃败士兵经过了他们阵地,他们亲眼见到那些哭喊着逃命的士兵与他们同样穿着塞内亚族的服饰,同样有着黄金族的血统战士向他们哭诉着战友如何被人类骑兵大批地屠杀的经历,眼见无敌的军团在自己眼前溃败,英勇的战士被追杀,塞内亚士兵们愤怒得胸口里象团着一团火,愤怒中又带着惶恐:难道,王国真的会失败吗?由魔神皇亲自指挥,有着那么多优秀将领,那么多骁勇战士组成的强大军团,真的会如此一败涂地吗?他们迫切地需要答案,现在,给他们答案的最佳人选出现了,魔神皇出现了!魔神皇出现在军队前面,依然神采飞扬,只是眼神中多了一种深沉的忧郁。他以严峻的眼神注视着众人:“士兵们,塞内亚的勇士们,我的孩子们,我们被打败了。”黑烟在远方冉冉升起,厮杀的声不断传来,死一般的沉寂笼罩在人群上空,没有人喊叫,没有人哭泣,士兵们只是呆呆地望着魔神皇。魔神皇就是他们的神,他们不败的信仰,他们永远照耀天空的太阳。现在,太阳熄灭了。魔神皇平静地说,那平静的声音中,蕴含着强大的力量:“从恒古以来,我们的民族一直在经受着烈狱般的苦难。饥荒,死地,战争,瘟疫,我们的国度是灾难与泪水之邦。我曾以为,我能带领你们走出这个灾难之地,结束这段沾满泪水与死亡的路程。但是,最终我们失败了。我的孩子们,你们英勇战斗,无愧于王国和亲人。因为朕的无能与鲁莽,王国蒙受了巨大的损失,你们付出了巨大的代价。朕愧对王国,更对不起那些为朕而战死的战士们。”对着面前士兵群,魔神皇弯下腰,深深地鞠了一个躬。一阵愕然的波动从人群中荡过,面对魔神皇史无前例的道歉,云浅雪、雷欧等将领们首先反应过来,连忙下跪回礼。紧接着是军官们,犹如大风吹过田野,士兵们如同被风吹倒的稻浪般一排排地跪倒。“失败并不是结束,苦难才刚刚开始。在军事上取得优势以后,人类必然谋求政治上统治我们,他们要掠夺我们的土地,奴役我们的人民,消灭我们的历史、文字和传统,谋求从根本上同化伟大的神族,将我们变成人类的附庸和走狗,让我们的子孙变成人类的雇佣军!士兵们,你们中有人战死,有人幸存。战死的人,朕将带领你们去觐见大魔神,告诉他,他的子民英勇奋战,无愧于王国威名。活下去的战士,你们有着更艰难而坚韧的任务,告诉我们的孩子真相,告诉他们,历史上曾有过这样的魔神王国,他的子民勤劳而坚韧,他的战士骁勇而忠诚,他的皇帝睿智而勇敢,国土幅员广阔,军队强大无比!在强大的魔神王国面前,所有的人类帝国都在颤抖!告诉我们的子孙,所有的人类宣传都是谎言,在团结一致的神族面前,看似强大的人类军队不过土鸡瓦狗,他们不可能永远统治神族!我们之所以失败,并非我们的战士不够勇敢,并非我们的将军不够优秀,唯一的原因,唯一的原因,是我们不够团结,卑鄙的叛徒出卖了我们的王国,而人类却能达成了空前的团结,我们遭遇了历史上最强大的人类军队。神族军队曾经无限接近胜利,虽然最终失败,但我们震撼大陆!士兵们,活下去,并且记住:想永久征服神族这样强悍的民族是不可能的,人类的统治绝不会长久,终有一天,我们的子孙会高举黄金大旗卷土重来!愿他们勇敢,愿他们坚强,愿他们有比我们更好的运气!让子孙们记住我的预言:当黄金狮子旗帜再次闪烁,我们的皇将再次出现!让他们世世代代牢记这句话:“魔神王国万岁!”“魔神王国万岁!”五万人同时呼喝应和,呼声犹如雷霆震撼,远远地回荡在大地上,压倒了远处传来的巨大战斗轰鸣声。主营前一直飘荡的王国黄金狮子旗被降下来了,看见这面旗帜冉冉落下,士兵们痛哭出声。无敌的黄金狮子旗,王国强大与辉煌的象征,终于也黯然谢幕了吗?魔神皇把柔软的丝绸旗帜折叠,递给云浅雪:“将这个交给卡兰。虽然朕这个孩子不是很成器,但这个时候,撑得起王国的也只有他了。”这不仅仅是转交一面旗帜,这更是将皇位传承给卡兰的象征。望着魔神皇英俊而和蔼的脸容,明白陛下已下定了死战于此的决心,喉头象梗着一块铁,云浅雪跪倒,他连一句完整的话都说不出来了:“陛下,请让雷欧大人承担此任务吧。请允许微臣跟随您一同战斗!”“雷欧和近卫旅走不快,会被人类骑兵追上的。云,时代已经不同了。未来的日子,王国更需要的是能审时度势、狡诈多智的政治家,雷欧这种单纯的武士发挥不了什么作用,与其让他在郁郁寡欢中落寞老死,不如让他最后辉煌一次吧。”“陛下!”云浅雪泪如雨下。他接过旗帜,小心地将它收入贴身的口袋,朝魔神皇重重磕了个头:“陛下放心,微臣一定将旗帜安全交到卡兰殿下手中!请陛下您保重!”魔神皇微笑道:“辅助好卡兰,告诉他,有事多听听他妹妹的。”这是云浅雪见到魔神皇的最后一面,魔神皇那明朗的笑容一直回荡在他的心中。这个雄伟绝世的绝世枭雄,一生无敌。即使他最后失败,但回忆起他,无论是敌人或者朋友,谁都不得不承认,他是黄金时代最恐怖,也是最伟大的战士。天色全黑下来了,惨烈的战斗却没有丝毫结束的迹象。在背后斯特林、文河和流风霜三个庞大的战斗集团压迫下,魔族已失去了战胜的任何奢望。魔神皇下令放弃一切辎重,撤退的魔族兵放火烧掉了自己的大营,目的是阻拦背后流风军的追击步伐。燃烧的大营燃起了冲天的火焰,照红了一方的天际,二十里外也看得见。就在通红火光的映照下,魔族军的突围战役打响了。在开路的装甲兽先导下,大群的魔族步兵、骑兵猛扑向远东军的阵地。这是最后的战斗了。装甲兽军团的巨大轰隆声再次响起的同时,紫川秀接到了东南军指挥部的严令:“远东军务必坚到增援抵达,绝不能放魔神皇逃脱!”一方是决意坚守,一方却是拼死逃生,那个最残酷的夜晚,喋血高地成了双方争夺的焦点,魔族军以截然不同以往的决死姿势猛扑上来,与防守高地的秀字营展开了肉搏战。因为在夜间,远程射击武器能发挥的作用很小,两军都只能依靠近身白刃战来厮杀。在夜间与急于逃生的装甲兽近身战斗,这是远东军的噩梦。血红的火光中,厮杀的人影不时闪烁,飞溅的鲜血,奔跑的身影突然地倒地,恐怖的呐喊不绝于耳,最后的勇士发出绝望的吼叫,在喋血高地阵地上,战死者的尸体在平地上垒起一座小山,仅仅半个小时的战斗,远东军就伤亡了五千多人,阵地指挥官罗杰本人被一棍敲得昏迷不醒,被部下抬下了阵地,他的部队被汹涌而来的装甲兽和魔族兵冲得溃不成军,阵地宣告失守。在那烈火漫天的激战夜晚,各处响起了激烈的锣声宣告示警。喋血高地的失守在远东军的阵地上撕开了一个大口子,从这个缺口上,魔族大军急速通过,仓惶逃生。远东军统帅部试图堵上这个缺口,白川和紫川秀带着增援部队想重新夺回喋血高地阵地,但这就好象用啤酒瓶来塞洪水冲垮的江坝一般,根本无济于事。三次反击都被魔族给打了回来,只遗下尸骸累累,装甲兽部队牢牢地控制住这个阵地,作为魔族大军后撤的通道。一次又一次反攻失败,到最后,紫川秀终于颓然地认识到,士气和体力都被严重削弱,如今正处于最低点的远东军是不可能拦得住急于逃生的魔族精锐部队的。“魔神皇军团已突破我防线,向东突围!急需增援!”向斯特林的求援信使派出去了,但在增援到来之前,紫川秀也没闲着。他发现,魔族军的行动虽然混乱,但却是有序可寻的。撤退的魔族兵马很明显地分成两部,一部分是第三军的普通魔族兵,在军官们的带领下,他们急速地小跑前进,不做丝毫停留;而另一部分是以装甲兽为主的近卫旅兵马,这部分兵马坠在大军的后面,利用各种地形就地抵抗,尽可能地阻碍人类兵马的追击。稍一思索,紫川秀立即明白过来:“因为跑不快,所以装甲兽们被留下来充当阻击的敢死队吗?”很自然地,他猜测魔神皇应该在第三军的撤退兵马中。他下令:“不要管那些装甲兽,他们跑不掉的!追第三军去,魔神皇就在前面!”在那兵荒马乱的混乱黑夜里,远东军的各层组织系统完全给打乱了,有的部队被打散,有的部队被消灭,大多数部队都是经历了惨重的减员和伤亡,被魔族冲得七零八落。要想顺当地把命令传达到各个部队,那几乎是件不可能完成的任务。紫川秀对身边的警卫们下令道:“喊吧,大声喊!让听到的部队都跟着喊:‘光明王有令:无论死活,抓到魔神皇的,赏金五百万!’”黑夜里,呼声此起彼落:“魔神皇就在前面!抓住他!”一传十,十传百,黑夜里,越来越多的部队加入了呼喝:“抓到魔神皇,赏金五百万!”呼声越来越大,最后简直是震耳欲聋。每个人都在狂热地呼喝着,眼睛赤红。这不单是为五百万的巨额悬赏激动,更因为呼声透出了一个重要的信息,透出了胜利的预兆!你看,光明王都对魔神皇悬赏了,那肯定是我们快赢了!尽管被魔族冲得七零八落,尽管伤亡惨重,尽管魔族的装甲兽还很嚣张,但胜利的狂喜给了士兵们无穷的动力,一切都乱套了,不顾什么队列阵形,凡是还能爬动的,还有一口气的,统统行动了起来。连在军队中服役的民夫和伙房里的厨子都拿起了扁担菜刀向东追过去。紫川秀本人亲自上第一线参加追击。他带着警卫队,将一路碰到上的散兵游勇都给集合起来。不论是秀字营还是半兽人兵,只要还能走动的,紫川秀对他只有一句话:“拿起武器跟我走!”在那漆黑的混乱中,紫川秀收拢了约莫五千多人。就带着这五千多人,他跟着撤退的魔族军一路追下去。谁也没料到,远东军的主帅竟有这般的胆色,带着一个多团就敢追踪魔神皇带领的装甲兽。在那黑暗的道上,追击的部队与逃跑魔族散兵们不时遭遇,交战接二连三。“不要管他们!只管向东!”紫川秀大吼道。此刻,他的脑子里只有一个念头,那就是必须赶到前面去,拦住魔神皇的去路。若让魔神皇跑了,连续三天的殊死战斗就失去了意义。全都乱套了。若有人能在上空俯视的话,他会发现这夜的混乱呈现极奇怪的状态。在向东的道路上,追击的人类兵马和魔族部队竟是混成一团前进的。魔族兵马急于逃生,人类部队则是一心一意想追上前面的魔神皇,不想与这些散兵游勇们纠缠。于是出现了极罕见的景象:行进中的魔族兵马和人类兵马你中有我,我中有你地混杂在了一起,居然相安无事。双方都在拼命地奔跑,人类想赶到前面去建立第二道拦截阵地,魔族则是想在人类再次包围之前逃逸,这个时候,时间就是生命!在突围时,第三军的魔族兵战斗得十分勇敢,为逃生,他们万众一心,还是作为一支完整的武装部队冲出去的。但就在那漆黑的奔逃道上,听到身后传来的震天呼声,恐惧感控制了魔族官兵的心头。紫川秀的快速穿插更是给魔族制造了无数的混乱和惊恐。黑夜里,惊恐的呼声此起彼伏:“人类追上来了!快逃命吧!”恐慌在撤退的魔族军中蔓延,对生命的渴望压倒了一切。在紫川秀近逼贴身的追击下,第三军井然有序的撤退变成了一次彻底的大溃败,建制被打散,官长的权威被蔑视,丢下了所有的伤员和辎重。溃兵们互相践踏,互相推挤,踩着死人和活人往前,大路、小路、桥梁、平原、山岗、山谷、树林都被溃兵塞满了,丢在路上的背包和武器撒了一地,没人去拣。魔族兵再不肯留下担任阻击的队伍,见到人类也不再攻击,生怕耽搁了逃生的时机。就在这漆黑混乱的夜晚,到处都乱了套。官长找不到士兵,士兵找不到指挥官。军队溃败犹如江河崩溃,一泻不可收拾。溃兵到处乱窜,连紫川秀所带领的追击部队都被冲散了,到后来,他身边就只剩了数百人,在数万人的魔族乱军中到处搜寻魔神皇的身影。每抓到一个魔族,紫川秀都用魔族语厉声疾色地喝问他:“快说,魔神皇在哪里?”不知那些魔族俘虏真不知道魔神皇下落还是因为忠君爱国,没有一个人说出魔神皇下落。紫川秀大为苦恼,在这数万人的军队中寻找魔神皇简直就象在大海里搜针。他都快有些绝望了,却突然看到斜斜里有一彪魔族骑兵经过,他们制服鲜亮,人高马大,显然是魔族兵中的精锐。在这混乱的夜晚,这队魔族骑兵却显出与众不同,进退之间,他们显得更有秩序和纪律。紫川秀眼前一亮:“就是他们了,上!”话音未落,他已第一个冲了上前,雷霆般一刀就把最前面的那个骑兵给砍下马来。后面的骑兵们发一声惊呼就要上来动手,但秀字营的行动更快,一窝蜂地冲了上来。骑兵若不能跑起来,胯下的坐骑反倒成了障碍。秀字营突然冲近身一抱,没等魔族兵把长矛和马刀出来,他们已先扑上去硬生生地把骑兵们从马背上扯了下来,大伙滚在地上厮打开来。这伙骑兵一边打一边哇啦怪叫着什么,紫川秀也听不懂,估计是向经过的魔族兵求救。但这时,大难临头,谁还顾得上别人的事。尽管魔族溃兵潮水般从身边跑过,但却没一个人停下脚步来给他们伸出援手的。事后想起来,连紫川秀自己也觉得顺利得意外:自己身边只带了那么几百人就敢在魔族溃兵中大摇大摆地抓人,那几千上万的魔族兵一旦清醒过来,不被他们撕了才怪!战斗没多久就结束了,几十个魔族骑兵被打死了一半。在秀字营士兵的刀剑威迫下,剩下的全部被缴了械,用皮带绑住双手盘膝坐在地上。紫川秀一个一个地望着他们,其中一个大个子的魔族老兵引起了他的注意。这个魔族老兵一身白毛,身形比普通魔族兵要高出一个头。尽管他竭力想把身形躲在其他魔族兵的身后,但那臃肿而庞大的身躯在矮小的魔族兵中实在是鹤立鸡群,想不引人注意都难。这个魔族老兵身着低级魔族兵的制服,但他的宽下巴脸型和傲慢的眼神却在告诉紫川秀,此人是惯于颐指气使的人物。“你,站起来!”用纯正的魔族语,紫川秀指着那个魔族兵喝道。老魔族磨蹭了一阵,最后才不情不愿地站了起来。他耷拉着脑袋望地上,不与紫川秀的眼光对视。望着他,紫川秀使劲地在脑海里搜寻:这个魔族看起来有点面熟?在哪里见过他了?良久,一个人影渐渐在脑海里浮现。那仿佛是很久远的故事了。七八零年深秋的那个夜晚,那血腥而惊险的一夜。那时候,此人是高高在上的军团长,王国贵族,自己不过是一员投诚的叛将。那晚,在这位王国贵族眼里,自己不会比一只爬虫高贵多少,他拿眼睛扫自己一眼都是莫大的恩惠了。谁能料到呢?世事竟能做如此大的颠倒。当年的卑微者已成为了征服者,而傲慢者却沦为阶下囚。紫川秀平静地说:“叶尔马公爵,好久不见了。”被紫川秀叫出了身份,叶尔马猛然抬起头。他望着紫川秀,眼神里充满了迷惑和恐惧。他不明白,为什么眼前的这位人类军官能一眼就叫出了自己的名字。多年前,他见过紫川秀一面。但在那个宴会上的紫川秀,与眼前这个周身铠甲血腥斑斑的敌将有很大的区别。他小声地咕嘟道:“你是谁?”紫川秀没时间和他废话,直截问道:“魔神皇在哪里?说出来!”叶尔马傲慢地抬起了头,一言不发。他那挑衅地冲着紫川秀昂起的下巴分明是无声地宣布:“我什么都知道,但我就是不说!”“好,很好!”紫川秀冷笑道:“塞内亚贵族,果然很有骨气。”他使个眼色,几个卫兵会意地冲上去,将叶尔马从俘虏群中拖出来,拖到路边的暗地里去。只听好一阵拳脚与肉体的激烈碰撞声和鬼哭狼嚎般的求救声,黑夜里,魔族俘虏们听得脸色发白。过了好一阵,卫兵们拖着叶尔马——那已经不能说是叶尔马了,只能说是一堆看起来很象叶尔马的肉——出来。军官跑到紫川秀身边小声报告:“启禀大人,他招供了。他说,魔神皇没有随第三军突围。他和近卫旅都留在包围圈里面了。”“什么!”紫川秀失声叫出来,他怀疑地看了一眼军官:“可靠吗?”军官也皱起了眉头,魔族的皇帝竟然没有突围而是自愿留下来断后,这个消息未免也太匪夷所思了。“要不,下官再好好地和他聊聊?”“算了。”紫川秀看看叶尔马,他被打得头破血流七窍流血,已快奄奄一息了。再让那军官跟他“好好地聊”下去,估计他就得一命呜呼了。“你另外找几个魔族兵出来,对一下他们的口供,看看是否一致。”审讯的结果很快出来了,除了几个死活不肯开口的死硬分子,魔族兵的招供惊人地一致:“魔神皇没有突围。他还在二号高地附近,与近卫旅在一道。”紫川秀眉头深锁,想了一阵,他做出了决定:“斯特林和流风霜的兵马正在扫荡近卫旅,我们回去作用不大。还是以防万一吧,万一叶尔马撒谎,或者他们都被魔神皇骗了呢?我们继续追!即使抓不到魔神皇,听叶尔马说,羽林云浅雪是和他们一起突围的,只是在途中失散了。这是条大鱼,我们抓他去!”紫川秀的追击直到第二天拂晓东方天色发白,此时,追击的兵马累得连手都抬不起来了,士兵们跑得脸色发白嘴唇发青,若不是顾忌身边的魔族俘虏造反,他们都要在死尸堆上倒下来便睡了。虽然劳累,但这晚的战果却是十分丰厚的,抓到的俘虏长长的一串,起码有四五千人之多。唯一遗憾的是,其中有分量的将领和贵族没几个。除了叶尔马外,只有几个子爵、伯爵之类的“白披风”,想抓的云浅雪没碰到,不知是这位羽林将军腿脚特别灵便还是黑夜里大伙在道上错过了。想想,紫川秀倒也没怎么遗憾。毕竟抓了一个叶尔马,自己已经够幸运了,还想再抓一个云浅雪,把塞内亚首领们给一网打尽,那也未免得陇望蜀了。回程的路上,道上到处堆满了丢弃的武器、尸体、燃烧的辎重车,满目苍夷。后续的步兵部队已经跟上来了,成群结队的远东半兽人兵正在战场各处搜巡,他们在打劫魔族的战利品,搜寻漏网的魔族官兵。虽然疲惫,官兵们却十分兴奋,一路吱吱喳喳说个不停。这晚他们的收获不小,抓俘与杀敌是同功,紫川秀出手大方,远东军功奖丰厚,抓了五千多俘虏,即使其中一半要算紫川秀本人的功劳——估计统领大人也没那么黑吧?——剩下的一半按人头分也有每人四五个俘虏的功劳了,这笔赏金可是不少。何况里面还有几个塞内亚贵族和军官呢?将来人类与魔族若停战了,那光靠这几个贵族的赎金就足够大伙吃喝不愁。紫川秀却没有部下的欢快心情,他眉头紧锁,一路搭拉着脑袋,一副心事沉沉的样子。有熟悉的部下故意逗他开心:“统领大人,是不是心疼奖金啦?”紫川秀笑笑:“兔崽子,看牢你的钱袋,别让他们跑了,没送到俘虏营的可不能算奖金。滚蛋吧!”部下嘻嘻哈哈一笑而散,紫川秀若有所思地张望四周,他在抑止着内心彭湃的激动。人类千年的苦难,终于在今天结束了!巴丹一战消灭近四十万魔族主力,魔族已无力回天了,此战可永载史册。巴丹会战的意义不单是军事上的,更是政治上的。三百年前倚靠明王的神力打退魔族兵,虽然也是胜利,但那样的胜利让人总让人觉得不真实,而魔族也不把人类当战胜者看待,而是把他们看作是躲避在明王羽翼下的寄生虫。这三百年间,魔族屡次西侵的原因就在此了。他们有心理上的优势,认为人类懦弱,不配拥有这块土地,自然好战了。但这次巴丹会战,不是靠明王的神威,不是靠虚无飘渺的神力,而是靠着普普通通的人类兵、半兽人兵真刀实枪地与魔族军白刃见血厮杀,实打实打出来的胜利,这场胜利打出了人类的威风,拿出来心里塌实!这一仗,足可为三百年前的蓝河会战洗耻,人类从此扬眉吐气。紫川秀唯一担心的是,魔神皇到底死了吗?迎面奔来了一队骑兵,紫川秀认出是自己麾下的半兽人骑兵部队,带头的领队正是德昆。他朝德昆挥挥手,后者看到了紫川秀,连忙朝这边奔来。“殿下!”德昆依然是纱布包着一只伤眼,身上血迹斑斑,连身上的毛发都被血浆凝住了,隔着老远就从他身上传来了一阵刺鼻的汗酸味,那味道太冲了,紫川秀只觉得鼻子一酸,一连打了三个喷嚏——连打了快三天的仗,谁都没功夫梳洗,紫川秀估计自己的模样和味道也好不到哪去。“殿下!”“德昆,你站在那,别过来。”紫川秀伸直了手连连摇晃,象是要从手心发出冲击波将德昆推在三尺之外,一手捂着鼻子,瓮声瓮气地说:“怎么?魔神皇抓到了吗?”德昆一愣:“殿下,是白川大人派我来接应您的。魔神皇,我不知道——不是您带兵马去追击魔神皇了吗?您怎么问起我来了?您抓到魔神皇了吗?”紫川秀这才发现,自己犯了一个错误。在追击魔族兵马的同时,自己居然忘记把魔神皇可能还在战场上的事告诉斯特林或者白川了。看紫川秀脸色变幻,德昆猜他肯定是空手而归了。他安慰道:“大人,魔神皇跑了就跑了,没什么大不了的。想想,魔神王国的皇帝象兔子一般被您在黑地里撵了一夜,那个狼狈肯定少不了的。魔神皇能从您面前逃跑一次,那他就坠了架子,将来他还会逃跑第二次、第三次的!没什么大不了的,逃了的魔神皇就一钱不值了,不足为惧了!”紫川秀也懒得跟他解释了,问:“主阵地那边怎样了?”“还在打!近卫旅还在负隅顽抗。第三军撤退后,近卫旅也想突围,但白川大人把他们咬得死死的,追在他们后面撵着尾巴打。近卫旅跑不快,没办法甩开白川大人,只好边打边走。后来文河大人过来了,斯特林那边的军团也开过来了,流风军那边的兵马也咬上来了——流风家的兵马真威风啊,高头大马,一式全是骑兵——眼看我们的人越来越多,近卫旅知道跑不掉了,干脆就找了个高坡团在那死守,四下全是我们的兵马密密围住,听说帝林大人的军队也在赶来,他们是插翅难飞了!”“帝林也来了!”听到这个消息,紫川秀喜出望外。对于这个大哥,他有一种近乎盲目的崇拜和相信,帝林来了,那就再没有解决不了的问题。“那我们快回去,魔神皇可能就在被包围的近卫旅里边!”“什么!”德昆大吃一惊,随即,兴奋的笑容出现在半兽人脸上。他摩拳擦掌地嚷嚷道:“大人,这下我们可要好好大干一场了!这么多人围攻,魔神皇就是三头六臂也逃不掉了!”远东军被魔神皇冲阵杀将如入无物,德昆一直深以为耻。这下有机会复仇,他兴奋得雀跃不已。说着,他突然想到了什么,一拍脑门:“大人,忘说了,刚才的道上,我们抓到一个魔族俘虏,很可能是塞内亚贵族。”“是谁?”“我们从一辆马车上逮的,不知道她的身份。但那马车装饰很华贵,肯定是大人物。殿下,我们见识浅薄,没法分辨此人身份,只有交给您了!”德昆裂开大嘴,眉开眼笑,笑容中藏着几分狡黠,他转头打招呼:“来人,把好东西拿出来献给大人!”看着德昆那狡诈的笑容,再看看那扛着大麻袋的两个半兽人兵,紫川秀忽然觉得眼前的一幕很有种似曾相识的感觉,连德昆那狡猾的笑容好象都在哪里见过。。。有种强烈的预感,紫川秀喃喃道:“天,接下来该不会是。。。”麻袋解开了。卡丹公主清丽依然,她圆睁了清澈的双眼,一眨不眨地看着紫川秀,双眸透明有如水晶。他望着她,她望着他。就在此刻,时间凝固了,两人的身形凝固犹如雕像。无数的往事如潮水般从身边涌过,曾经无忧无虑的青春岁月,山盟海誓的爱情,生死相许的悲欢离合。在家国世事变幻的风云大潮中,作为个人的命运是多么的脆弱。即使贵为公主或者执掌一方的将军,他们的命运不比时代大潮中随浪飘浮的一根火柴棒重多少。沧海桑田,世事变幻,往事并不如烟,最终尽化尘埃。造化弄人竟能至如斯。望着眼前女子清丽的眼睛,紫川秀干咳一声。他不知道该如何面对这双眼睛,从前如此,现在也是如此。该怎么形容和她之间的关系呢?亦敌亦友,惺惺相怜,半生知己。该和她说些什么呢?象老熟人一般若无其事地打个招呼?或者拿出胜利者的威严来呵斥她?好象都不合适。最终,紫川秀只能对着卡丹慢慢地点头,微笑,笑容里充满了苦涩。他抽出了背后的洗月刀,横刀当空平举。“失礼了,公主殿下!”话音未落,洗月刀在空中划过了一道闪电般的弧线劈向卡丹。德昆惊骇得张大了嘴,叫道:“殿下,不要!赎金很值钱的。。。”“噌”的一声脆响,紫川秀已抽刀回鞘。绑着卡丹的绳子寸寸断裂,纷纷落地。紫川秀清朗地说:“您自由了,公主殿下。‘卡丹公主专注地凝视着紫川秀,刚才紫川秀挥刀的过程中,她的眼睛根本没眨,亮丽的眸子里没有丝毫畏惧。她柔声说:“私放敌国将领,紫川统领您难道就不害怕军法?”紫川秀淡淡说:“你不是将领,我也不怕军法——谁敢说出去?德昆,你会吗?”紫川秀斜眼瞄向旁边目瞪口呆的半兽人将军,后者这才醒悟过来,连声说:“殿下,俺什么都没看到,俺什么都没听到——总之,俺什么都不知道!殿下,俺过那边看看,您老人家忙吧,不用管我了!”话音未落,象是怕看到什么不该看的东西似的,半兽人将军一溜烟跑得没影了,那速度,浑不象一个两天两夜没能合眼休息的人。望着德昆跑远了,紫川秀才出声道:“怎么也想不到会在这里见到你。你怎么一个人在这里?”“我的卫队被冲散了,道上碰到溃兵,他们抢走了我车上的马。没有马,我也走不掉了。”“原来如此。”紫川秀这才明白,为什么先撤退的卡丹居然会被后赶来的德昆给俘虏。他对卡丹说:“事不宜迟,你得马上出发。追击的部队不止我一路,若是你落在文河或者流风军手上,我很难再救出来。你从俘虏里面挑一些人出来充当护卫,我再给你分一些马。”紫川秀转身吩咐部下:“想办法找些战马过来——没有?那就叫德昆他们让一些出来!”看着紫川秀大声呵斥那些反应迟钝的部下,卡丹的眼中流露出一丝感激。但内敛的她并没有出声,只是默默地看着紫川秀忙活着为她准备出发的干粮、淡水和战马,在俘虏里挑选合适的人选出来当护卫。当准备完毕,卡丹又坐回了马车上。匆匆的见面之后,再次分别又在眼前。卡丹忽然问道:“阿秀,你可知道我夫君的下落?他是死了,还是被你们活抓了?”紫川秀一愣:“云浅雪?我不知道。。。你不是和他一起走的吗?据我所知,你夫君是与第三军的叶尔马一起突围的。”“不,我夫君是跟着皇太子卡兰的部队一起走的,他们往塔伦城方向撤。父皇也想让我从塔伦城方向撤退,但我实在不放心父皇,一直留在军中,直到昨晚全军总突围时才跟着大队一起离开。”紫川秀皱皱眉,知道这其中一定有什么蹊跷,但兵荒马乱的,也不是追究的时候了。他问:“卡丹,你怎么不问令尊的下落呢?”卡丹脸色一黯:“不必问了。他有机会撤的,但他不肯,说无颜回去。”紫川秀心头一喜,脸上却露出了黯然的表情说:“请节哀。虽然立场不同,但谁都不得不承认,令尊乃盖世英雄,他求仁得仁,再无所憾。”卡丹盈盈地登上马车,转头对紫川秀说:“那么,请多保重,秀川统领。”紫川秀端庄地对她行了一个军礼:“路上保重,卡丹。”望着马车渐渐远去,渐渐消失在太阳升起的地平线上头,紫川秀神情惆怅。他这才注意到一件事,今天的匆匆会晤中,卡丹竟没有一个字提到斯特林。自己的初恋情人,竟是毁灭魔族王国的元凶巨魁,杀害自己父亲和亲人的凶手,料想卡丹的心里,也是矛盾得很吧?云浅雪和卡兰带着第三军和羽林军从战场上逃走了,但更多的魔族军队却被人类的铁钳困住了。蒙那将军和英木兰将军的骑兵军进展神速,飞插战场的两翼,就如两面钢铁城墙,锁死了魔族逃生向东南逃生的通道。各路人类军团士气高涨,突进勇猛。士兵们虽然疲惫,谁都知道,这是痛打落水狗的时候了,要获得战利品,就得靠现在了。现在,被包围的魔族兵已无逃生的希望。塞内亚兵不愧是王国精锐,很多魔族兵都选择了战死而不是被俘。被打散的各个魔族团队和大队排成大大小小的圆形阵,肩并肩抵抗人类的从四面八方的围攻。人类则不住地猛攻,把圈子一再压缩,压缩,象毒蛇一样紧紧缠住了魔族。武器又碰撞起来了,枪在刺,刀在砍,剑在削,砍在肉体和盾牌、盔甲上,乒乒乓乓。一个大圈子被人类打散了,他们又组成十几个小圈子,大群铁甲骑兵冲过,一个又一个魔族组成的圈子被荡平,魔族兵都被马蹄踩成了肉泥,直到所有的魔族兵都象一片森林似的纷纷被砍倒,直到最后一个魔族兵被切断喉咙之前,战斗是不会结束的。流风家士兵脸色发白了,他们很少见到这么残酷的战争。他们喊话保证投降魔族的生命安全,但魔族就象没听到一般,依然在不顾死活地抵抗。这里战斗的残酷远胜于西部边境战斗,在紫川家与流风家的作战中,双方是允许投降的而且俘虏是有可能被交换或者赎回的,流风军对魔族士兵对自己生命的轻蔑深感震惊。无论是围攻者还是被围攻者,双方都根本不把自己的性命当回事。因为魔族知道,他们在这片土地上犯下深重的罪行,双手血腥。即使投降了,人类也不可能放过他们的。被包围的魔族兵很少投降,即使最后防御圈被完全击碎,即使单身一人的魔族兵也不愿向胜利者屈膝,而是选择了战死。蒙那将军说:“他们不是人,全是野兽。我们是在与饿急的狼**手!”对于魔族王国来说,这是遭遇大难崩溃的一天,但也是王国战士展现勇气,最辉煌光荣的一天。最激烈的战斗依然是在远东军的防线周围,近卫旅被包围在此地。流风军是第一次与近卫旅交手,先前,他们对这种巨大而强悍的生物一无所知。轻骑兵们依然想用往常惯用的战术——近身冲刺骑射扰乱然后再突进破阵——他们吃了大亏。轻骑兵所挟带的猎弓对装甲兽只当是挠痒,突进的轻骑冲不破装甲兽的阵列。装甲兽双手一挥,重达八十斤的铁锤横横打来,竟有骑兵连人带马给打飞出五六米,浑身骨骼断裂五脏破裂而死的。从包围开始,突围和反突围的战斗就一直没停过。那些野蛮而强壮的装甲兽不停地冲撞人类的防线,被他们撞死踩死的流风军和紫川军士兵尸体堆成了一座小山。亲眼目睹这这一场景,第一次见到这种刀枪不入又力大无穷的怪物,流风家将领们无不胆战心惊。英木兰惊叹道:“那是什么怪物?我们面前的不是恐龙吧?”流风霜则问道:“能与这样的敌人激战两天两夜,贵军真是了不起。不知贵军是用什么方法抵御这些怪物的?能否向我们传授一点经验?”文河脸色发白,斯特林却是脸色发青,这时他才感到了自己的自私。自己粗暴地向紫川秀下了简单的命令:“死守!”甚至还以军法审判相威胁——现在回想起来,世间之自私残酷无过于此!即使强弩之末的装甲兽依然有这么恐怖的威力,自己要紫川秀独力抵抗全盛时的近卫旅和魔神皇,那简直就是要他去送死!他至今还想不明白,武器简陋兵力单薄的半兽人兵,到底是怎么跟这些怪物战斗的?那是真正的血肉山河,以死坚守!但即使再来一次,自己别无他法,依然要向紫川秀下达这个命令:“死守!”若不是紫川秀拖住了近卫旅主力,这数万恐怖的怪物投入正面战场的话,自己未必能坚持到流风军抵达。战争之残酷就在于此,他使人变得粗暴而残酷,铁石心肠,除胜利外,所有的牺牲和鲜血统统不在考虑范围。他向流风家将领解释:“诸位,先前与近卫旅交战的并非我东南军部队,而是紫川秀大人统率的远东劲旅。”“原来是远东军!”流风军将军们发出了惊叹的感慨:“紫川家在远东竟还有这么强大的军团!”在以往与紫川家的战斗中,紫川家很少把远东军调过来对付自己,对流风家来说,那支从蛮荒之地成长起来的强大军团始终蒙有一层神秘的面纱。想想,能硬撼装甲兽的军队,那是多么恐怖的实力!不少人都在忧虑,虽然与紫川家如今和好了,但国与国之间关系历来变幻莫测,若哪天紫川家一翻脸,真的从远东调来军队的话,那流风家就麻烦了。虽然人类已经取得了全面的绝对优势,但依然对那两万结阵坚守的近卫旅束手无策。硬攻不是不可以,但那要意味着付出巨大的伤亡。天知道要死多少人才能把这些怪物给消灭掉,尤其斯特林手上的都是伤亡惨重的疲兵,士兵们倒在地上就能枕着死尸立即睡着的。比起紫川军来,流风军的伤亡倒是微乎其微。但第一次进攻近卫旅受挫后,流风军立即谨慎起来。斯特林去找流风霜商议协同进攻的事,别的事都好商量,只是谈到进攻,流风霜露出了神秘的含蓄笑容,回绝得又干脆又利索:“我军长途跋涉,劳累不堪,不宜立即投入战斗。斯特林大人,贵部若要进攻,我愿为阁下掠阵,助威呐喊!”斯特林一阵气闷,流风霜只差没说:“斯特林你只管上吧,我精神上鼓励你!”他正在头疼时候,一个消息传来了:“帝都军团已经抵达!帝林监察长大人到了!”七八四年十一月十四日,清晨,天空灰沉沉的,彤云密布。一场雪眼看就要下来。一队身着黑色披风的骑兵和辎重车队穿梭在巴丹平原,这个刚刚经过激战的战场。骑兵和车队穿行于尸积如山的坡地和平原,两军战士的尸骸之多,堆满了道路,以至车队前面不得不派出人专门将尸骸和杂物搬离道路。空气中荡漾着浓郁的血腥味,熏人欲呕。大群的秃鹫在战场各处飞舞着,发出嘈杂的怪叫声。“大人,东南军主营已东移,斯特林大人派人传话了,说就在前方迎接您。”“不必了。”长身玉立的俊美将军淡淡道:“战事正紧,这时候就不必搞那些繁文琐节了。告诉东南军的联系官,我直接到前线与斯特林会合就是。”侍卫官领命正要去传达,忽见前面奔来了一路兵马。看见兵马上方飘扬的东南军主帅旗,他失声道:“大人,斯特林将军已经来了!”帝林脸上动容,策马奔出。果然,那路兵马前头那个熟悉的身影,却不正是斯特林!两人都是飞快地奔近来,同时翻身下马。自从三月间,斯特林出任东南军统领,两人就再不曾见过面。在这战乱岁月,斯特林指挥东南军,帝林坚守帝都,二人都是执掌一方重镇的人物,早养成了矜持沉稳的习性,平闲生死事都不再动心了。唯有在自己久不曾见的生死兄弟面前,那份真情性情才会流露。两人对视,都是心潮澎湃,激动万分。依照军中规矩,斯特林先端正地向帝林敬了一个军礼,帝林微笑着回礼,两人的笑容中都隐隐藏着泪光。“宁殿下很关心这边,催着我过来看。其实,斯特林你坐镇,我是压根不担心的:除了大获全胜,还能有别的结局吗?但殿下催得紧,没办法,呵呵,大哥我就厚着脸皮跑这么一趟了,拿到点捷报消息,也好回去给殿下报功沾点光。”第267章帝国的黄昏血日冉冉。

步、骑混合的魔族近卫旅源源不断地从在巴丹城左侧的山麓林中开出来,隆隆蹄声和脚步响彻山麓,兵马掀起一阵黄色的尘雾,黑色的阵头和飞舞的旗帜在漫天的尘雾中若隐若现。“启禀大人,魔族部队向我阵地全面进攻!”“我看到了,而且看得比你清楚!”紫川秀没好气地说。他实在难以理解魔神皇的想法,放着进攻最凶猛的文河不对付,也不理睬猛攻魔王坡的斯特林,偏偏找上缩在一边的自己——莫非自己踩过魔神皇的尾巴吗?他问传令兵:“斯特林怎么说?”“斯特林大人说,中军兵力很吃紧。他没办法把重甲骑兵抽调给我们。”“还有呢?”“远东军务必坚持到日落。当文河将军会击溃敌十一军后,中军就能腾出手增援我们。”“坚持?魔神皇调了第三军和整个近卫旅攻打我们,斯特林就给我们坚持两个字吗?”将军们站在紫川秀身旁,神情紧张。谁也没料到,在面临文河集团和中央集团强大压力的时候,魔神皇竟有这样的魄力,把手中最强悍的力量调来对付远东军。罗杰飞步走近,远远就叫道:“大人,敌人逼近了,是装甲兽军团!撤吗?”他知道紫川秀的作战风格,远东军最第264章帝国的黄昏喋血高地。

紫川秀立即被唤醒了。听着白川报告,他脸色越来越难看。自己下令诱杀魔神皇,这个结果也未免太难堪了。军阵被魔神皇杀了个穿透,秀字营损兵折将,却连魔神皇一根毛都没伤到。魔神皇真是强悍得可怕,没想到,连秀字营也没办法把他给截下来。唯一可告欣慰的是,魔神皇也没达到他的目标,自己安然无恙。回到中军指挥营时,紫川秀发现,中军营乱成一片,呼声四起:“统领大人死了!”“光明王阵亡了!”紫川秀愕然,转头问白川:“怎么回事?”“大人,魔神皇刚才冲杀了进来。为骗走他,我不得不高呼您阵亡了。失礼了。”“明白了。可你怎么骗走魔神皇呢?”犹豫一下,白川说:“古雷阁下自愿报名充当您的替身,我同意了。”“古雷当我的替身?”紫川秀急切地问:“他没事吧?”“请节哀,大人。古雷阁下已英勇殉国。”多年的军事生涯已把紫川秀的心灵锻炼得如钢铁般冷硬,但咋然听闻古雷的死讯,他还是抑止不住地热血上脑,眼前一黑,一阵眩晕,几乎站立不稳。白川连忙扶住了他,却被紫川秀一手甩开。他怒吼道:“你怎么能命令古雷这样干!你派他去送死!”对着紫川秀愤怒得要喷火的眼睛,白川没做任何回答。她没有解释当时情形的危急,也没有强调魔神皇令人恐怖的强大,更没有向紫川秀解释,古雷是自己申请执行这个任务的。她只是默默地低下了头,单膝跪下,长长的睫毛颤动着,眼里波光盈盈。紫川秀捂住了脸,却捂不住夺眶而出的眼泪。他哽咽地对白川说:“你起来吧。”“大人。。。”“我知道,这不是你的错。魔神皇太强,我们都没办法。”虽然极度悲痛,但紫川秀也清楚白川的良苦用心。若不是她骗走魔神皇,若不是她强行把自己架走——自己武功虽然比古雷强,但也未必能挡魔神皇的雷霆一剑。擦干了眼泪,他已恢复镇定:“走,我们到中军旗下的高台上,到全军都看得到的地方。”站在高台上,右手按刀,紫川秀高大的身影不怒而威。当看到紫川秀的那瞬间,中军营爆发出了一阵欢呼,士兵们欢呼雀跃:“统领大人依然活着!”站在高台上,紫川秀冷峻的声音传遍了中军的每一个角落:“向全军公告,我安然无恙。再有敢传播谣言的,立即斩杀!”参谋部倾巢动员,所有参谋和传令兵都被派了出去,信使举着小旗向前沿部队一路疾奔,高呼声此起彼落:“统领大人平安无事!”、“魔神皇已被击退!”“坚守岗位,听候命令!”当快马信使一路奔来,喊出那声“统领平安无恙”时,整个远东军都如释重负地松了口气,值得庆贺的是,紫川秀阵亡的消息还没传到最前阵,还没引起前沿部队的恐慌。重新接手指挥权后,紫川秀望望头顶被乌云遮盖着的太阳,日头阴蔓,惨白的阳光无力地照在北风呼啸的战场上。这一天的时间过得特别漫长,从战斗开始的凌晨到如今,两军战死的人马都近十万计了。无数早上出发时还活奔乱跳的鲜活生命,此刻他们都静静地躺在冰冷的冬天原野上。但这一天,才只是刚刚过去了一半而已。在这半天时间里,人类军战死了三个红衣旗本,十七个旗本、三十一个副旗本;魔族军也失去了三十一个白披风,多年来不曾亲自出手的魔神皇亲身杀入敌阵,取了远东军首领紫川秀首级。时间,才刚刚是下午三点二十。直到此刻,魔族高层还没没有察觉,被魔神皇干掉的紫川秀是个假货。他们只是不解,在失去首领之后,为什么远东军依然能保持如此旺盛的斗志?不过在他们看来,那不过是远东指挥部封锁紫川秀的阵亡消息罢了,不过是回光返照的冲动,不能持久。魔神皇很乐观地向雷欧和叶尔马宣称:“他们支撑不到天黑了!”魔神皇对未来抱乐观态度,但他的部下可没他老人家这么坚定的信心了。远东军能否坚持到天黑还是个未知数,但裴玛知道,自己是肯定支持不下去了。文河攻打得越来越急,连续向神皇派去了六、七拨求援信使,得来的只有一句答复:“再坚持一个钟头!”皇帝的一个小时,自然和平常人的一个小时是大不相同的。裴玛从中午十二点挺到下午四点,哀嚎得嗓子都哑了,神皇许诺已久的增援终于施然登场了。看到这支期盼已久的增援部队,裴玛差点没被气掉鼻子:魔神皇舍不得从中军和右翼抽调塞内亚族兵马,他派来的增援是由马维率领的十六军团!当马维带部队扑到左翼战场时,士兵们都被眼前的景象吓得呆了。本来是青色和褐色的土地上,现在已经看不出土壤的颜色了,所见之处,都是一片血红。尸骸已经堆满了平原、荒漠和山坡,双方的伤兵在尸骸堆中发出凄惨的呼救声,濒临死亡的重伤人恹恹一息地呻吟着,但声音被淹没在那震耳欲聋的交战声里了。就在这尸山血海之上,活人踩着死人的尸骸和鲜血,仍在厮杀和拼杀。军鼓一通通地震响,一支又一支新部队从森林里出现,沉默地走向那厮杀血场。不论是人类还是魔族,只要还能活动,统统拿起兵器在死命地厮杀,田野和平原上血流成河,鲜血已经流得连土壤都吸收不下了,开始汇成小河向外面流淌。“即使地狱的修罗斗场也不会有这样可怕的景象!”叛军士兵惊骇道:“到这种地步了,他们还在打个不停!他们还是人吗?”十六军团到来给左翼的战斗造成了相当的影响。当他们突然出现时,东南军还以为是帝都的增援提前到达了,疲惫交加的人类官兵兴奋得把帽子都丢上了天空,欢呼声雷动。但当十六军部队在魔族阵地上以战斗队列展开向文河军逼近时,所有的欢呼声顿时哑了。企盼已久的援军居然是敌人!这个事实与希望落差实在太大了,人类军阵中一时出现了混乱。文河大声呼喝道:“弟兄们,看到了吗?来的是魔族的十六军,是那个卖国贼马维的狗腿子们!还记得半年前的奥斯战役吗?谁让我们功败垂成?谁害死了我们那么多弟兄?我们连塞内亚魔族都不怕,难道我们还怕他们的走狗不成?”回应他的,是一片愤怒地喧嚣:“干掉叛徒们!”对于那些在背后出卖自己的叛徒,人类对他们的仇恨甚至更深于魔族。被文河这样大声鼓劲,左翼的东南军以更加凶猛的势头猛扑上前。看到那些穿着魔族军装的人类,东南军将士们气得咬牙切齿,杀得加倍起劲。凭良心说,十六军的表现并没有如魔族嘲笑的那样被“一击即溃”,为打好这场仗,马维也是下了血本的。他骑着战马在阵前来回奔走呼叫,在队列前抛洒大袋大袋的金币来招募敢死队勇士,许诺升官封赏,但是,无论他怎么努力,这支部队始终是缺少一种冲劲和悍不畏死的勇敢,那是胜利军队所必须具备的。而文河的部下们,那些为自己祖国和民族所战斗的士兵们,却充分地具有这种冲劲,骑兵们穿着被打碎的铠甲,浑身是血,举着破损的武器,如疯如狂地朝着叛军队列中冲杀而来,叛军和魔族只能倚靠密集的阵列用长矛来逼退人类骑兵的进攻,却缺少与之对攻的勇气和气魄。裴玛原以为可以凭借十六军的增援把文河一举击溃,但现在,不知是东南军凶不可挡,还是这些人类叛军本来就打得不起劲,裴玛期待已久的援军并没有给战局带来转机,反倒是激怒了人类兵马,文河军团步步逼近,进攻的势头一浪高过一浪,将裴玛和马维压得都喘不过气来,叛军部队到来的作用仅仅是将十一军覆灭的时间向后推移了。下午六时左右,紫川秀与魔神皇的战斗还是没分出胜负。远东军防御的主阵地是山麓下的一个无名小村,惨烈的拉锯战已经持续了三个小时了。装甲兽分成四个五千人队轮番进攻。遭遇魔族的装甲兽,秀字营并不处劣势。装甲兽的缺点和它们的优点一般同样明显:它们的速度太慢,行动也太迟钝了。它们跟不上秀字营的敏捷,往往秀字营士兵连砍了四、五刀,装甲兽才能反应过来做第一下遮挡;等它们慢腾腾地举起棒子呢,秀字营士兵却早往它心窝捅了好几枪了。若在平时,这些打击不过是在为装甲兽挠痒痒罢了,但在内家高手全力灌注了真气的刀刃面前,装甲兽那身坚韧的硬皮被切豆腐般切开,每一下打击都是见血到肉的。缓慢的速度,庞大的身躯,这使装甲兽成了最好的靶子。开始时候,秀字营宰杀装甲兽,轻松得象宰猪。但问题是,装甲兽实在太多了!秀字营战士尽管武艺高强,但面对这一波又一波不间断杀来的白色怪物,内力急速地消耗,没法休息也没法恢复,当体力和内力都被消耗得差不多时候,正如魔神皇所期待的那样,伤亡开始在秀字营中大量地出现了。五点钟左右,天空下起了小雨,冒着雾丝般细雨,秀字营就和魔族装甲兽在无名村前的泥泞的水田里摸滚打爬。每一次进攻,水田里都要多上数百上千具尸体,战士躺倒在刚刚收割完的白花花大地里,鲜血浸得引水的沟渠都变成了深红色。但谁也没料到的是,四个五千人队的装甲兽轮番进攻,依然没能拿下那无名村庄。这下,不但叶尔马惊骇难当,就连魔神皇也感到不可思议了。对面的人类,他们究竟是些怎样的人?魔神皇无法想象,一支失去了指挥官的部队竟有如此的毅力,能在装甲兽面前支持足足三个小时。此时,魔神皇对自己的战绩动摇了,他对雷欧说:“朕很怀疑,紫川秀是否真的死了。”雷欧看过魔神皇带回的首级,虽然他见过紫川秀本人,但时间过了四年,那个血肉模糊的首级实在太难分辨了,他没把握确认这是不是紫川秀本人。看着魔神皇冒着那么大风险冲入敌人阵中带了这个脑袋出来,他也不好意思泼冷水告诉魔神皇:“陛下您很可能杀错了。。。”于是在一片歌颂魔神皇神勇无敌的赞美声中,近卫公爵聪明地选择了沉默。他回答魔神皇道:“陛下,紫川秀此人一向出人意料而且诡计多端。若他用了替身,微臣是不奇怪的。”“雷欧卿,说实话,朕杀的那人,你觉得象紫川秀吗?”“微臣惶恐,实在不是很有把握。”听出了雷欧的言下之意,魔神皇长叹一声:“果然,朕也觉得得手得太轻易了,以紫川秀的名声,他的武功不应如此差劲。难怪对面的远东军如此顽强,没有崩溃迹象。”魔神皇连连摇头,懊悔不已。若有可能,他是很想再杀进去一次的,但上次厮杀耗尽了他的内力,想再次出手,他并无此能力。“陛下,依微臣的看法,即使对面的远东军还能支撑,他们也不过是强弩之末了。只要再给我们两个钟头,我们一定能拿下这个阵地!”“即使拿下阵地,但若紫川秀没死,那击溃远东军绝非易事,裴玛和马维未必能坚持到那个时候。”看看太阳渐渐靠近了西边的地平线,魔神皇不禁有些烦躁:“朕恨不得杀掉叶尔马!这厮谎报,不但误了朕,也误了整个王国!”“陛下,大战正烈,阵前斩将并非吉兆。”“朕知道!但此战一过,朕绝对不会放过他!此人倚老卖老,误朕不少!”雷欧默然。虽然身为同僚,但他对叶尔马并没有多少好感,他并不打算为他辩解。事实上,在魔族军中,对那个傲慢、呆板又夸夸其谈的老将有好感的,几乎一个也没有。天色一直是阴沉的,带着蒙蒙小雨。直到了黄昏,太阳才出来露了一小会脸,无力地向撒满鲜血的大地散布最后的光芒。当最后一丝残阳消失在地平线上时,天空黑了下来。夜晚的到来给疲惫交加的魔族一丝希望。激战了一天,人类总要歇息的吧?他们总要吃饭和睡觉的吧?战斗是一种高强度的激烈运动,体力和精力消耗程度都是惊人的。一天的战斗,无论人类和魔族都挺不住。夜战是魔族的强项,人类不会不知道这点。但令魔族失望了,人类确实是休息停战了,但却只有短暂的两个小时。晚上九点多,在战线中部和右翼的魔族兵又看到了满山遍野的火把疾扑而来!“人类居然敢与我们夜战?”接到报告的魔神皇先是吃惊,随后又是释然。既然人类都敢从阵地里出来和魔族大打野战了,那再在夜晚挑战魔族的强项也不是什么奇事。他唯一奇怪的是人类为什么如此迫不及待,连一夜的时间都等不得?其实斯特林也是有不得已的苦衷。奥斯总督胡新、维纳里总督内依特还有驻安卡拉的远东军副统领林冰都紧急派了信使向他示警报告,侦察发现在东南行省各部出现大规模的魔族军团,正急速向巴丹方向前进。前锋已抵达了巴特利行省首府周边。这支魔族军团进军极速,他们一路不攻城、不掠地,只是急速猛走,一心一意朝着巴丹主战场方向靠拢。而留守各地的人类军队兵力寡弱,也没能力阻止他们的前进。这支魔族军团的数目极庞大,旌旗漫野。林冰率兵跟踪其后,据她的观察,目前光是记录的团队旗帜就不下六十面,估计全军起码不下八十个团队。卡顿来得好快!这是斯特林接到报告后的第一个想法。他暗暗庆幸,明羽的信使来得足够快,给自己多了一天一夜的准备时间。趁着两个小时的休息时间,前线指挥官们一窝蜂地拥回了中央军参谋部,冲斯特林要粮要增援要补给。对着军官们的抱怨,斯特林的答复只有一个:“增援没有!吃完饭休息半个小时,继续进攻!”师团长们眼泪都下来了:“大人,再打下去我们就全光了!”“大人,给十一师留点种子吧!”但当斯特林把那份报告一读,所有人都哑了声。“卡顿亲王距离我们不到三百里了,骑兵急驰,这不过两天的路程!若不能在此之前击溃魔族军,干掉魔神皇,那我们先前的牺牲就都成了白费。更可怕的是,若被魔神皇父子前后夹击,我们都得死无葬身。诸位,现在你们还有什么话吗?”沉寂半个小时后,战场上重又开打。人类主要是在中间和右翼发动进攻,而魔族则咬着牙在左翼对着紫川秀猛击,立志要先击溃远东军。两方都是竭尽全力,但打击的力度却是越来越弱。天空阴沉沉,下着蒙蒙小雨。星星都看不到。罗杰象条被打断了脊梁的赖皮狗一般趴在一汪血泊里,好久都没动弹。两个士兵从他身边走过,其中一个用脚踢踢他:“好象是挂了?”“看样子是个军官。说不定有油水。”另外一个士兵蹲下身,探手去摸罗杰的口袋,刚触到衣裳,罗杰突然坐了起来,把这两个士兵吓得齐声尖叫:“啊!”“两个混球,”罗杰有气无力地问道:“现在几点了?”一个士兵报告:“晚上十一点,长官。”罗杰只感觉嗓子嘶哑,喉咙里干得象是有一把火在烧。他抖抖腰间的行军水壶,却是空荡荡的。他睁大了疲惫的眼睛张望四周,整个村子都在燃烧,稀稀拉拉的房屋和树木都被火焰吞噬了。在火光背景下,村子中活动着一些黯淡的身影,但更多的人却都是或躺或坐在地上的。“有水吗?”没人回答。罗杰回头再看,却发现那两个士兵早已偷偷溜走了。他苦笑着,就着火光,他在地上摸索着,一连搜了五具尸体,才终于找到一个有水的行军壶,一口气半壶水灌进喉咙里,尽管水已微微发酸了,但那股浸彻心肺的清凉却让罗杰周身清爽。他感觉生机和力量重又回到了自己身上,支撑着慢慢站了起来,身体象绑了半吨铅一般沉重。他扬声叫道:“还有多少人活着的?有没有?应个声!”“都死了~”废墟和火光中传回了一片有气无力的喊声。罗杰笑了,一屁股坐了下来,感觉屁股下软软的,坐到装甲兽的尸体上了。他也没力气再站起来了,颤抖着手点燃了手中的香烟,猛吸一口,然后大声叫道:“弟兄们,看来这次大伙真要为国捐躯,放心,圣灵殿有我们的席位。”“滚!你当官的死光了老子都没事呢!”“爷爷我号称不死鸟,圣灵殿留着罗杰大人您自个蹲吧!”士兵们叫骂得厉害,但却有气无力的,刚才的激战已经透支了大家的精力。“秀字营,集合!”火光中,人影晃动。远远近近的,一些幽灵般的身影蹒跚着出现。士兵们参差不齐地排成了一行,接着第二行,第三行,第四行。。。真是奇怪,每次打退魔族的进攻,看着阵地上满地的尸首,罗杰总有种错觉,象是人都死光了,只剩下自己和零散的三两个兵,再也顶不住一次进攻了。但是现在,各个阵地上幸存的士兵重新集合,就如那孱弱的溪流汇成了彭湃的大河,看到那越来越长的队伍,看到那些血污满面却依然闪亮的眼睛,看到那些疲惫不堪却仍旧站得笔直的身影,那些被砍削得破破烂烂的盔甲,那些砍得出了缺口的刀刃和折断的长剑,罗杰陡然又产生了信心,力量重又充满了他的身体,拳头陡然攥紧。他的声音低沉,却蕴含着一股力量感:“弟兄们,增援还没到,看来统领大人那里也碰到了麻烦,我们得靠自己坚持到天亮了。弟兄们,有没有问题?”“有~~”“问题很大条,老子没力气了~~”“要求加班费~~”“还要两个美*********阳怪气声的从队伍里四处响起,引起了一阵哄笑声。罗杰也笑,这就是秀字营的风格,若要这群痞子象斯特林一样一般正经地立正宣誓:“愿为家族服务!”那他准会怀疑太阳从西边出来了。“加班费有的是,金山银海,都放在帝都那好好地等我们去拿呢!总长说了,只要我们能坚持到天亮,发的银子足够大伙用到龟孙子那辈的!统领爷也给我们准备了好多好多美女,每人发六个,足够咱哥们从周一快活到周六的。。。”有人在队列里喊:“那周日呢?”“你还当自己有魔神皇那么猛啊!总得有个休息的时间吧?”哄堂大笑,又渴又累的士兵们笑得都站不住了。发问的士兵一边笑一边大口地咳嗽,咳出来的血都染红了胸口的衣襟,但他自己看不见,他的同伴们仿佛也看不到,大伙笑得那么开心,那么从容,笑容里没有丝毫的忧虑和担忧,就象一群孩子。罗杰笑着说:“放心,银子和美女大把有,但大伙得活着回来领!谁若回不来,你的银子我就帮你花了,你的美女我也帮你安慰了!”“滚!”“杀了这兔崽子!他比魔族还可恶!”远处传来了沉重的踏地声,笑声嘎然而止。罗杰心头一颤,装甲兽又上来了。他环视左右,一个接一个地望过眼前的士兵们。士兵们歪着身子,斜着眼回望着罗杰,一时间,谁都没有出声。罗杰清清嗓子:“总之,大伙要活着回来。拜托了!”回应他的是一阵激烈的吵闹:“放心!不回来岂不是让银子和美女都被你吞了!”在史书上关于巴丹会战的记载部分,特别提到了远东军主阵地,那个无名村庄的战事。在这夜,魔族发起进攻五千装甲兽以上的进攻八次,均被打退。魔神皇惊骇道:‘就算这个村子是铁铸的也被被我们打穿了!守在那里的,真的是人类吗?’中午时投入战斗的五千秀字营,当第二天太阳升起时,存活者不到一千人。无一人投降,无一人逃跑。以前的那个无名村,打那起却有了个新的名字:‘喋血高地’。但论起战斗之惨烈,喋血高地还算不上首位。远东军仅仅只是守,但在东南军主攻方向,斯特林亲领的步骑集团作为进攻方,必须付出更大的代价。四个先锋铁甲师被打得全军覆没,先头进入战场六个步兵师也被打残了,战场上,被打死的人类官兵尸首堆了近一米高,象是在平原上起了一个蜿蜒的城墙,后续部队被堵住了没办法进军。而为了消灭中央军的先头部队,魔族中路指挥官云浅雪同样地伤亡惨重,那天黎明到来时,本有八万士兵的羽林军幸存不到四万人。当黎明到来时,无论是人类也好,魔族也好,都没有力量来发动新的攻势了。两军很多士兵甚至都是在激战的战场枕着尸首睡着了。看着太阳渐渐升起,斯特林统领终于下令,军队停止进攻。事实上,仗打到这个地步,事实已经很明显了,东南、远东联军和魔神皇的军团是势均力敌,谁也奈何不了谁。经过一天一夜的流血,两军都已经衰弱到危险的地步。这种情况下,继续进攻的一方要付出更大的牺牲,有先崩溃的危险。而同时地,魔神皇也和斯特林得出同样的结论。为击溃远东军这个目标,魔族军已经投入太多的牺牲和力量。现在看来,且不说这个目标能否实现,即使打垮远东军了,伤亡惨重的近卫旅也没有余力进行对东南军主力的侧翼打击了,这样消耗战的僵局对人数较少的魔族不利。黎明时分,信使们一个接一个赶到魔王坡,向魔神皇报告了各军的损耗。裴玛甚至丢下军队,亲自跑来见魔神皇。他很坦率地告诉魔神皇,部队伤亡太大,打不下去了。“陛下,第十一军的三十五个团队中有十五个团队被人类彻底打光了,只剩下一面军旗。六个团队被打死过半,三个团队已经彻底溃散了,还有四个团,开战前我安排在左翼的,现在都联系不上了,我甚至不知道他们是被人类歼灭了还是逃跑了。。。”裴玛说得滔滔不绝,眼中饱含着泪水:“陛下,再打下去,我们撑不住了。”在尊敬的魔神皇面前表现出怯弱和动摇,这令他感到十分羞耻。魔神皇陷入沉思。他恬静的脸容映衬着远方连绵起复的群山,仿佛一副轮廓分明的黑白画。他的手上拿着一张白纸,那是参谋们汇总的伤亡数字,那巨大的红字令人震惊。就在这一天一夜的战斗中,五十三个魔族团队已经从王国军队序列中永远地消失了,另外还有三十一个团队被打得失去了战斗力。在巴丹地区聚集了王国所有的军队,战前,谁都以为这场野战会以神族干脆利索的胜利而告终,谁也没料到这一仗打得如此艰难,牺牲会如此恐怖。在这场会战中,人类表现出了令人尊敬的战斗力,意志坚决,不惧牺牲,在与魔族的对攻中甚至还占了上风。两军竭尽全力对攻,最后打了个平手,这个结果令得魔族高层感到极大震撼,但两军不同的是,魔神皇已率领王国的全部军队了,而他面对的仅仅是人类的两个军团。魔神皇不愿意承认,但却不得不面对这个事实:王国的武装力量已经衰弱到了危险的地步。这样的军队,还能再坚持一场战争吗?魔神皇低沉地说:“命令全线停战。裴玛,你想办法跟人类那边联系,就说我们想谈判。”上午八点钟,一个举着白旗的魔族向人类方走来,转达了魔神皇的意思。这个讯息在东南军司令部引起了极大的震动。那个目空一切的魔族至尊,居然低下了他高傲的头颅,要和人类谈判?来不及召集各集团的司令,斯特林统领先会见了使者。“陛下说了,两军先停战。停战以后,神族将退出所有占领紫川家的土地。”“瓦仑要塞呢?”魔族使者慢条斯理地说:“瓦仑要塞也是紫川家土地,自然也还给你们。”斯特林立即说:“那好。请贵国皇帝立即给瓦仑总督发去命令,让他将要塞移交给我远东军副统领林冰大人。她率军就在瓦仑要塞附近。”“要塞自然会还你们,但那要在我们神族大军撤出瓦仑关以后。”“那不可能!”斯特林统领正要一口拒绝,从司令部大门匆匆进来的远东军统领紫川秀急忙一口接了上去:“起码还得把所有的俘虏还给我们。”斯特林愕然。魔族残酷无情,抓到的人类官兵和平民,凡是不肯屈服的,一律屠杀。肯屈服的,就加入十六军团。所以,魔族军中的人类俘虏并不是很多,特意要回他们意义并不是很大。但他知道紫川秀机智,不会做无谓的事,也不出声,看紫川秀怎么说。赶来的紫川秀满头大汗,不等卫兵给他加椅子,他自个就从墙边端了把椅子到谈判桌边坐下。以不容置疑的口吻,他说:“所有被魔族抓去的人类官兵和平民都必须交还我们,要谈判,这就是我们人类的条件。”望了紫川秀一眼,魔族使者向斯特林投了个疑惑的眼神,斯特林统领镇定地说:“这是远东的紫川统领,他的话就是我的话。”再看了紫川秀一眼,确认这个满头大汗,脸色苍白的年轻人就是能跟魔神皇抗衡一天一夜的传奇将领,使者脸上多了分尊敬。他说:“若谈判可成,俘虏自然会还给你们——不过在我军中,人类俘虏数目应该不会很多。”“不不,”紫川秀连连摆手:“你没弄明白我的意思:在魔族军中的所有人类,都必须交给我们——不管他是被俘还是以别的方式被弄到你们那去的!”使者和斯特林统领这才明白过来,使者叫道:“难道你是要我们把整个十六军团都交还你们吗?”“那是自然!”紫川秀一脸杀气:“那些背叛国家的败类,必须要得到应有的惩罚!首当其冲,马维就是一个!这个条件若不成,谈判那就不用说了,我们各自再点兵马来个你死我活吧!”使者皱着眉头不出声。在投诚以后,马维为了凸现自己对魔族的忠心,在各种场合都刻意强调了自己与紫川秀不共戴天的仇恨,所以,这个牵涉了美女皇储紫川宁、远东统领紫川秀和马维等风云人物外加三角恋情、叛变、刺杀外加灭门惨案等大批亮点的故事在魔族高层中流传甚广。关于紫川秀和马维之间的恩怨,他也是知道的。现在紫川秀提出要索取死敌马维,这个要求是很正常的。老实说,对于马维和十六军官兵的命运,使者并不是很关切,哪怕紫川家把他们全宰了下锅,使者也不会感到心疼。他只是顾忌,马维毕竟是陛下亲封的王国公爵,这样交还人类,陛下能不能答应?最后,使者还是叹了口气:“对不起,统领大人,这个条件陛下没有授权我答应。但从我个人来说,我觉得这不是什么问题。”紫川秀点头,很体谅的样子:“那就劳烦贵使再跑一趟,跟贵国陛下说一声了。希望他能怜悯两国将士,不要再让士兵们白白牺牲了。”“希望能如统领大人您所愿吧。这仗,确实不能再打了。我们只想回家。”在那一刻,魔族使节脸上出现了真切的悲痛。紫川秀心念一动:“请问阁下是?”“鲁莽了,还没对统领大人您做自我介绍。我是卡路侯爵,在陛下身边担任高级参谋官。”看到紫川秀探究的目光,白发双鬓的老皇族轻轻抹了下眼角的泪珠:“失礼了。我有两个儿子,一个二十一岁,在羽林军中任团队长;一个十九岁,在十一军中任军团掌旗官。”顿了一下,他轻声说:“在昨天下午和晚上,他们都战死了。”两位统领都沉默了。站在他们面前的,是一个满手血腥的侵略者头目,敌人的高级贵族,也是冷酷无情的敌方谈判代表。他的两个儿子是魔族的高级军官,自然也是凶狠的刽子手,死了那是大快人心。按理说,他们应该对这个顽冥不化老家伙的任何悲痛感到幸灾乐祸才好;或者,应该对他喝道:“这就是你们侵略人类的下场了!”可此刻,他们实在不忍。他们只看到了,在自己面前的是一个白发双鬓的老人在悲痛自己早逝的儿子。老年丧子,白发送黑发,那种无以言述的悲痛超越种族和国界,同样身为有情感的智慧种族,他们感同身受。看到他,他们就象看到了无数人类父母一般,在远方的天际下为传来的噩耗悲痛欲绝。斯特林庄重地说:“很难过听到这个消息。请节哀。”老人点头,轻声说:“谢谢。”泪水再也抑止不住了,从眼中滚滚落下。他起身,再次说声:“失礼了。”然后,他行了个礼,蹒跚着走出了东南军司令部的大门。斯特林望向紫川秀,不满地挑起了眉头。他困惑不解。这是人类和魔族最重大的一次谈判,紫川秀却因为和马维的事而耽搁了下来。这种因私废公的行为不象紫川秀一贯的作风。迎着斯特林责备的目光,紫川秀笑笑:“别这样看着我,我是故意的。”“你故意搞混这次谈判?”“这里距离魔王坡约有十五里,那个信使来回,即使骑马也得一个多小时,再加上汇报和魔神皇考虑的时间,我们很容易就能混来两三个小时。”“可我们要这两三个钟头能干什么呢?”“让部队歇息,恢复体力,全力备战。从现在到今晚,每一分钟对我们都是珍贵的,若不能在明天日出前击溃魔神皇军团,那我们就完蛋了!”斯特林一惊:“怎么说?”“卡顿快到了!”斯特林猛然站起:“在哪里?”“主力还没抵达,但一个小规模的先遣队企图混过我们防线向魔神皇报讯,结果被半兽人的巡逻队发觉了,被我们全歼了。从一个军官身上发现了卡顿写给魔神皇的信,信上报告说,卡顿亲王已抵达了塔伦城,距我们这只有一天半的路程。”“该死!”斯特林狠狠一拳砸在椅子上,将简陋的椅子一下子打了个粉碎:“卡顿来得太快了!数十万大军,他怎么可能这么快!?太反常了!”“若真是三十万大军,卡顿无论如何不可能在四五天里就跑到这来。来的估计只会是少部分骑兵团队——但不论多少,只要让魔神皇知道有三十万大军正在往这赶来,他肯定会鼓足信心跟我们再打,无论达成什么协议都是白费力气。现在我们不忙跟魔族决裂,先拖延时间,等部队做好战斗准备再说。”第265章帝国的黄昏奇兵突起。

密集的流风军长驱直入,将魔族军阵杀得落花流水。一片混乱,火光、厮杀声、逃命的叫唤,惨叫声,无数的厮杀声汇集成一片洪流,喧嚣直冲天际。“陛下!”近卫旅指挥雷欧公爵领着一队装甲兽来到魔神皇面前,他的眼睛凶狠得可怕,急速地说:“陛下,救救王国,也救救您自己吧!人类还没合围,现在撤退还来得及!”看了他一眼,魔神皇淡淡说:“我怎能离开?”“陛下,现在还来得及!我准备了好马,专门给陛下您和皇子殿下、公主殿下留着的。我和近卫旅为您掩护后路!陛下,您一路请多保重了!”魔神皇脸色阴沉地看着雷欧,好久,他才出声道:“因为朕的决断,王国发起了这次西征。现在,王国一半的将士都死在了这儿,难道朕还能离开吗?朕没有脸面回去见蒙汗那些人幸灾乐祸的嘴脸,也没有脸面回见王国的子民。”“父皇!”一个清脆的女声出来打断了魔神皇,卡丹公主从后帐中走出,她正要向魔神皇行屈膝礼,却被魔神皇打断了:“什么时候了,还那么多虚礼!”“是!父皇,胜败乃兵家常事,父皇您乃国之根本,只要您健在,王国就保住了根本。。。”卡丹正说得流畅,魔神皇却突然打断了她:“卡丹,有些事你不懂。有些人是只能胜,不能败的。一旦失败,他就什么也不是!”卡丹喊道:“父皇,为什么?自古哪有不打败仗的将军?眼前的斯特林,他不也在奥斯打了败仗?在帕依被迫和我们签了城下之盟?紫川秀,他不也不同样在红河湾被凌步虚将军打得落花流水?就连号称人类第一名将的流风霜,她不也同样被紫川秀打败过?”“可他们不是神皇。”魔神皇淡淡地一笑,笑容里带着说不出的骄傲和凄凉:“这世上,只有胜利的卡特皇帝,没有败的卡特。”看到卡丹还要说话,魔神皇摇手:“雷欧,你派人将公主带出包围圈,撤退回国——这是命令,不必再争。”雷欧立即执行。公主的卫队硬推着卡兰公主上了马车,护着她向南驰去。正向东的大道已被东南军和远东军和堵死了,流风霜从西北方斜斜地插了进来,其强势的兵马正急速地向战场外围展开包抄。魔族若要撤退,唯一的出路是在流风霜和东南军合围之前从东南方撤退。叶尔马军团长生气地嚷嚷道:“陛下!请下命令吧,云浅雪那鼠辈,居然敢临阵逃脱!微臣要去拦截羽林军,要让云浅雪那无耻小人知道王国愤怒的可怕!”雷欧望了他一眼,眼中流露鄙夷。叶尔马吹得好听,去拦截羽林军,他拿什么拦截?损兵折将的第三军只是勉强还能支撑在阵地上,只是因为对魔神皇的盲目信仰,士兵们还没开始大批地逃亡。叶尔马不可能不知道,他借口出兵拦截云浅雪,其实不过是想从魔神皇身边躲开好趁机逃跑罢了。魔神皇伫立在帐篷门口,映衬外面的喧嚣和吵嚷,魔神皇的沉默具有万钧的力量。雷欧明白神皇此时的心理:比起输掉这场注定要失败的战争,云浅雪的逃跑对神皇的打击更为沉重。自己一直欣赏和栽培的重臣竟是个贪生怕死的懦夫,这让神皇深感失落。“陛下!羽林将军求见!”“什么?”叶尔马惊叫。魔神皇霍然转身,脸露喜色:“宣他进来!”云浅雪大步行进。他态度端庄地向魔神皇下跪行礼,沉稳地说:“微臣参见陛下!”“时间紧迫,羽林卿请起。”“谢陛下。”“羽林卿,羽林军如今何在?情况如何?”“启禀陛下,在卡兰殿下率领下,羽林军所部正向东南塔伦城方向转进。微臣离开时,我部遭到流风军的追击,但前方并无拦截。”“有多少人马平安脱离包围圈了?”“情况很混乱,无法统计。羽林军约有十二个团能成建制地离开,不到三万人。但还有一些第五军和第十一军的弟兄加入我们队伍,估计有四万人能闯出包围圈。”魔神皇点头,低声说:“只有四万人了吗?入关时的百万之师,到如今只剩下了四万残兵败将?”“陛下,情况应该比微臣估计得要好。人类的包围圈太大,他们的兵力不足维持,必然会有很多空隙。能突围的兵马绝不会只有微臣一部。但据情报说,帝林已拿下了达克,也正朝这里赶来。若他一到,我们就。。。”云浅雪本想说:“插翅难飞。”但他还是换了个温和的说法:“更加困难了。”魔神皇点头,突然问:“云,你为什么回来了?”“微臣无能,不能阻止皇子殿下胡作非为,已是死罪,本就惶恐无地了。若再抛下陛下独自逃生,微臣实在做不出来。”魔神皇沉默了好久,才慢慢出声:“云浅雪,你很好。”“微臣实在愧不敢当。”眼见情况如此紧急,魔神皇和云浅雪却如此平和地对话,将宝贵的时间白白浪费,叶尔马听得心里冒火,插嘴道:“陛下,情况紧急,我们还是先想对策吧?”“叶尔马,放心,你有时间逃跑的。”魔神皇淡淡说道,转身大步出了营帐。雷欧鄙夷地看了叶尔马一眼,低沉地说:“公爵,你的胆怯就象屎一般散发着臭气!”跟在魔神皇的身后,他也出去了。叶尔马膛目结舌地呆在原地,面红耳赤。大火在燃烧,天边一片火红,第三军和近卫旅的残余士兵集合在主营前。比起昨日出战前,士兵的阵列已经大为凋零,残余的士兵们身上带伤,疲倦,委顿,衣裳破烂。但他们眼睛中依然闪烁着那么一股傲气,那是一种不甘服输的愤怒,那是一种不敢相信眼前发生事实的眼神。十六军投降,铁壁军崩溃,羽林军逃亡,西南军被围歼——就在五个小时以前,以上的诸路军团都是不曾一败的强师劲旅,王国不败的象征,但就在他们的眼前,这些威名显赫的皇牌劲旅一个接一个被人类打垮、消灭。那些愚昧而单纯的魔族士兵,坚信魔族王国的强大是无可匹敌的,魔神皇的英明睿智是天生的,王国威力无穷的战争机器制造胜利就象土豆从地里长出来一般天经地义,就象太阳从东方升起一般自然而然。直到如今,成千上万的溃败士兵经过了他们阵地,他们亲眼见到那些哭喊着逃命的士兵与他们同样穿着塞内亚族的服饰,同样有着黄金族的血统战士向他们哭诉着战友如何被人类骑兵大批地屠杀的经历,眼见无敌的军团在自己眼前溃败,英勇的战士被追杀,塞内亚士兵们愤怒得胸口里象团着一团火,愤怒中又带着惶恐:难道,王国真的会失败吗?由魔神皇亲自指挥,有着那么多优秀将领,那么多骁勇战士组成的强大军团,真的会如此一败涂地吗?他们迫切地需要答案,现在,给他们答案的最佳人选出现了,魔神皇出现了!魔神皇出现在军队前面,依然神采飞扬,只是眼神中多了一种深沉的忧郁。他以严峻的眼神注视着众人:“士兵们,塞内亚的勇士们,我的孩子们,我们被打败了。”黑烟在远方冉冉升起,厮杀的声不断传来,死一般的沉寂笼罩在人群上空,没有人喊叫,没有人哭泣,士兵们只是呆呆地望着魔神皇。魔神皇就是他们的神,他们不败的信仰,他们永远照耀天空的太阳。现在,太阳熄灭了。魔神皇平静地说,那平静的声音中,蕴含着强大的力量:“从恒古以来,我们的民族一直在经受着烈狱般的苦难。饥荒,死地,战争,瘟疫,我们的国度是灾难与泪水之邦。我曾以为,我能带领你们走出这个灾难之地,结束这段沾满泪水与死亡的路程。但是,最终我们失败了。我的孩子们,你们英勇战斗,无愧于王国和亲人。因为朕的无能与鲁莽,王国蒙受了巨大的损失,你们付出了巨大的代价。朕愧对王国,更对不起那些为朕而战死的战士们。”对着面前士兵群,魔神皇弯下腰,深深地鞠了一个躬。一阵愕然的波动从人群中荡过,面对魔神皇史无前例的道歉,云浅雪、雷欧等将领们首先反应过来,连忙下跪回礼。紧接着是军官们,犹如大风吹过田野,士兵们如同被风吹倒的稻浪般一排排地跪倒。“失败并不是结束,苦难才刚刚开始。在军事上取得优势以后,人类必然谋求政治上统治我们,他们要掠夺我们的土地,奴役我们的人民,消灭我们的历史、文字和传统,谋求从根本上同化伟大的神族,将我们变成人类的附庸和走狗,让我们的子孙变成人类的雇佣军!士兵们,你们中有人战死,有人幸存。战死的人,朕将带领你们去觐见大魔神,告诉他,他的子民英勇奋战,无愧于王国威名。活下去的战士,你们有着更艰难而坚韧的任务,告诉我们的孩子真相,告诉他们,历史上曾有过这样的魔神王国,他的子民勤劳而坚韧,他的战士骁勇而忠诚,他的皇帝睿智而勇敢,国土幅员广阔,军队强大无比!在强大的魔神王国面前,所有的人类帝国都在颤抖!告诉我们的子孙,所有的人类宣传都是谎言,在团结一致的神族面前,看似强大的人类军队不过土鸡瓦狗,他们不可能永远统治神族!我们之所以失败,并非我们的战士不够勇敢,并非我们的将军不够优秀,唯一的原因,唯一的原因,是我们不够团结,卑鄙的叛徒出卖了我们的王国,而人类却能达成了空前的团结,我们遭遇了历史上最强大的人类军队。神族军队曾经无限接近胜利,虽然最终失败,但我们震撼大陆!士兵们,活下去,并且记住:想永久征服神族这样强悍的民族是不可能的,人类的统治绝不会长久,终有一天,我们的子孙会高举黄金大旗卷土重来!愿他们勇敢,愿他们坚强,愿他们有比我们更好的运气!让子孙们记住我的预言:当黄金狮子旗帜再次闪烁,我们的皇将再次出现!让他们世世代代牢记这句话:“魔神王国万岁!”“魔神王国万岁!”五万人同时呼喝应和,呼声犹如雷霆震撼,远远地回荡在大地上,压倒了远处传来的巨大战斗轰鸣声。主营前一直飘荡的王国黄金狮子旗被降下来了,看见这面旗帜冉冉落下,士兵们痛哭出声。无敌的黄金狮子旗,王国强大与辉煌的象征,终于也黯然谢幕了吗?魔神皇把柔软的丝绸旗帜折叠,递给云浅雪:“将这个交给卡兰。虽然朕这个孩子不是很成器,但这个时候,撑得起王国的也只有他了。”这不仅仅是转交一面旗帜,这更是将皇位传承给卡兰的象征。望着魔神皇英俊而和蔼的脸容,明白陛下已下定了死战于此的决心,喉头象梗着一块铁,云浅雪跪倒,他连一句完整的话都说不出来了:“陛下,请让雷欧大人承担此任务吧。请允许微臣跟随您一同战斗!”“雷欧和近卫旅走不快,会被人类骑兵追上的。云,时代已经不同了。未来的日子,王国更需要的是能审时度势、狡诈多智的政治家,雷欧这种单纯的武士发挥不了什么作用,与其让他在郁郁寡欢中落寞老死,不如让他最后辉煌一次吧。”“陛下!”云浅雪泪如雨下。他接过旗帜,小心地将它收入贴身的口袋,朝魔神皇重重磕了个头:“陛下放心,微臣一定将旗帜安全交到卡兰殿下手中!请陛下您保重!”魔神皇微笑道:“辅助好卡兰,告诉他,有事多听听他妹妹的。”这是云浅雪见到魔神皇的最后一面,魔神皇那明朗的笑容一直回荡在他的心中。这个雄伟绝世的绝世枭雄,一生无敌。即使他最后失败,但回忆起他,无论是敌人或者朋友,谁都不得不承认,他是黄金时代最恐怖,也是最伟大的战士。天色全黑下来了,惨烈的战斗却没有丝毫结束的迹象。在背后斯特林、文河和流风霜三个庞大的战斗集团压迫下,魔族已失去了战胜的任何奢望。魔神皇下令放弃一切辎重,撤退的魔族兵放火烧掉了自己的大营,目的是阻拦背后流风军的追击步伐。燃烧的大营燃起了冲天的火焰,照红了一方的天际,二十里外也看得见。就在通红火光的映照下,魔族军的突围战役打响了。在开路的装甲兽先导下,大群的魔族步兵、骑兵猛扑向远东军的阵地。这是最后的战斗了。装甲兽军团的巨大轰隆声再次响起的同时,紫川秀接到了东南军指挥部的严令:“远东军务必坚到增援抵达,绝不能放魔神皇逃脱!”一方是决意坚守,一方却是拼死逃生,那个最残酷的夜晚,喋血高地成了双方争夺的焦点,魔族军以截然不同以往的决死姿势猛扑上来,与防守高地的秀字营展开了肉搏战。因为在夜间,远程射击武器能发挥的作用很小,两军都只能依靠近身白刃战来厮杀。在夜间与急于逃生的装甲兽近身战斗,这是远东军的噩梦。血红的火光中,厮杀的人影不时闪烁,飞溅的鲜血,奔跑的身影突然地倒地,恐怖的呐喊不绝于耳,最后的勇士发出绝望的吼叫,在喋血高地阵地上,战死者的尸体在平地上垒起一座小山,仅仅半个小时的战斗,远东军就伤亡了五千多人,阵地指挥官罗杰本人被一棍敲得昏迷不醒,被部下抬下了阵地,他的部队被汹涌而来的装甲兽和魔族兵冲得溃不成军,阵地宣告失守。在那烈火漫天的激战夜晚,各处响起了激烈的锣声宣告示警。喋血高地的失守在远东军的阵地上撕开了一个大口子,从这个缺口上,魔族大军急速通过,仓惶逃生。远东军统帅部试图堵上这个缺口,白川和紫川秀带着增援部队想重新夺回喋血高地阵地,但这就好象用啤酒瓶来塞洪水冲垮的江坝一般,根本无济于事。三次反击都被魔族给打了回来,只遗下尸骸累累,装甲兽部队牢牢地控制住这个阵地,作为魔族大军后撤的通道。一次又一次反攻失败,到最后,紫川秀终于颓然地认识到,士气和体力都被严重削弱,如今正处于最低点的远东军是不可能拦得住急于逃生的魔族精锐部队的。“魔神皇军团已突破我防线,向东突围!急需增援!”向斯特林的求援信使派出去了,但在增援到来之前,紫川秀也没闲着。他发现,魔族军的行动虽然混乱,但却是有序可寻的。撤退的魔族兵马很明显地分成两部,一部分是第三军的普通魔族兵,在军官们的带领下,他们急速地小跑前进,不做丝毫停留;而另一部分是以装甲兽为主的近卫旅兵马,这部分兵马坠在大军的后面,利用各种地形就地抵抗,尽可能地阻碍人类兵马的追击。稍一思索,紫川秀立即明白过来:“因为跑不快,所以装甲兽们被留下来充当阻击的敢死队吗?”很自然地,他猜测魔神皇应该在第三军的撤退兵马中。他下令:“不要管那些装甲兽,他们跑不掉的!追第三军去,魔神皇就在前面!”在那兵荒马乱的混乱黑夜里,远东军的各层组织系统完全给打乱了,有的部队被打散,有的部队被消灭,大多数部队都是经历了惨重的减员和伤亡,被魔族冲得七零八落。要想顺当地把命令传达到各个部队,那几乎是件不可能完成的任务。紫川秀对身边的警卫们下令道:“喊吧,大声喊!让听到的部队都跟着喊:‘光明王有令:无论死活,抓到魔神皇的,赏金五百万!’”黑夜里,呼声此起彼落:“魔神皇就在前面!抓住他!”一传十,十传百,黑夜里,越来越多的部队加入了呼喝:“抓到魔神皇,赏金五百万!”呼声越来越大,最后简直是震耳欲聋。每个人都在狂热地呼喝着,眼睛赤红。这不单是为五百万的巨额悬赏激动,更因为呼声透出了一个重要的信息,透出了胜利的预兆!你看,光明王都对魔神皇悬赏了,那肯定是我们快赢了!尽管被魔族冲得七零八落,尽管伤亡惨重,尽管魔族的装甲兽还很嚣张,但胜利的狂喜给了士兵们无穷的动力,一切都乱套了,不顾什么队列阵形,凡是还能爬动的,还有一口气的,统统行动了起来。连在军队中服役的民夫和伙房里的厨子都拿起了扁担菜刀向东追过去。紫川秀本人亲自上第一线参加追击。他带着警卫队,将一路碰到上的散兵游勇都给集合起来。不论是秀字营还是半兽人兵,只要还能走动的,紫川秀对他只有一句话:“拿起武器跟我走!”在那漆黑的混乱中,紫川秀收拢了约莫五千多人。就带着这五千多人,他跟着撤退的魔族军一路追下去。谁也没料到,远东军的主帅竟有这般的胆色,带着一个多团就敢追踪魔神皇带领的装甲兽。在那黑暗的道上,追击的部队与逃跑魔族散兵们不时遭遇,交战接二连三。“不要管他们!只管向东!”紫川秀大吼道。此刻,他的脑子里只有一个念头,那就是必须赶到前面去,拦住魔神皇的去路。若让魔神皇跑了,连续三天的殊死战斗就失去了意义。全都乱套了。若有人能在上空俯视的话,他会发现这夜的混乱呈现极奇怪的状态。在向东的道路上,追击的人类兵马和魔族部队竟是混成一团前进的。魔族兵马急于逃生,人类部队则是一心一意想追上前面的魔神皇,不想与这些散兵游勇们纠缠。于是出现了极罕见的景象:行进中的魔族兵马和人类兵马你中有我,我中有你地混杂在了一起,居然相安无事。双方都在拼命地奔跑,人类想赶到前面去建立第二道拦截阵地,魔族则是想在人类再次包围之前逃逸,这个时候,时间就是生命!在突围时,第三军的魔族兵战斗得十分勇敢,为逃生,他们万众一心,还是作为一支完整的武装部队冲出去的。但就在那漆黑的奔逃道上,听到身后传来的震天呼声,恐惧感控制了魔族官兵的心头。紫川秀的快速穿插更是给魔族制造了无数的混乱和惊恐。黑夜里,惊恐的呼声此起彼伏:“人类追上来了!快逃命吧!”恐慌在撤退的魔族军中蔓延,对生命的渴望压倒了一切。在紫川秀近逼贴身的追击下,第三军井然有序的撤退变成了一次彻底的大溃败,建制被打散,官长的权威被蔑视,丢下了所有的伤员和辎重。溃兵们互相践踏,互相推挤,踩着死人和活人往前,大路、小路、桥梁、平原、山岗、山谷、树林都被溃兵塞满了,丢在路上的背包和武器撒了一地,没人去拣。魔族兵再不肯留下担任阻击的队伍,见到人类也不再攻击,生怕耽搁了逃生的时机。就在这漆黑混乱的夜晚,到处都乱了套。官长找不到士兵,士兵找不到指挥官。军队溃败犹如江河崩溃,一泻不可收拾。溃兵到处乱窜,连紫川秀所带领的追击部队都被冲散了,到后来,他身边就只剩了数百人,在数万人的魔族乱军中到处搜寻魔神皇的身影。每抓到一个魔族,紫川秀都用魔族语厉声疾色地喝问他:“快说,魔神皇在哪里?”不知那些魔族俘虏真不知道魔神皇下落还是因为忠君爱国,没有一个人说出魔神皇下落。紫川秀大为苦恼,在这数万人的军队中寻找魔神皇简直就象在大海里搜针。他都快有些绝望了,却突然看到斜斜里有一彪魔族骑兵经过,他们制服鲜亮,人高马大,显然是魔族兵中的精锐。在这混乱的夜晚,这队魔族骑兵却显出与众不同,进退之间,他们显得更有秩序和纪律。紫川秀眼前一亮:“就是他们了,上!”话音未落,他已第一个冲了上前,雷霆般一刀就把最前面的那个骑兵给砍下马来。后面的骑兵们发一声惊呼就要上来动手,但秀字营的行动更快,一窝蜂地冲了上来。骑兵若不能跑起来,胯下的坐骑反倒成了障碍。秀字营突然冲近身一抱,没等魔族兵把长矛和马刀出来,他们已先扑上去硬生生地把骑兵们从马背上扯了下来,大伙滚在地上厮打开来。这伙骑兵一边打一边哇啦怪叫着什么,紫川秀也听不懂,估计是向经过的魔族兵求救。但这时,大难临头,谁还顾得上别人的事。尽管魔族溃兵潮水般从身边跑过,但却没一个人停下脚步来给他们伸出援手的。事后想起来,连紫川秀自己也觉得顺利得意外:自己身边只带了那么几百人就敢在魔族溃兵中大摇大摆地抓人,那几千上万的魔族兵一旦清醒过来,不被他们撕了才怪!战斗没多久就结束了,几十个魔族骑兵被打死了一半。在秀字营士兵的刀剑威迫下,剩下的全部被缴了械,用皮带绑住双手盘膝坐在地上。紫川秀一个一个地望着他们,其中一个大个子的魔族老兵引起了他的注意。这个魔族老兵一身白毛,身形比普通魔族兵要高出一个头。尽管他竭力想把身形躲在其他魔族兵的身后,但那臃肿而庞大的身躯在矮小的魔族兵中实在是鹤立鸡群,想不引人注意都难。这个魔族老兵身着低级魔族兵的制服,但他的宽下巴脸型和傲慢的眼神却在告诉紫川秀,此人是惯于颐指气使的人物。“你,站起来!”用纯正的魔族语,紫川秀指着那个魔族兵喝道。老魔族磨蹭了一阵,最后才不情不愿地站了起来。他耷拉着脑袋望地上,不与紫川秀的眼光对视。望着他,紫川秀使劲地在脑海里搜寻:这个魔族看起来有点面熟?在哪里见过他了?良久,一个人影渐渐在脑海里浮现。那仿佛是很久远的故事了。七八零年深秋的那个夜晚,那血腥而惊险的一夜。那时候,此人是高高在上的军团长,王国贵族,自己不过是一员投诚的叛将。那晚,在这位王国贵族眼里,自己不会比一只爬虫高贵多少,他拿眼睛扫自己一眼都是莫大的恩惠了。谁能料到呢?世事竟能做如此大的颠倒。当年的卑微者已成为了征服者,而傲慢者却沦为阶下囚。紫川秀平静地说:“叶尔马公爵,好久不见了。”被紫川秀叫出了身份,叶尔马猛然抬起头。他望着紫川秀,眼神里充满了迷惑和恐惧。他不明白,为什么眼前的这位人类军官能一眼就叫出了自己的名字。多年前,他见过紫川秀一面。但在那个宴会上的紫川秀,与眼前这个周身铠甲血腥斑斑的敌将有很大的区别。他小声地咕嘟道:“你是谁?”紫川秀没时间和他废话,直截问道:“魔神皇在哪里?说出来!”叶尔马傲慢地抬起了头,一言不发。他那挑衅地冲着紫川秀昂起的下巴分明是无声地宣布:“我什么都知道,但我就是不说!”“好,很好!”紫川秀冷笑道:“塞内亚贵族,果然很有骨气。”他使个眼色,几个卫兵会意地冲上去,将叶尔马从俘虏群中拖出来,拖到路边的暗地里去。只听好一阵拳脚与肉体的激烈碰撞声和鬼哭狼嚎般的求救声,黑夜里,魔族俘虏们听得脸色发白。过了好一阵,卫兵们拖着叶尔马——那已经不能说是叶尔马了,只能说是一堆看起来很象叶尔马的肉——出来。军官跑到紫川秀身边小声报告:“启禀大人,他招供了。他说,魔神皇没有随第三军突围。他和近卫旅都留在包围圈里面了。”“什么!”紫川秀失声叫出来,他怀疑地看了一眼军官:“可靠吗?”军官也皱起了眉头,魔族的皇帝竟然没有突围而是自愿留下来断后,这个消息未免也太匪夷所思了。“要不,下官再好好地和他聊聊?”“算了。”紫川秀看看叶尔马,他被打得头破血流七窍流血,已快奄奄一息了。再让那军官跟他“好好地聊”下去,估计他就得一命呜呼了。“你另外找几个魔族兵出来,对一下他们的口供,看看是否一致。”审讯的结果很快出来了,除了几个死活不肯开口的死硬分子,魔族兵的招供惊人地一致:“魔神皇没有突围。他还在二号高地附近,与近卫旅在一道。”紫川秀眉头深锁,想了一阵,他做出了决定:“斯特林和流风霜的兵马正在扫荡近卫旅,我们回去作用不大。还是以防万一吧,万一叶尔马撒谎,或者他们都被魔神皇骗了呢?我们继续追!即使抓不到魔神皇,听叶尔马说,羽林云浅雪是和他们一起突围的,只是在途中失散了。这是条大鱼,我们抓他去!”紫川秀的追击直到第二天拂晓东方天色发白,此时,追击的兵马累得连手都抬不起来了,士兵们跑得脸色发白嘴唇发青,若不是顾忌身边的魔族俘虏造反,他们都要在死尸堆上倒下来便睡了。虽然劳累,但这晚的战果却是十分丰厚的,抓到的俘虏长长的一串,起码有四五千人之多。唯一遗憾的是,其中有分量的将领和贵族没几个。除了叶尔马外,只有几个子爵、伯爵之类的“白披风”,想抓的云浅雪没碰到,不知是这位羽林将军腿脚特别灵便还是黑夜里大伙在道上错过了。想想,紫川秀倒也没怎么遗憾。毕竟抓了一个叶尔马,自己已经够幸运了,还想再抓一个云浅雪,把塞内亚首领们给一网打尽,那也未免得陇望蜀了。回程的路上,道上到处堆满了丢弃的武器、尸体、燃烧的辎重车,满目苍夷。后续的步兵部队已经跟上来了,成群结队的远东半兽人兵正在战场各处搜巡,他们在打劫魔族的战利品,搜寻漏网的魔族官兵。虽然疲惫,官兵们却十分兴奋,一路吱吱喳喳说个不停。这晚他们的收获不小,抓俘与杀敌是同功,紫川秀出手大方,远东军功奖丰厚,抓了五千多俘虏,即使其中一半要算紫川秀本人的功劳——估计统领大人也没那么黑吧?——剩下的一半按人头分也有每人四五个俘虏的功劳了,这笔赏金可是不少。何况里面还有几个塞内亚贵族和军官呢?将来人类与魔族若停战了,那光靠这几个贵族的赎金就足够大伙吃喝不愁。紫川秀却没有部下的欢快心情,他眉头紧锁,一路搭拉着脑袋,一副心事沉沉的样子。有熟悉的部下故意逗他开心:“统领大人,是不是心疼奖金啦?”紫川秀笑笑:“兔崽子,看牢你的钱袋,别让他们跑了,没送到俘虏营的可不能算奖金。滚蛋吧!”部下嘻嘻哈哈一笑而散,紫川秀若有所思地张望四周,他在抑止着内心彭湃的激动。人类千年的苦难,终于在今天结束了!巴丹一战消灭近四十万魔族主力,魔族已无力回天了,此战可永载史册。巴丹会战的意义不单是军事上的,更是政治上的。三百年前倚靠明王的神力打退魔族兵,虽然也是胜利,但那样的胜利让人总让人觉得不真实,而魔族也不把人类当战胜者看待,而是把他们看作是躲避在明王羽翼下的寄生虫。这三百年间,魔族屡次西侵的原因就在此了。他们有心理上的优势,认为人类懦弱,不配拥有这块土地,自然好战了。但这次巴丹会战,不是靠明王的神威,不是靠虚无飘渺的神力,而是靠着普普通通的人类兵、半兽人兵真刀实枪地与魔族军白刃见血厮杀,实打实打出来的胜利,这场胜利打出了人类的威风,拿出来心里塌实!这一仗,足可为三百年前的蓝河会战洗耻,人类从此扬眉吐气。紫川秀唯一担心的是,魔神皇到底死了吗?迎面奔来了一队骑兵,紫川秀认出是自己麾下的半兽人骑兵部队,带头的领队正是德昆。他朝德昆挥挥手,后者看到了紫川秀,连忙朝这边奔来。“殿下!”德昆依然是纱布包着一只伤眼,身上血迹斑斑,连身上的毛发都被血浆凝住了,隔着老远就从他身上传来了一阵刺鼻的汗酸味,那味道太冲了,紫川秀只觉得鼻子一酸,一连打了三个喷嚏——连打了快三天的仗,谁都没功夫梳洗,紫川秀估计自己的模样和味道也好不到哪去。“殿下!”“德昆,你站在那,别过来。”紫川秀伸直了手连连摇晃,象是要从手心发出冲击波将德昆推在三尺之外,一手捂着鼻子,瓮声瓮气地说:“怎么?魔神皇抓到了吗?”德昆一愣:“殿下,是白川大人派我来接应您的。魔神皇,我不知道——不是您带兵马去追击魔神皇了吗?您怎么问起我来了?您抓到魔神皇了吗?”紫川秀这才发现,自己犯了一个错误。在追击魔族兵马的同时,自己居然忘记把魔神皇可能还在战场上的事告诉斯特林或者白川了。看紫川秀脸色变幻,德昆猜他肯定是空手而归了。他安慰道:“大人,魔神皇跑了就跑了,没什么大不了的。想想,魔神王国的皇帝象兔子一般被您在黑地里撵了一夜,那个狼狈肯定少不了的。魔神皇能从您面前逃跑一次,那他就坠了架子,将来他还会逃跑第二次、第三次的!没什么大不了的,逃了的魔神皇就一钱不值了,不足为惧了!”紫川秀也懒得跟他解释了,问:“主阵地那边怎样了?”“还在打!近卫旅还在负隅顽抗。第三军撤退后,近卫旅也想突围,但白川大人把他们咬得死死的,追在他们后面撵着尾巴打。近卫旅跑不快,没办法甩开白川大人,只好边打边走。后来文河大人过来了,斯特林那边的军团也开过来了,流风军那边的兵马也咬上来了——流风家的兵马真威风啊,高头大马,一式全是骑兵——眼看我们的人越来越多,近卫旅知道跑不掉了,干脆就找了个高坡团在那死守,四下全是我们的兵马密密围住,听说帝林大人的军队也在赶来,他们是插翅难飞了!”“帝林也来了!”听到这个消息,紫川秀喜出望外。对于这个大哥,他有一种近乎盲目的崇拜和相信,帝林来了,那就再没有解决不了的问题。“那我们快回去,魔神皇可能就在被包围的近卫旅里边!”“什么!”德昆大吃一惊,随即,兴奋的笑容出现在半兽人脸上。他摩拳擦掌地嚷嚷道:“大人,这下我们可要好好大干一场了!这么多人围攻,魔神皇就是三头六臂也逃不掉了!”远东军被魔神皇冲阵杀将如入无物,德昆一直深以为耻。这下有机会复仇,他兴奋得雀跃不已。说着,他突然想到了什么,一拍脑门:“大人,忘说了,刚才的道上,我们抓到一个魔族俘虏,很可能是塞内亚贵族。”“是谁?”“我们从一辆马车上逮的,不知道她的身份。但那马车装饰很华贵,肯定是大人物。殿下,我们见识浅薄,没法分辨此人身份,只有交给您了!”德昆裂开大嘴,眉开眼笑,笑容中藏着几分狡黠,他转头打招呼:“来人,把好东西拿出来献给大人!”看着德昆那狡诈的笑容,再看看那扛着大麻袋的两个半兽人兵,紫川秀忽然觉得眼前的一幕很有种似曾相识的感觉,连德昆那狡猾的笑容好象都在哪里见过。。。有种强烈的预感,紫川秀喃喃道:“天,接下来该不会是。。。”麻袋解开了。卡丹公主清丽依然,她圆睁了清澈的双眼,一眨不眨地看着紫川秀,双眸透明有如水晶。他望着她,她望着他。就在此刻,时间凝固了,两人的身形凝固犹如雕像。无数的往事如潮水般从身边涌过,曾经无忧无虑的青春岁月,山盟海誓的爱情,生死相许的悲欢离合。在家国世事变幻的风云大潮中,作为个人的命运是多么的脆弱。即使贵为公主或者执掌一方的将军,他们的命运不比时代大潮中随浪飘浮的一根火柴棒重多少。沧海桑田,世事变幻,往事并不如烟,最终尽化尘埃。造化弄人竟能至如斯。望着眼前女子清丽的眼睛,紫川秀干咳一声。他不知道该如何面对这双眼睛,从前如此,现在也是如此。该怎么形容和她之间的关系呢?亦敌亦友,惺惺相怜,半生知己。该和她说些什么呢?象老熟人一般若无其事地打个招呼?或者拿出胜利者的威严来呵斥她?好象都不合适。最终,紫川秀只能对着卡丹慢慢地点头,微笑,笑容里充满了苦涩。他抽出了背后的洗月刀,横刀当空平举。“失礼了,公主殿下!”话音未落,洗月刀在空中划过了一道闪电般的弧线劈向卡丹。德昆惊骇得张大了嘴,叫道:“殿下,不要!赎金很值钱的。。。”“噌”的一声脆响,紫川秀已抽刀回鞘。绑着卡丹的绳子寸寸断裂,纷纷落地。紫川秀清朗地说:“您自由了,公主殿下。‘卡丹公主专注地凝视着紫川秀,刚才紫川秀挥刀的过程中,她的眼睛根本没眨,亮丽的眸子里没有丝毫畏惧。她柔声说:“私放敌国将领,紫川统领您难道就不害怕军法?”紫川秀淡淡说:“你不是将领,我也不怕军法——谁敢说出去?德昆,你会吗?”紫川秀斜眼瞄向旁边目瞪口呆的半兽人将军,后者这才醒悟过来,连声说:“殿下,俺什么都没看到,俺什么都没听到——总之,俺什么都不知道!殿下,俺过那边看看,您老人家忙吧,不用管我了!”话音未落,象是怕看到什么不该看的东西似的,半兽人将军一溜烟跑得没影了,那速度,浑不象一个两天两夜没能合眼休息的人。望着德昆跑远了,紫川秀才出声道:“怎么也想不到会在这里见到你。你怎么一个人在这里?”“我的卫队被冲散了,道上碰到溃兵,他们抢走了我车上的马。没有马,我也走不掉了。”“原来如此。”紫川秀这才明白,为什么先撤退的卡丹居然会被后赶来的德昆给俘虏。他对卡丹说:“事不宜迟,你得马上出发。追击的部队不止我一路,若是你落在文河或者流风军手上,我很难再救出来。你从俘虏里面挑一些人出来充当护卫,我再给你分一些马。”紫川秀转身吩咐部下:“想办法找些战马过来——没有?那就叫德昆他们让一些出来!”看着紫川秀大声呵斥那些反应迟钝的部下,卡丹的眼中流露出一丝感激。但内敛的她并没有出声,只是默默地看着紫川秀忙活着为她准备出发的干粮、淡水和战马,在俘虏里挑选合适的人选出来当护卫。当准备完毕,卡丹又坐回了马车上。匆匆的见面之后,再次分别又在眼前。卡丹忽然问道:“阿秀,你可知道我夫君的下落?他是死了,还是被你们活抓了?”紫川秀一愣:“云浅雪?我不知道。。。你不是和他一起走的吗?据我所知,你夫君是与第三军的叶尔马一起突围的。”“不,我夫君是跟着皇太子卡兰的部队一起走的,他们往塔伦城方向撤。父皇也想让我从塔伦城方向撤退,但我实在不放心父皇,一直留在军中,直到昨晚全军总突围时才跟着大队一起离开。”紫川秀皱皱眉,知道这其中一定有什么蹊跷,但兵荒马乱的,也不是追究的时候了。他问:“卡丹,你怎么不问令尊的下落呢?”卡丹脸色一黯:“不必问了。他有机会撤的,但他不肯,说无颜回去。”紫川秀心头一喜,脸上却露出了黯然的表情说:“请节哀。虽然立场不同,但谁都不得不承认,令尊乃盖世英雄,他求仁得仁,再无所憾。”卡丹盈盈地登上马车,转头对紫川秀说:“那么,请多保重,秀川统领。”紫川秀端庄地对她行了一个军礼:“路上保重,卡丹。”望着马车渐渐远去,渐渐消失在太阳升起的地平线上头,紫川秀神情惆怅。他这才注意到一件事,今天的匆匆会晤中,卡丹竟没有一个字提到斯特林。自己的初恋情人,竟是毁灭魔族王国的元凶巨魁,杀害自己父亲和亲人的凶手,料想卡丹的心里,也是矛盾得很吧?云浅雪和卡兰带着第三军和羽林军从战场上逃走了,但更多的魔族军队却被人类的铁钳困住了。蒙那将军和英木兰将军的骑兵军进展神速,飞插战场的两翼,就如两面钢铁城墙,锁死了魔族逃生向东南逃生的通道。各路人类军团士气高涨,突进勇猛。士兵们虽然疲惫,谁都知道,这是痛打落水狗的时候了,要获得战利品,就得靠现在了。现在,被包围的魔族兵已无逃生的希望。塞内亚兵不愧是王国精锐,很多魔族兵都选择了战死而不是被俘。被打散的各个魔族团队和大队排成大大小小的圆形阵,肩并肩抵抗人类的从四面八方的围攻。人类则不住地猛攻,把圈子一再压缩,压缩,象毒蛇一样紧紧缠住了魔族。武器又碰撞起来了,枪在刺,刀在砍,剑在削,砍在肉体和盾牌、盔甲上,乒乒乓乓。一个大圈子被人类打散了,他们又组成十几个小圈子,大群铁甲骑兵冲过,一个又一个魔族组成的圈子被荡平,魔族兵都被马蹄踩成了肉泥,直到所有的魔族兵都象一片森林似的纷纷被砍倒,直到最后一个魔族兵被切断喉咙之前,战斗是不会结束的。流风家士兵脸色发白了,他们很少见到这么残酷的战争。他们喊话保证投降魔族的生命安全,但魔族就象没听到一般,依然在不顾死活地抵抗。这里战斗的残酷远胜于西部边境战斗,在紫川家与流风家的作战中,双方是允许投降的而且俘虏是有可能被交换或者赎回的,流风军对魔族士兵对自己生命的轻蔑深感震惊。无论是围攻者还是被围攻者,双方都根本不把自己的性命当回事。因为魔族知道,他们在这片土地上犯下深重的罪行,双手血腥。即使投降了,人类也不可能放过他们的。被包围的魔族兵很少投降,即使最后防御圈被完全击碎,即使单身一人的魔族兵也不愿向胜利者屈膝,而是选择了战死。蒙那将军说:“他们不是人,全是野兽。我们是在与饿急的狼**手!”对于魔族王国来说,这是遭遇大难崩溃的一天,但也是王国战士展现勇气,最辉煌光荣的一天。最激烈的战斗依然是在远东军的防线周围,近卫旅被包围在此地。流风军是第一次与近卫旅交手,先前,他们对这种巨大而强悍的生物一无所知。轻骑兵们依然想用往常惯用的战术——近身冲刺骑射扰乱然后再突进破阵——他们吃了大亏。轻骑兵所挟带的猎弓对装甲兽只当是挠痒,突进的轻骑冲不破装甲兽的阵列。装甲兽双手一挥,重达八十斤的铁锤横横打来,竟有骑兵连人带马给打飞出五六米,浑身骨骼断裂五脏破裂而死的。从包围开始,突围和反突围的战斗就一直没停过。那些野蛮而强壮的装甲兽不停地冲撞人类的防线,被他们撞死踩死的流风军和紫川军士兵尸体堆成了一座小山。亲眼目睹这这一场景,第一次见到这种刀枪不入又力大无穷的怪物,流风家将领们无不胆战心惊。英木兰惊叹道:“那是什么怪物?我们面前的不是恐龙吧?”流风霜则问道:“能与这样的敌人激战两天两夜,贵军真是了不起。不知贵军是用什么方法抵御这些怪物的?能否向我们传授一点经验?”文河脸色发白,斯特林却是脸色发青,这时他才感到了自己的自私。自己粗暴地向紫川秀下了简单的命令:“死守!”甚至还以军法审判相威胁——现在回想起来,世间之自私残酷无过于此!即使强弩之末的装甲兽依然有这么恐怖的威力,自己要紫川秀独力抵抗全盛时的近卫旅和魔神皇,那简直就是要他去送死!他至今还想不明白,武器简陋兵力单薄的半兽人兵,到底是怎么跟这些怪物战斗的?那是真正的血肉山河,以死坚守!但即使再来一次,自己别无他法,依然要向紫川秀下达这个命令:“死守!”若不是紫川秀拖住了近卫旅主力,这数万恐怖的怪物投入正面战场的话,自己未必能坚持到流风军抵达。战争之残酷就在于此,他使人变得粗暴而残酷,铁石心肠,除胜利外,所有的牺牲和鲜血统统不在考虑范围。他向流风家将领解释:“诸位,先前与近卫旅交战的并非我东南军部队,而是紫川秀大人统率的远东劲旅。”“原来是远东军!”流风军将军们发出了惊叹的感慨:“紫川家在远东竟还有这么强大的军团!”在以往与紫川家的战斗中,紫川家很少把远东军调过来对付自己,对流风家来说,那支从蛮荒之地成长起来的强大军团始终蒙有一层神秘的面纱。想想,能硬撼装甲兽的军队,那是多么恐怖的实力!不少人都在忧虑,虽然与紫川家如今和好了,但国与国之间关系历来变幻莫测,若哪天紫川家一翻脸,真的从远东调来军队的话,那流风家就麻烦了。虽然人类已经取得了全面的绝对优势,但依然对那两万结阵坚守的近卫旅束手无策。硬攻不是不可以,但那要意味着付出巨大的伤亡。天知道要死多少人才能把这些怪物给消灭掉,尤其斯特林手上的都是伤亡惨重的疲兵,士兵们倒在地上就能枕着死尸立即睡着的。比起紫川军来,流风军的伤亡倒是微乎其微。但第一次进攻近卫旅受挫后,流风军立即谨慎起来。斯特林去找流风霜商议协同进攻的事,别的事都好商量,只是谈到进攻,流风霜露出了神秘的含蓄笑容,回绝得又干脆又利索:“我军长途跋涉,劳累不堪,不宜立即投入战斗。斯特林大人,贵部若要进攻,我愿为阁下掠阵,助威呐喊!”斯特林一阵气闷,流风霜只差没说:“斯特林你只管上吧,我精神上鼓励你!”他正在头疼时候,一个消息传来了:“帝都军团已经抵达!帝林监察长大人到了!”七八四年十一月十四日,清晨,天空灰沉沉的,彤云密布。一场雪眼看就要下来。一队身着黑色披风的骑兵和辎重车队穿梭在巴丹平原,这个刚刚经过激战的战场。骑兵和车队穿行于尸积如山的坡地和平原,两军战士的尸骸之多,堆满了道路,以至车队前面不得不派出人专门将尸骸和杂物搬离道路。空气中荡漾着浓郁的血腥味,熏人欲呕。大群的秃鹫在战场各处飞舞着,发出嘈杂的怪叫声。“大人,东南军主营已东移,斯特林大人派人传话了,说就在前方迎接您。”“不必了。”长身玉立的俊美将军淡淡道:“战事正紧,这时候就不必搞那些繁文琐节了。告诉东南军的联系官,我直接到前线与斯特林会合就是。”侍卫官领命正要去传达,忽见前面奔来了一路兵马。看见兵马上方飘扬的东南军主帅旗,他失声道:“大人,斯特林将军已经来了!”帝林脸上动容,策马奔出。果然,那路兵马前头那个熟悉的身影,却不正是斯特林!两人都是飞快地奔近来,同时翻身下马。自从三月间,斯特林出任东南军统领,两人就再不曾见过面。在这战乱岁月,斯特林指挥东南军,帝林坚守帝都,二人都是执掌一方重镇的人物,早养成了矜持沉稳的习性,平闲生死事都不再动心了。唯有在自己久不曾见的生死兄弟面前,那份真情性情才会流露。两人对视,都是心潮澎湃,激动万分。依照军中规矩,斯特林先端正地向帝林敬了一个军礼,帝林微笑着回礼,两人的笑容中都隐隐藏着泪光。“宁殿下很关心这边,催着我过来看。其实,斯特林你坐镇,我是压根不担心的:除了大获全胜,还能有别的结局吗?但殿下催得紧,没办法,呵呵,大哥我就厚着脸皮跑这么一趟了,拿到点捷报消息,也好回去给殿下报功沾点光。”第267章帝国的黄昏血日冉冉。

两个小时后,卡尼侯爵回到了东南军司令部,他带来了魔神皇的答复:“可以将十六军团交还人类。”——事情果然被紫川秀料中了,相比于整个神族大军的存亡,几个人类叛徒的性命实在微不足道,魔神皇没必要为他们误了跟人类的谈判。这次,斯特林要忙着整军备战,没时间来陪他聊天了。他派了几个参谋来陪信使谈,这让卡路很是迷惑不解,怎么只过了两个小时,人类对待自己的待遇就大相径庭了?午饭过后,紫川秀走进了房间,直截了当地告诉使者,对于魔神皇的谈判条件,紫川家族感到无法接受。听了紫川秀的回答,使者的表情颇为丰富。他先是困惑地摇摇脑袋,象是不敢相信所听到的回答。等他确认听到的回答后,他用一种很委屈、象是受到了伤害的口气问紫川秀,紫川家到底想要什么?难道神族和神皇陛下表现得还不够诚意吗?难道紫川家到底看不出,再打下去,只有大家一同进地狱吗?“阁下,“紫川秀打断了他的陈述,他平静地说:“第二轮攻击部队已进入阵地了。您现在离开还来得及。”中午一点,几乎在魔族使者仓惶地离开东南军司令部的同时,战斗又一次打响了,人类再次发动了进攻。半天的休息时间可以恢复士兵的体力,却不足恢复他们斗志和士气。人类方面还好些,他们还有预备队,可以轮番作战。但魔族的底子早就光了。激战之后,士兵们都在战壕和帐篷里睡觉休息,被突然攻上来的人类打了个措手不及,来自奥斯行省的步兵密集地冲入了魔族的阵地,午睡中被惊醒的魔族官兵惊叫着赤手空拳地从战壕里冲出来,被大批地斩杀。“什么?”被部下叫醒的云浅雪又是惊怒又是好笑:“我们在光天化日里被人类偷袭成功了!”团队长支支吾吾地说:“老实说,也不算偷袭。。。他们是大摇大摆地冲杀过来了,只是部队都睡着了,被打得措手不及。。。”“休息不安排哨兵吗?”“连哨兵都睡着了。大家累得要死,听说陛下又和人类开始谈判了,于是都松弛下来了,谁都料不到三个小时,人类马上就攻上来了。。。”“别废话了!”云浅雪匆匆把制服披上,起身出了帐篷。刚刚从午睡中醒来,被正午的日头照下来,云浅雪眼前一黑,头昏目眩。中军营所处是一片高地,但被帐篷前的树木所遮盖,云浅雪没法看清整个战场。巨大的音量如风暴一般扑面而来,云浅雪什么也听不到,但旋即,他能分辩出其中滴答的马蹄声、马嘶声和人类战士呼喝声、魔族兵马的“瓦格拉”声。他侧耳倾听着,觉得右翼传来的交战声更为响亮,传来亲兵们:“你们去观察,看看人类在哪个方向主攻。还有,我军各个部队情况如何?友邻部队情况如何?迅速查探清楚,然后回报于我。我在近卫团的指挥部,你们可到那找我。”亲兵们齐齐领命而去,云浅雪这才跨步上马。近卫团指挥官亲自给他领路,走出了树林,于是战场的局势一览无遗。正前方的远方,整个战场场面如画卷一般地展开,站在高处看整个战场,有一种云雾中的感觉。那些正在奔跑、厮杀、流血、呻吟的士兵们,在远方看,只剩下了一些跳跃的黑点。虽然身处混乱,但塞内亚魔族兵良好的战斗素质在此时发挥了作用,三五个士兵们自发地聚在一起,组成一个又一个小阵。数百上千个小阵构成了团队的防线,而数十个团队一字摆开的,战线如长蛇一般蜿蜒不绝,望都望不到尽头。只一眼,云浅雪立即察觉到了危险,防御摆得太开,阵线太单薄了。这种长蛇阵,人类很容易就可以在某个地段实现突破的。自己手上连一个团的预备队都没有,没法对阵地上的缺口实施堵截。身后传来了马蹄声,云浅雪转身,骑在战马上的凌步虚正朝他疾驰而来。西南大将在马背上冲羽林将军匆匆行了个礼,云浅雪连忙回礼。“将军,你那如何?”“不好。”凌步虚皱着眉头,他正要说话,云浅雪打断了他:“将军,能否给我抽出三个团——”看凌步虚的脸色,他连忙改口说:“两个团!我急需要两个团做预备队,准备与人类打反突击!将军,形势很危险,你那还能抽出部队吗?”凌步虚转头,猎鹰般锐利的目光望向战场。他简单地说:“不能。”“将军,战线一旦被突破,我们都完蛋!这不是吝啬兵力保存实力的时候!”“跟我来。”凌步虚伸手牵过云浅雪战马的缰绳,领着云浅雪向树林后走。云浅雪不住地叫:“去哪里?去哪里?”可凌步虚绝口不答,只是固执地牵着缰绳。云浅雪的卫兵们跟在后面,不知所措。从西北方出了树林,凌步虚遥指指着前方数里外遥遥的大片森林。云浅雪摸不着头脑:“干什么?”“看。”西南大将的话永远是那么的言简意赅。云浅雪疑惑地搭起了眼帘,因为那片丛林距离实在太远了,即使以他良好的眼力也只能看到一片茫茫的绿意,森林的轮廓如同云雾一般隐现。云浅雪扫了一眼,没看到什么异样的东西,他疑惑地看了凌步虚一眼,若不是西南大将历来信誉良好,他真要以为他在开自己玩笑了。凌步虚抬手指去,顺着他手指的方向,云浅雪望去。突然,他一震,揉了揉眼睛,叫道:“那是什么?”在森林的边缘,有一些小点。这些小点的颜色与森林颜色并不一致,好象是活动着的。云浅雪仔细再看,没错,那确实是一些在活动的小点。“那是树木?还是人?”“人。”“什么人?是十六纵队的人?还是当地的农民在观战?”“我问过马维,他说不是他的人。”凌步虚和云浅雪对视一眼,都在对方眼里发现了深深的恐惧。再次打眼帘观察了一阵,云浅雪发现那些小点并没有向战场方向接近,这使得他稍微好受了些:“他们好象停在那不动了?在干什么?”凌步虚淡淡地一挑眉头,表示他也不清楚。“将军,我马上往那个方向派斥候侦察。我希望不是,但若真是我们想象的那样。。。我们必须早做准备。”凌步虚点头:“我部在此设防。”他严峻地望云浅雪一眼,后者立即领会严肃的西南大将没说出口的话了:“以掩护我军撤退。”正面的战斗进行得如火如荼,因为战事的残酷,两军的阵线都大为缩水了,右翼的裴玛军团甚至不能维持其阵线,不得不向中央的云浅雪和凌步虚军团靠拢,最后紧缩在云浅雪军团的右边成为一个大方阵。因为要防御的地方少了,人员密集,处于内线作战的魔族阵地显得巩固了许多,云浅雪一下显得兵力充足起来了。他甚至有余力从羽林军中抽出两个团出来对进攻的文河军团打了一次漂亮的反击,魔族步兵凶狠地挥着刺枪将攻进阵地的人类骑兵打得狼狈地退出。强弩之末的东南军士气被鼓起来了,但却不能持久。文河挥舞着刀剑在前线亲自督战,一连砍倒了几个溃退的部队长官,但士兵们实在太疲倦了。在接近一半的伤亡代价下,视死如归的勇士并不多。斯特林的意志非常坚决,但部队长官执行得都比较敷衍,最勇敢、最坚决的士兵在先前的战斗中都死得差不多了,剩下的多半是些老油条和兵混子,跟魔族稍一接战就退下来了。东南军进攻在下午三点左右就陷入停顿了,进攻的人类士兵如潮水般退了下去,云浅雪还没来得及松一口气,却见一员骑兵以不怕跑死马的速度飞一般的向指挥营扑来。卫队立即上前拦住他们,喝道:“来者何人?擅闯中军营,不怕杀头吗?”领头的骑兵狼狈地滚下马鞍,脱下头盔,于是云浅雪认出他是自己派出的侦察队长。他满面尘土和惊惶,磕磕跌跌地往前跑,却被地上的石头绊了一跤,狼狈地趴倒在地,惹得大营的警戒士兵都哄笑起来了。但很快地,他们笑不出声来了,侦察队长抬起头,凄厉得不似人声的嗓子撕裂空气般惊叫:“示警!示警!大军来了!红潮来了!”云浅雪霍然站起,脸色铁青。此时,西边的地平线上,出现了第一线明晃晃的刺枪闪光。红色的小点汇集成线,密集地向前推进。七八四年十二月十三日,下午三点钟,流风军出现在战场上。流风军团从森林和丛林中现身,以严整的战斗阵容向前推进。走在前面的是展开阵势的三十一个轻骑兵联队,那是流风家的菁华,大多是流风家最强悍最有经验的老兵组成,骑兵们以密集的队列缓步推进,神色森严,身子随着战马的前进而有节奏地微微晃动着。紧跟着骑兵阵的是步兵军团,黑压压的步兵队列犹如森林般一眼望不到尽头,后队还在源源不断地涌出。各联队队长身披华丽的甲盔,举着旗帜在前方为本队向导。传令兵快马奔驰于各队之间,一身红色的斗篷在身后细细飞舞,就象快速掠过天际的流星尾巴,响亮的命令声响彻各阵:“压稳阵脚,保持队列!”“保持速度!”“前队~缓步~!”军阵威严如山,浩荡似海。与流风霜军团一同出现的,还有明辉所部的紫川家西北军。他比流风霜早抵达战场两个钟头,凌步虚发现的小点就是他的兵马。昨天黄昏时候,西北联军强渡了泛着薄冰的瓦涅河,进军巴丹战场,昼夜行军八十里,于清晨九点抵达战场侧后的森林。就在魔神皇与人类谈判时,明辉已在那整顿好了兵马。但作为前锋,他的兵力太弱,不敢单独进入战场,只能催促流风霜一同进兵,流风霜的回答是:“兵马在休整。”直到下午三点,在森林中按兵不动观战的流风家将领们得到流风霜的明确指示:“是时候了,得给斯特林喘口气了!”不到半个小时内,十字军前营指挥使蒙那少将、国防二十八军军长萧元中将、国防二十七军长费加中将、十字军中营指挥使英木兰少将纷纷把部队从森林中拉出来,在魔族军的后方大摇大摆地展开队列。此次来援的西北联军包括了流风霜军团和紫川家西北军团的主力,兵马多达二十五万之众。流风家军阵浩荡,步骑统统赤红,整个军阵俨如红色的海洋,从森林中不断地流淌出来。“流风军到了!流风军到了!”红色的军队抵达,给巴丹战场带来了最大的震荡,不亚于一场八级地震。战局陡然发生变化。听闻流风军出现,魔神皇失手把杯子掉到了地上。望着地平线上源源涌出的军队,望着那山一般闪亮的刀枪剑阵,那飘扬在空中的一面又一面红色霜字旗,他被一种沉重的、极为可怕的预感压得喘不过气来。足足有十分钟时间,魔神皇一句话也说不出来,幕僚们紧闭着口,指挥帐笼罩在一片压抑、沉重的静寂中。“王国完了。”这是所有人心中没出口的一句话。魔神皇与斯特林拉锯了一天一夜没分出胜负的战局,却在流风霜抵达后迅速急转直下。首先与流风军接触的是留驻后方大营的魔族十六军团,稍一接阵,十六军团就如沙子组成的堡垒一般迅速崩溃、瓦解。大势已明,叛军士兵并没有为异族政权殉葬的意思,而且比起原来背叛过的紫川家,向流风家投诚看起来似乎是他们最好的出路了。蒙那将军率领的一个轻骑大队刚刚抵达,叛军们纷纷抛下武器,大部分人就地跪倒投降了,小部分军官和头目则骑马逃跑了。军心士气如此低落,马维连稍微维持一下的努力都没有做,他直截了当地骑上马往魔王坡逃。为了阻挡流风军的前进,魔族并不是没做任何努力。凌步虚紧急从东南军作战的阵线重抽调了五个团回头设防,但就连他本人都对这次阻击不抱任何信心。流风霜出击的时机选择得太好了,魔族军无论是士气还是体力都堕落到了最低点,仓促组成的防线挡不住流风霜宽广的进击面,对于凌步虚部下那些疲惫不堪的魔族步兵,蒙那根本无视,庞大的骑兵队绕开了那道仓促组建的防线,从战线右翼划了一个大弧线,最后猛然冲进了裴玛的军中。本来就被文河打得支撑不住的裴玛军团腹背受敌,终于彻底垮了下来。在迅若雷霆的流风家骑兵前,魔族兵惊叫着四处逃散,土崩瓦解。紧接着,汹涌的骑兵潮水般向云浅雪军团涌来,同时,眼见援军抵达而士气大振的东南军再次发动了进攻。下午五点钟时,蒙那所率领的骑兵部队已在击溃裴玛军团后与文河所部会师了,断绝魔族军向右翼逃窜的可能。魔族军接连不断地遭到来自四面八方的打击,他们连喘口气的时间都没有。东南军的铁甲骑兵冲阵、流风霜的赤色轻骑如一阵暴风般卷过,飞箭、长枪、砍刀、马刀、半兽人的狼牙棒,砍得魔族粉身碎骨,尸积如山。魔族十一军阵地一片慌乱。塞内亚兵骁勇,但毕竟还是想活命。谁都知道,大势已去。到处都是脸色惨白的魔族兵惊惶地四处张望,企图为自己寻得一条逃生的道路。很多魔族军官都在慌乱地脱掉自己的厚实的军官铠甲和别着彩色羽毛的军帽,匆忙从死人堆里拣那些染血的普通士兵制服给自己穿上,这样逃命时候方便点。流风霜军团在战场上出现后,卡兰皇子第一时间就扑到了云浅雪跟前,一个劲地催促他撤兵。“再不走就来不及了!快跑吧,流风霜要断我们后路了!”“殿下,您是真不懂还是装不懂?没有命令敢撤兵,你再得宠,陛下也要砍我们头的!”卡兰怒吼道:“云,你没长眼睛吗?现在还说什么陛下!王国完蛋了,父皇完蛋了!再不走,流风霜和斯特林就要把我们抓了扒皮!你没看吗,马维的十六军垮了,裴玛的十一军也垮了,他溜了!”“什么!”听闻裴玛逃跑的消息,犹如一个晴天霹雳打在云浅雪头上,他耳朵嗡嗡作响,以同样的声量回吼卡兰:“殿下,这不可能!我知道裴玛,他不可能这样做!”“云,你睁大眼睛自己看!除了羽林军,现在还有哪支部队在抵抗!你派人去十一军的阵地看看,看看还有没有人在守!”云浅雪不敢相信,不敢相信自己的好友,那个豪迈、勇敢的贵族将领裴玛会逃跑。但他不知道,在平常时候,人往往能表现出人性中较好的一面,他会显得优雅、大方,游刃有余。但在危急时刻,当恐惧和压力大到他不能承受的地步时,人就露出他的怯弱和弱点来。裴玛也是如此,昼夜不眠不休的战斗压垮了他的意志和判断力。当流风霜的骑兵朝着他指挥部冲来时,被这支生力部队的声威所慑,裴玛失去了理智,不顾所有幕僚和亲卫的阻拦,他几乎是抢过一匹战马,自个逃出了指挥部。得知主帅临阵溃逃,本来就疲惫不堪士气低落的十一军被流风霜一击击溃。不必派人去查探了,出帐篷就可以看见了,溃败的十一军士卒逃得满山遍野,黑压压的一片朝这边涌来。云浅雪铁青着脸下令羽林军对逃过来的十一军士卒放箭,命令他们重新走上战场。于是可怜的溃兵被羽林军的刀枪和流风霜的铁骑夹在中间,进退不能,跑去又跑来,惊慌失措,被大片大片地砍杀,哭号惨叫声震天,溃兵们已经兴不起反抗的念头了,遇刀刀下死,碰剑剑底亡,那种狼狈和凄凉,完全不似曾纵横大陆、征服过半个紫川家和整个远东的无敌劲旅。看到十一军溃败的凄惨情形,卡兰脸都白了,他更加起劲地催促云浅雪快快撤退,不然就真的来不及了。但云浅雪却还在迟疑,王国还存有最后的希望,十五军团没有参加会战,近二十多万魔族官兵还留驻达克城。虽然目前局势极端不妙,但若十五军能及时赶到的话,必能对战局产生极大的变动,王国还是有希望的。但下午六点钟左右,一队兵马自西奔来,宣告了魔族军最后希望的破灭。他们带来消息,遭到帝都军的围攻两日后,慑于帝林的可怕威名,经七个小部族长协商,十五军军团长雷豹公爵决定向人类的帝都军团投降。但雷豹公爵还是留了点情面的,他没有把十五军中塞内亚族的监军使送给人类宰刀,而是在投降前把他们全部礼送出城,放他们回去向魔神皇报信。“皇子殿下,羽林将军,帝林大军得城后并没有据守,而是挥师直扑巴丹而来!帝林兵力雄厚,其军中有可怕的强弓劲弩,其射程超过一般弓箭的两倍,更能连发,威力十分可怕!必须及早通知陛下,早做提防!”被雷豹放回来的监军使见到云浅雪就象见到亲人一般激动,一口气说了下去,却没注意到卡兰皇子和羽林将军阴郁的脸色。云浅雪缓缓点头:“知道了。陛下就在左翼,离这里大概有三里路。我派人给你带路。”监军使感谢地下去了,云浅雪和卡兰对视一眼,都看到了对方眼中的恐惧。“没有援军会来。”“帝林也正在朝这边赶来。”“阿云,”卡兰的神色少见地严肃:“这次是当真的了。我清楚父皇的性格,这次败得这么凄惨,他绝不可能下令撤退的。我们只有两条路,要么陪父皇一起殉葬,要么就得逃命了。”“毋宁死,不能逃。”云浅雪说得斩钉截铁:“殿下,我是统军大将,我对阵地负有责任,而您不是。殿下,我安排人马,送你从东南方出去。我留下来陪陛下战斗到最后!”“云,你根本不明白!”卡兰暴躁地说:“我自个逃出去,那丝毫不难!但丢下父皇自己逃生,回到王国我也难逃一死,卡顿不会放过我的!他随便安排个罪名都能把我给搞死。但带着羽林军回去,有这支强军保护我,卡顿就对我无可奈何了!”“说什么都不可以!羽林军一撤,王国大军就全面崩溃了!”“王国输定了,即使羽林军死守到最后也改变不了败局的!”“起码,”云浅雪忧郁地说:“敌人不是从我的阵地上突破的。即使死,九泉之下见到陛下,我问心无愧。陛下对我恩重如山,将我提拔为亲军长官,又将唯一爱女许配给我,这是最后关键时候,我不能离陛下而去。皇子殿下,您的命令,我一向言听计从,但这次,恕末将不能从命了。若要离开就请抓紧,我会为您准备好快马和卫队。”卡兰皇子脸色变幻,沉默良久,他用一种古怪的声调说:“云,你的心意我明白了。既然如此,那我就陪你坚持到最后吧。”不明白卡兰皇子为何突然改变了心意,但云浅雪还是很高兴:“谢谢,殿下!我们一同到前线去,会合凌步虚大人,大家一起商量,看看还有些什么法子。”“嗯,你带路吧。”云浅雪转身,正要跨步出帐篷,突然背后风声响动,他还没来得及转身,只听到“砰”一声闷响。云浅雪艰难地转过头来,留在视膜里的最后景象,是卡兰皇子那张惊惶的脸。“殿下,你!”眼前一黑,云浅雪整个人向前扑倒,已昏了过去。云浅雪不知道自己在昏迷中躺了多长时间,他感觉好象并不长,似乎连五分钟都不到。只是身下连续不断的摇晃把他给晃醒了,他醒过来时,首先感到的就是一片寂静,面前有一个熟悉的脸孔,正在关切地望着他。卡兰皇子。看到云浅雪醒来,皇子很露出如释重负的表情:“好啦,终于醒过来了!我还一直担心下手太重,把你打坏了呢!老妹非得找我拼命不可。”云浅雪摸了摸脑袋,脑子依然里是一片嗡嗡作响。他慢慢地坐起身来,发现自己是在一辆马车里面,车子正有节奏地晃动着前进。从马车窗口望出去,可以看到大队的羽林军士兵行进在马车的周围,部队行进在郁郁葱葱的树林之间,残阳在森林上露出了最后的余晖。“现在是什么时候了?”“晚上七点多。你昏过去大概一个钟头吧。”“我们在哪里?”“在马车上。”“废话!我问的是地点!”回避了云浅雪咄咄逼人的目光,卡兰轻声说:“在往塔伦城的道上。”“就我们自个?”“还有羽林军。”“你怎么能调动他们的?”“你晕倒了不能理事,我就接手指挥权。然后我就告诉团队长们,陛下有军令,差遣我们到塔伦城执行紧急任务。”“这个谎撒得太假了!”云浅雪怒吼道:“不可能有人相信的!这分明是临阵逃脱!大家不可能看不出来!”卡兰皇子耸耸肩膀,摊开手:“没有一个团队长反对,大家都很高兴地服从了命令。”“怎么可能!”“你可以自己看,事实摆在眼前,整个羽林军都和我们一起走了。”云浅雪睁大了眼睛,呆呆地望着窗外行进的羽林军兵马,什么也说不出来。卡兰亲热地揽住他肩头:“云,不要再一厢情愿了。没人愿意为父皇殉葬。他疯了,我们没必要把大好的生命陪他一起葬送在这里,不是吗?回国以后,我登基后,你就是我的护国大将军,我俩好好开创一番事业,我绝对不会亏待你的,呵呵!”云浅雪转过头来,冷冷地盯着卡兰,对方那张微笑的英俊脸蛋此刻却显得那么令人憎恶。察觉到他目光中的凶狠,卡兰向后靠了一些:“怎么了?”云浅雪冷冷说:“我很想一拳打塌你的鼻子!”吃惊地跳后一步,卡兰连忙举手虚挡在面前:“别!云,我们是斯文人,你要报复就打屁股好了,别打我的脸。”没有理会他,云浅雪扬声喊道:“停车!”马车停住了,云浅雪推门跳下了马车,双脚踏上坚实的大地,他头脑一阵眩晕。被卡兰暗算那拳的后遗症还没有过去,后脑还隐隐作疼。一队羽林军骑兵经过,云浅雪向带队的百人队长说:“把你的战马给我。”百人队长立即下马,将缰绳交给云浅雪。云浅雪翻身上马,这时,卡兰从马车里探头出来叫道:“云,你要去哪里?”云浅雪冷冷说:“到该去的地方。”一抽马鞭,逆着羽林军队列行进的方向,战马向来路奔跑起来,云浅雪听到身后传来了卡兰皇子的喊声:“云,我在塔伦城等你!我们在那会合,记得过来!”虽然听到了,但云浅雪根本没把皇子的话放在心上,这时他一心一意想的只有战局。他心头藏着极大的恐惧:卡兰皇子突然把羽林军从阵地带走,神族大军是否已崩溃了?云浅雪急马回到战场上时已是晚上八点多了,呈现在他面前的是一片混乱而惊恐的景象。一片喧嚣,烈火烧红了夜幕的天际,纷乱的人群,喧嚷的叫喊,谁都看不清谁了。溃败的兵马不断地从云浅雪身边冲过,云浅雪甚至来不及看清他们的旗帜和服装。正如云浅雪所担心的那样,羽林军的撤退不但在流风军面前敞开了阵地,更沉重地打击了魔族军士气。羽林军历来是护卫皇室的亲卫军团,云浅雪本人也是王国数一数二的大将,知道他们都跑了,沮丧和被背叛的愤怒溢满了心头,很多部队发生了骚乱,血流满面的魔族官兵拒绝作战,他们愤怒地把武器砸在地上,叫道:“大伙都死了吧,还打什么?”有些地方,军官不得不杀掉了动摇得最厉害的一些士兵。连塞内亚族战士,魔神皇最忠诚、最坚定的捍卫者们也开始惊慌失措,那是魔族王国彻底崩溃的一个信号。这是魔族王国的最后关头了,魔族军团在各个方面遭到四面突击。流风霜从背后猛攻叶尔马,紫川秀则正面阻挡了叶尔马,裴玛被击溃,云浅雪被击退,凌步虚在努力支撑,他一个军团竟然要阻挡文河、斯特林和蒙那三路大军的围攻。晚上八点钟时候,魔族军中路已被英木兰突破,萧元占领了魔神皇原来的驻地魔王坡,与斯特林的主力会师,费加则从侧后突破,切断了魔族中军与左翼的联系。这时候,魔族大军已经不复作为一个整体而存在了。魔族各个军团不得不为了自己的生存而与四面八方涌来占绝对优势的人类军团浴血奋战。最艰难的苦战依然是在中路。由于羽林军的突然撤退,凌步虚的各个团队被从缺口处滚滚涌来的斯特林大军给打得支离破碎。作为军团长,凌步虚失去了和他所有团队的联系,血战到最后,他守着一面大旗,身边仅剩不到十名卫兵。文河喊话招降他:“凌步虚将军,投降吧,你和我们人类没有血债,可以活命!”凌步虚回喊道:“狗屎!”七八四年十二月十三日,晚上八时,西南大将凌步虚公爵战死。一个小时后,魔族军团长裴玛公爵被俘。先前,裴玛曾从阵地上逃跑,但当他清醒过来后,他痛哭流涕。一直以来,他都以为自己是个坚强、不怕死的勇士,直到生死关头,他才突然明白,自己原来是个胆小怕死的懦夫,这个打击对他来说实在巨大。他想回到原部队继续指挥,但十一军垮掉了。他想到云浅雪的军中去,但找不到云浅雪的指挥部——他还不知道云浅雪和卡兰已经撤离了。此时,战场上已经乱成一团,人类的各路大军齐头并进,魔族军彻底崩溃,溃逃的官兵纷乱如潮,人嚷马嘶,谁都顾不上谁了。这个失去了自己军队的将军徘徊在这片混乱中,逆着人潮前进,失魂落魄。到后来,他遇到了一群十一军的溃兵,命令他们跟着他走,他们据守在一个小山冈上顽抗。一队流风家骑兵从这边路过,只放了一通箭,于是溃兵们一哄而散,只剩裴玛一个人。此时,裴玛已不再是为什么希望和胜利而战,他纯粹是求死。他举着长剑疯狂地大叫:“我是王国公爵,我是军团长!来啊,来啊!杀了我,给我光荣一死!”可是流风家的骑兵只当他是疯子,风一般地从他身边掠过。魔族军大溃,追击正是时候,流风家军功赏赐最为丰厚,谁也不想为了个疯子耽误了杀敌立功。接着开过来的是斯特林麾下的各个步兵团队,人类步兵却以为这个外貌与人类一般无二的魔族皇族是人类——魔族要不战死,要不逃跑了,怎么可能还留在这大喊大叫呢?——就在这种惯性思维的作用下,他们也避开了这个大叫大喊的疯子。裴玛又舞又叫,直到嗓子沙哑,再也发不出声来。他放声大哭,泪如雨下,却没能发出哭声。人类军队一队队潮水般从他身边涌过,却没人停下来给他一剑。直到斯特林统领骑着马从这边经过,看到那边有个手舞足蹈的人,问:“这人是哪个部队的?他是疯子吗?”警卫们上前查看,直到这时,人们才察觉到裴玛的身上的服饰与人类截然不同,注意到他帽子上凌乱的金黄色的羽毛。一片惊呼声:“他是塞内亚皇族!是魔族的贵族!”斯特林策马近前,用魔族语喝道:“我是东南军统领斯特林!你是谁?”听到斯特林的名字,就如被一盆冷水迎头浇下,裴玛从疯狂的状况中清醒过来。他眯起眼睛,打量着眼前这个一手扼杀了魔族希望的人类。用沙哑得几乎不似人声的声音,他咬牙切齿地回答:“王国十一军军长,裴玛!斯特林,决斗吧!你我只有一个能活下来!”他挥着长剑就向斯特林扑来,势若颠虎。对这个败将的举动,斯特林只是报以怜悯的目光。没等裴玛扑出两步,斯特林的卫士一拥而上,毫不费力地将裴玛手中长剑打飞,将他按倒在地上。“你这败将,还想跟我们大人决斗?你不是做梦吧?!”卫士们发出欢快的笑声,象打一条狗一般毫不怜悯地用枪杆将裴玛痛打。裴玛被打得发出阵阵惨叫,脸上青筋毕露。听着那惨叫,斯特林默默地想,胜负真是只有一线之差。若及时赶到的不是流风霜而卡顿的话,那现在象条野狗般被按在地上痛打的人该是自己而不是裴玛了吧?第266章帝国的黄昏人类欢歌。

紫川秀立即被唤醒了。听着白川报告,他脸色越来越难看。自己下令诱杀魔神皇,这个结果也未免太难堪了。军阵被魔神皇杀了个穿透,秀字营损兵折将,却连魔神皇一根毛都没伤到。魔神皇真是强悍得可怕,没想到,连秀字营也没办法把他给截下来。唯一可告欣慰的是,魔神皇也没达到他的目标,自己安然无恙。回到中军指挥营时,紫川秀发现,中军营乱成一片,呼声四起:“统领大人死了!”“光明王阵亡了!”紫川秀愕然,转头问白川:“怎么回事?”“大人,魔神皇刚才冲杀了进来。为骗走他,我不得不高呼您阵亡了。失礼了。”“明白了。可你怎么骗走魔神皇呢?”犹豫一下,白川说:“古雷阁下自愿报名充当您的替身,我同意了。”“古雷当我的替身?”紫川秀急切地问:“他没事吧?”“请节哀,大人。古雷阁下已英勇殉国。”多年的军事生涯已把紫川秀的心灵锻炼得如钢铁般冷硬,但咋然听闻古雷的死讯,他还是抑止不住地热血上脑,眼前一黑,一阵眩晕,几乎站立不稳。白川连忙扶住了他,却被紫川秀一手甩开。他怒吼道:“你怎么能命令古雷这样干!你派他去送死!”对着紫川秀愤怒得要喷火的眼睛,白川没做任何回答。她没有解释当时情形的危急,也没有强调魔神皇令人恐怖的强大,更没有向紫川秀解释,古雷是自己申请执行这个任务的。她只是默默地低下了头,单膝跪下,长长的睫毛颤动着,眼里波光盈盈。紫川秀捂住了脸,却捂不住夺眶而出的眼泪。他哽咽地对白川说:“你起来吧。”“大人。。。”“我知道,这不是你的错。魔神皇太强,我们都没办法。”虽然极度悲痛,但紫川秀也清楚白川的良苦用心。若不是她骗走魔神皇,若不是她强行把自己架走——自己武功虽然比古雷强,但也未必能挡魔神皇的雷霆一剑。擦干了眼泪,他已恢复镇定:“走,我们到中军旗下的高台上,到全军都看得到的地方。”站在高台上,右手按刀,紫川秀高大的身影不怒而威。当看到紫川秀的那瞬间,中军营爆发出了一阵欢呼,士兵们欢呼雀跃:“统领大人依然活着!”站在高台上,紫川秀冷峻的声音传遍了中军的每一个角落:“向全军公告,我安然无恙。再有敢传播谣言的,立即斩杀!”参谋部倾巢动员,所有参谋和传令兵都被派了出去,信使举着小旗向前沿部队一路疾奔,高呼声此起彼落:“统领大人平安无事!”、“魔神皇已被击退!”“坚守岗位,听候命令!”当快马信使一路奔来,喊出那声“统领平安无恙”时,整个远东军都如释重负地松了口气,值得庆贺的是,紫川秀阵亡的消息还没传到最前阵,还没引起前沿部队的恐慌。重新接手指挥权后,紫川秀望望头顶被乌云遮盖着的太阳,日头阴蔓,惨白的阳光无力地照在北风呼啸的战场上。这一天的时间过得特别漫长,从战斗开始的凌晨到如今,两军战死的人马都近十万计了。无数早上出发时还活奔乱跳的鲜活生命,此刻他们都静静地躺在冰冷的冬天原野上。但这一天,才只是刚刚过去了一半而已。在这半天时间里,人类军战死了三个红衣旗本,十七个旗本、三十一个副旗本;魔族军也失去了三十一个白披风,多年来不曾亲自出手的魔神皇亲身杀入敌阵,取了远东军首领紫川秀首级。时间,才刚刚是下午三点二十。直到此刻,魔族高层还没没有察觉,被魔神皇干掉的紫川秀是个假货。他们只是不解,在失去首领之后,为什么远东军依然能保持如此旺盛的斗志?不过在他们看来,那不过是远东指挥部封锁紫川秀的阵亡消息罢了,不过是回光返照的冲动,不能持久。魔神皇很乐观地向雷欧和叶尔马宣称:“他们支撑不到天黑了!”魔神皇对未来抱乐观态度,但他的部下可没他老人家这么坚定的信心了。远东军能否坚持到天黑还是个未知数,但裴玛知道,自己是肯定支持不下去了。文河攻打得越来越急,连续向神皇派去了六、七拨求援信使,得来的只有一句答复:“再坚持一个钟头!”皇帝的一个小时,自然和平常人的一个小时是大不相同的。裴玛从中午十二点挺到下午四点,哀嚎得嗓子都哑了,神皇许诺已久的增援终于施然登场了。看到这支期盼已久的增援部队,裴玛差点没被气掉鼻子:魔神皇舍不得从中军和右翼抽调塞内亚族兵马,他派来的增援是由马维率领的十六军团!当马维带部队扑到左翼战场时,士兵们都被眼前的景象吓得呆了。本来是青色和褐色的土地上,现在已经看不出土壤的颜色了,所见之处,都是一片血红。尸骸已经堆满了平原、荒漠和山坡,双方的伤兵在尸骸堆中发出凄惨的呼救声,濒临死亡的重伤人恹恹一息地呻吟着,但声音被淹没在那震耳欲聋的交战声里了。就在这尸山血海之上,活人踩着死人的尸骸和鲜血,仍在厮杀和拼杀。军鼓一通通地震响,一支又一支新部队从森林里出现,沉默地走向那厮杀血场。不论是人类还是魔族,只要还能活动,统统拿起兵器在死命地厮杀,田野和平原上血流成河,鲜血已经流得连土壤都吸收不下了,开始汇成小河向外面流淌。“即使地狱的修罗斗场也不会有这样可怕的景象!”叛军士兵惊骇道:“到这种地步了,他们还在打个不停!他们还是人吗?”十六军团到来给左翼的战斗造成了相当的影响。当他们突然出现时,东南军还以为是帝都的增援提前到达了,疲惫交加的人类官兵兴奋得把帽子都丢上了天空,欢呼声雷动。但当十六军部队在魔族阵地上以战斗队列展开向文河军逼近时,所有的欢呼声顿时哑了。企盼已久的援军居然是敌人!这个事实与希望落差实在太大了,人类军阵中一时出现了混乱。文河大声呼喝道:“弟兄们,看到了吗?来的是魔族的十六军,是那个卖国贼马维的狗腿子们!还记得半年前的奥斯战役吗?谁让我们功败垂成?谁害死了我们那么多弟兄?我们连塞内亚魔族都不怕,难道我们还怕他们的走狗不成?”回应他的,是一片愤怒地喧嚣:“干掉叛徒们!”对于那些在背后出卖自己的叛徒,人类对他们的仇恨甚至更深于魔族。被文河这样大声鼓劲,左翼的东南军以更加凶猛的势头猛扑上前。看到那些穿着魔族军装的人类,东南军将士们气得咬牙切齿,杀得加倍起劲。凭良心说,十六军的表现并没有如魔族嘲笑的那样被“一击即溃”,为打好这场仗,马维也是下了血本的。他骑着战马在阵前来回奔走呼叫,在队列前抛洒大袋大袋的金币来招募敢死队勇士,许诺升官封赏,但是,无论他怎么努力,这支部队始终是缺少一种冲劲和悍不畏死的勇敢,那是胜利军队所必须具备的。而文河的部下们,那些为自己祖国和民族所战斗的士兵们,却充分地具有这种冲劲,骑兵们穿着被打碎的铠甲,浑身是血,举着破损的武器,如疯如狂地朝着叛军队列中冲杀而来,叛军和魔族只能倚靠密集的阵列用长矛来逼退人类骑兵的进攻,却缺少与之对攻的勇气和气魄。裴玛原以为可以凭借十六军的增援把文河一举击溃,但现在,不知是东南军凶不可挡,还是这些人类叛军本来就打得不起劲,裴玛期待已久的援军并没有给战局带来转机,反倒是激怒了人类兵马,文河军团步步逼近,进攻的势头一浪高过一浪,将裴玛和马维压得都喘不过气来,叛军部队到来的作用仅仅是将十一军覆灭的时间向后推移了。下午六时左右,紫川秀与魔神皇的战斗还是没分出胜负。远东军防御的主阵地是山麓下的一个无名小村,惨烈的拉锯战已经持续了三个小时了。装甲兽分成四个五千人队轮番进攻。遭遇魔族的装甲兽,秀字营并不处劣势。装甲兽的缺点和它们的优点一般同样明显:它们的速度太慢,行动也太迟钝了。它们跟不上秀字营的敏捷,往往秀字营士兵连砍了四、五刀,装甲兽才能反应过来做第一下遮挡;等它们慢腾腾地举起棒子呢,秀字营士兵却早往它心窝捅了好几枪了。若在平时,这些打击不过是在为装甲兽挠痒痒罢了,但在内家高手全力灌注了真气的刀刃面前,装甲兽那身坚韧的硬皮被切豆腐般切开,每一下打击都是见血到肉的。缓慢的速度,庞大的身躯,这使装甲兽成了最好的靶子。开始时候,秀字营宰杀装甲兽,轻松得象宰猪。但问题是,装甲兽实在太多了!秀字营战士尽管武艺高强,但面对这一波又一波不间断杀来的白色怪物,内力急速地消耗,没法休息也没法恢复,当体力和内力都被消耗得差不多时候,正如魔神皇所期待的那样,伤亡开始在秀字营中大量地出现了。五点钟左右,天空下起了小雨,冒着雾丝般细雨,秀字营就和魔族装甲兽在无名村前的泥泞的水田里摸滚打爬。每一次进攻,水田里都要多上数百上千具尸体,战士躺倒在刚刚收割完的白花花大地里,鲜血浸得引水的沟渠都变成了深红色。但谁也没料到的是,四个五千人队的装甲兽轮番进攻,依然没能拿下那无名村庄。这下,不但叶尔马惊骇难当,就连魔神皇也感到不可思议了。对面的人类,他们究竟是些怎样的人?魔神皇无法想象,一支失去了指挥官的部队竟有如此的毅力,能在装甲兽面前支持足足三个小时。此时,魔神皇对自己的战绩动摇了,他对雷欧说:“朕很怀疑,紫川秀是否真的死了。”雷欧看过魔神皇带回的首级,虽然他见过紫川秀本人,但时间过了四年,那个血肉模糊的首级实在太难分辨了,他没把握确认这是不是紫川秀本人。看着魔神皇冒着那么大风险冲入敌人阵中带了这个脑袋出来,他也不好意思泼冷水告诉魔神皇:“陛下您很可能杀错了。。。”于是在一片歌颂魔神皇神勇无敌的赞美声中,近卫公爵聪明地选择了沉默。他回答魔神皇道:“陛下,紫川秀此人一向出人意料而且诡计多端。若他用了替身,微臣是不奇怪的。”“雷欧卿,说实话,朕杀的那人,你觉得象紫川秀吗?”“微臣惶恐,实在不是很有把握。”听出了雷欧的言下之意,魔神皇长叹一声:“果然,朕也觉得得手得太轻易了,以紫川秀的名声,他的武功不应如此差劲。难怪对面的远东军如此顽强,没有崩溃迹象。”魔神皇连连摇头,懊悔不已。若有可能,他是很想再杀进去一次的,但上次厮杀耗尽了他的内力,想再次出手,他并无此能力。“陛下,依微臣的看法,即使对面的远东军还能支撑,他们也不过是强弩之末了。只要再给我们两个钟头,我们一定能拿下这个阵地!”“即使拿下阵地,但若紫川秀没死,那击溃远东军绝非易事,裴玛和马维未必能坚持到那个时候。”看看太阳渐渐靠近了西边的地平线,魔神皇不禁有些烦躁:“朕恨不得杀掉叶尔马!这厮谎报,不但误了朕,也误了整个王国!”“陛下,大战正烈,阵前斩将并非吉兆。”“朕知道!但此战一过,朕绝对不会放过他!此人倚老卖老,误朕不少!”雷欧默然。虽然身为同僚,但他对叶尔马并没有多少好感,他并不打算为他辩解。事实上,在魔族军中,对那个傲慢、呆板又夸夸其谈的老将有好感的,几乎一个也没有。天色一直是阴沉的,带着蒙蒙小雨。直到了黄昏,太阳才出来露了一小会脸,无力地向撒满鲜血的大地散布最后的光芒。当最后一丝残阳消失在地平线上时,天空黑了下来。夜晚的到来给疲惫交加的魔族一丝希望。激战了一天,人类总要歇息的吧?他们总要吃饭和睡觉的吧?战斗是一种高强度的激烈运动,体力和精力消耗程度都是惊人的。一天的战斗,无论人类和魔族都挺不住。夜战是魔族的强项,人类不会不知道这点。但令魔族失望了,人类确实是休息停战了,但却只有短暂的两个小时。晚上九点多,在战线中部和右翼的魔族兵又看到了满山遍野的火把疾扑而来!“人类居然敢与我们夜战?”接到报告的魔神皇先是吃惊,随后又是释然。既然人类都敢从阵地里出来和魔族大打野战了,那再在夜晚挑战魔族的强项也不是什么奇事。他唯一奇怪的是人类为什么如此迫不及待,连一夜的时间都等不得?其实斯特林也是有不得已的苦衷。奥斯总督胡新、维纳里总督内依特还有驻安卡拉的远东军副统领林冰都紧急派了信使向他示警报告,侦察发现在东南行省各部出现大规模的魔族军团,正急速向巴丹方向前进。前锋已抵达了巴特利行省首府周边。这支魔族军团进军极速,他们一路不攻城、不掠地,只是急速猛走,一心一意朝着巴丹主战场方向靠拢。而留守各地的人类军队兵力寡弱,也没能力阻止他们的前进。这支魔族军团的数目极庞大,旌旗漫野。林冰率兵跟踪其后,据她的观察,目前光是记录的团队旗帜就不下六十面,估计全军起码不下八十个团队。卡顿来得好快!这是斯特林接到报告后的第一个想法。他暗暗庆幸,明羽的信使来得足够快,给自己多了一天一夜的准备时间。趁着两个小时的休息时间,前线指挥官们一窝蜂地拥回了中央军参谋部,冲斯特林要粮要增援要补给。对着军官们的抱怨,斯特林的答复只有一个:“增援没有!吃完饭休息半个小时,继续进攻!”师团长们眼泪都下来了:“大人,再打下去我们就全光了!”“大人,给十一师留点种子吧!”但当斯特林把那份报告一读,所有人都哑了声。“卡顿亲王距离我们不到三百里了,骑兵急驰,这不过两天的路程!若不能在此之前击溃魔族军,干掉魔神皇,那我们先前的牺牲就都成了白费。更可怕的是,若被魔神皇父子前后夹击,我们都得死无葬身。诸位,现在你们还有什么话吗?”沉寂半个小时后,战场上重又开打。人类主要是在中间和右翼发动进攻,而魔族则咬着牙在左翼对着紫川秀猛击,立志要先击溃远东军。两方都是竭尽全力,但打击的力度却是越来越弱。天空阴沉沉,下着蒙蒙小雨。星星都看不到。罗杰象条被打断了脊梁的赖皮狗一般趴在一汪血泊里,好久都没动弹。两个士兵从他身边走过,其中一个用脚踢踢他:“好象是挂了?”“看样子是个军官。说不定有油水。”另外一个士兵蹲下身,探手去摸罗杰的口袋,刚触到衣裳,罗杰突然坐了起来,把这两个士兵吓得齐声尖叫:“啊!”“两个混球,”罗杰有气无力地问道:“现在几点了?”一个士兵报告:“晚上十一点,长官。”罗杰只感觉嗓子嘶哑,喉咙里干得象是有一把火在烧。他抖抖腰间的行军水壶,却是空荡荡的。他睁大了疲惫的眼睛张望四周,整个村子都在燃烧,稀稀拉拉的房屋和树木都被火焰吞噬了。在火光背景下,村子中活动着一些黯淡的身影,但更多的人却都是或躺或坐在地上的。“有水吗?”没人回答。罗杰回头再看,却发现那两个士兵早已偷偷溜走了。他苦笑着,就着火光,他在地上摸索着,一连搜了五具尸体,才终于找到一个有水的行军壶,一口气半壶水灌进喉咙里,尽管水已微微发酸了,但那股浸彻心肺的清凉却让罗杰周身清爽。他感觉生机和力量重又回到了自己身上,支撑着慢慢站了起来,身体象绑了半吨铅一般沉重。他扬声叫道:“还有多少人活着的?有没有?应个声!”“都死了~”废墟和火光中传回了一片有气无力的喊声。罗杰笑了,一屁股坐了下来,感觉屁股下软软的,坐到装甲兽的尸体上了。他也没力气再站起来了,颤抖着手点燃了手中的香烟,猛吸一口,然后大声叫道:“弟兄们,看来这次大伙真要为国捐躯,放心,圣灵殿有我们的席位。”“滚!你当官的死光了老子都没事呢!”“爷爷我号称不死鸟,圣灵殿留着罗杰大人您自个蹲吧!”士兵们叫骂得厉害,但却有气无力的,刚才的激战已经透支了大家的精力。“秀字营,集合!”火光中,人影晃动。远远近近的,一些幽灵般的身影蹒跚着出现。士兵们参差不齐地排成了一行,接着第二行,第三行,第四行。。。真是奇怪,每次打退魔族的进攻,看着阵地上满地的尸首,罗杰总有种错觉,象是人都死光了,只剩下自己和零散的三两个兵,再也顶不住一次进攻了。但是现在,各个阵地上幸存的士兵重新集合,就如那孱弱的溪流汇成了彭湃的大河,看到那越来越长的队伍,看到那些血污满面却依然闪亮的眼睛,看到那些疲惫不堪却仍旧站得笔直的身影,那些被砍削得破破烂烂的盔甲,那些砍得出了缺口的刀刃和折断的长剑,罗杰陡然又产生了信心,力量重又充满了他的身体,拳头陡然攥紧。他的声音低沉,却蕴含着一股力量感:“弟兄们,增援还没到,看来统领大人那里也碰到了麻烦,我们得靠自己坚持到天亮了。弟兄们,有没有问题?”“有~~”“问题很大条,老子没力气了~~”“要求加班费~~”“还要两个美*********阳怪气声的从队伍里四处响起,引起了一阵哄笑声。罗杰也笑,这就是秀字营的风格,若要这群痞子象斯特林一样一般正经地立正宣誓:“愿为家族服务!”那他准会怀疑太阳从西边出来了。“加班费有的是,金山银海,都放在帝都那好好地等我们去拿呢!总长说了,只要我们能坚持到天亮,发的银子足够大伙用到龟孙子那辈的!统领爷也给我们准备了好多好多美女,每人发六个,足够咱哥们从周一快活到周六的。。。”有人在队列里喊:“那周日呢?”“你还当自己有魔神皇那么猛啊!总得有个休息的时间吧?”哄堂大笑,又渴又累的士兵们笑得都站不住了。发问的士兵一边笑一边大口地咳嗽,咳出来的血都染红了胸口的衣襟,但他自己看不见,他的同伴们仿佛也看不到,大伙笑得那么开心,那么从容,笑容里没有丝毫的忧虑和担忧,就象一群孩子。罗杰笑着说:“放心,银子和美女大把有,但大伙得活着回来领!谁若回不来,你的银子我就帮你花了,你的美女我也帮你安慰了!”“滚!”“杀了这兔崽子!他比魔族还可恶!”远处传来了沉重的踏地声,笑声嘎然而止。罗杰心头一颤,装甲兽又上来了。他环视左右,一个接一个地望过眼前的士兵们。士兵们歪着身子,斜着眼回望着罗杰,一时间,谁都没有出声。罗杰清清嗓子:“总之,大伙要活着回来。拜托了!”回应他的是一阵激烈的吵闹:“放心!不回来岂不是让银子和美女都被你吞了!”在史书上关于巴丹会战的记载部分,特别提到了远东军主阵地,那个无名村庄的战事。在这夜,魔族发起进攻五千装甲兽以上的进攻八次,均被打退。魔神皇惊骇道:‘就算这个村子是铁铸的也被被我们打穿了!守在那里的,真的是人类吗?’中午时投入战斗的五千秀字营,当第二天太阳升起时,存活者不到一千人。无一人投降,无一人逃跑。以前的那个无名村,打那起却有了个新的名字:‘喋血高地’。但论起战斗之惨烈,喋血高地还算不上首位。远东军仅仅只是守,但在东南军主攻方向,斯特林亲领的步骑集团作为进攻方,必须付出更大的代价。四个先锋铁甲师被打得全军覆没,先头进入战场六个步兵师也被打残了,战场上,被打死的人类官兵尸首堆了近一米高,象是在平原上起了一个蜿蜒的城墙,后续部队被堵住了没办法进军。而为了消灭中央军的先头部队,魔族中路指挥官云浅雪同样地伤亡惨重,那天黎明到来时,本有八万士兵的羽林军幸存不到四万人。当黎明到来时,无论是人类也好,魔族也好,都没有力量来发动新的攻势了。两军很多士兵甚至都是在激战的战场枕着尸首睡着了。看着太阳渐渐升起,斯特林统领终于下令,军队停止进攻。事实上,仗打到这个地步,事实已经很明显了,东南、远东联军和魔神皇的军团是势均力敌,谁也奈何不了谁。经过一天一夜的流血,两军都已经衰弱到危险的地步。这种情况下,继续进攻的一方要付出更大的牺牲,有先崩溃的危险。而同时地,魔神皇也和斯特林得出同样的结论。为击溃远东军这个目标,魔族军已经投入太多的牺牲和力量。现在看来,且不说这个目标能否实现,即使打垮远东军了,伤亡惨重的近卫旅也没有余力进行对东南军主力的侧翼打击了,这样消耗战的僵局对人数较少的魔族不利。黎明时分,信使们一个接一个赶到魔王坡,向魔神皇报告了各军的损耗。裴玛甚至丢下军队,亲自跑来见魔神皇。他很坦率地告诉魔神皇,部队伤亡太大,打不下去了。“陛下,第十一军的三十五个团队中有十五个团队被人类彻底打光了,只剩下一面军旗。六个团队被打死过半,三个团队已经彻底溃散了,还有四个团,开战前我安排在左翼的,现在都联系不上了,我甚至不知道他们是被人类歼灭了还是逃跑了。。。”裴玛说得滔滔不绝,眼中饱含着泪水:“陛下,再打下去,我们撑不住了。”在尊敬的魔神皇面前表现出怯弱和动摇,这令他感到十分羞耻。魔神皇陷入沉思。他恬静的脸容映衬着远方连绵起复的群山,仿佛一副轮廓分明的黑白画。他的手上拿着一张白纸,那是参谋们汇总的伤亡数字,那巨大的红字令人震惊。就在这一天一夜的战斗中,五十三个魔族团队已经从王国军队序列中永远地消失了,另外还有三十一个团队被打得失去了战斗力。在巴丹地区聚集了王国所有的军队,战前,谁都以为这场野战会以神族干脆利索的胜利而告终,谁也没料到这一仗打得如此艰难,牺牲会如此恐怖。在这场会战中,人类表现出了令人尊敬的战斗力,意志坚决,不惧牺牲,在与魔族的对攻中甚至还占了上风。两军竭尽全力对攻,最后打了个平手,这个结果令得魔族高层感到极大震撼,但两军不同的是,魔神皇已率领王国的全部军队了,而他面对的仅仅是人类的两个军团。魔神皇不愿意承认,但却不得不面对这个事实:王国的武装力量已经衰弱到了危险的地步。这样的军队,还能再坚持一场战争吗?魔神皇低沉地说:“命令全线停战。裴玛,你想办法跟人类那边联系,就说我们想谈判。”上午八点钟,一个举着白旗的魔族向人类方走来,转达了魔神皇的意思。这个讯息在东南军司令部引起了极大的震动。那个目空一切的魔族至尊,居然低下了他高傲的头颅,要和人类谈判?来不及召集各集团的司令,斯特林统领先会见了使者。“陛下说了,两军先停战。停战以后,神族将退出所有占领紫川家的土地。”“瓦仑要塞呢?”魔族使者慢条斯理地说:“瓦仑要塞也是紫川家土地,自然也还给你们。”斯特林立即说:“那好。请贵国皇帝立即给瓦仑总督发去命令,让他将要塞移交给我远东军副统领林冰大人。她率军就在瓦仑要塞附近。”“要塞自然会还你们,但那要在我们神族大军撤出瓦仑关以后。”“那不可能!”斯特林统领正要一口拒绝,从司令部大门匆匆进来的远东军统领紫川秀急忙一口接了上去:“起码还得把所有的俘虏还给我们。”斯特林愕然。魔族残酷无情,抓到的人类官兵和平民,凡是不肯屈服的,一律屠杀。肯屈服的,就加入十六军团。所以,魔族军中的人类俘虏并不是很多,特意要回他们意义并不是很大。但他知道紫川秀机智,不会做无谓的事,也不出声,看紫川秀怎么说。赶来的紫川秀满头大汗,不等卫兵给他加椅子,他自个就从墙边端了把椅子到谈判桌边坐下。以不容置疑的口吻,他说:“所有被魔族抓去的人类官兵和平民都必须交还我们,要谈判,这就是我们人类的条件。”望了紫川秀一眼,魔族使者向斯特林投了个疑惑的眼神,斯特林统领镇定地说:“这是远东的紫川统领,他的话就是我的话。”再看了紫川秀一眼,确认这个满头大汗,脸色苍白的年轻人就是能跟魔神皇抗衡一天一夜的传奇将领,使者脸上多了分尊敬。他说:“若谈判可成,俘虏自然会还给你们——不过在我军中,人类俘虏数目应该不会很多。”“不不,”紫川秀连连摆手:“你没弄明白我的意思:在魔族军中的所有人类,都必须交给我们——不管他是被俘还是以别的方式被弄到你们那去的!”使者和斯特林统领这才明白过来,使者叫道:“难道你是要我们把整个十六军团都交还你们吗?”“那是自然!”紫川秀一脸杀气:“那些背叛国家的败类,必须要得到应有的惩罚!首当其冲,马维就是一个!这个条件若不成,谈判那就不用说了,我们各自再点兵马来个你死我活吧!”使者皱着眉头不出声。在投诚以后,马维为了凸现自己对魔族的忠心,在各种场合都刻意强调了自己与紫川秀不共戴天的仇恨,所以,这个牵涉了美女皇储紫川宁、远东统领紫川秀和马维等风云人物外加三角恋情、叛变、刺杀外加灭门惨案等大批亮点的故事在魔族高层中流传甚广。关于紫川秀和马维之间的恩怨,他也是知道的。现在紫川秀提出要索取死敌马维,这个要求是很正常的。老实说,对于马维和十六军官兵的命运,使者并不是很关切,哪怕紫川家把他们全宰了下锅,使者也不会感到心疼。他只是顾忌,马维毕竟是陛下亲封的王国公爵,这样交还人类,陛下能不能答应?最后,使者还是叹了口气:“对不起,统领大人,这个条件陛下没有授权我答应。但从我个人来说,我觉得这不是什么问题。”紫川秀点头,很体谅的样子:“那就劳烦贵使再跑一趟,跟贵国陛下说一声了。希望他能怜悯两国将士,不要再让士兵们白白牺牲了。”“希望能如统领大人您所愿吧。这仗,确实不能再打了。我们只想回家。”在那一刻,魔族使节脸上出现了真切的悲痛。紫川秀心念一动:“请问阁下是?”“鲁莽了,还没对统领大人您做自我介绍。我是卡路侯爵,在陛下身边担任高级参谋官。”看到紫川秀探究的目光,白发双鬓的老皇族轻轻抹了下眼角的泪珠:“失礼了。我有两个儿子,一个二十一岁,在羽林军中任团队长;一个十九岁,在十一军中任军团掌旗官。”顿了一下,他轻声说:“在昨天下午和晚上,他们都战死了。”两位统领都沉默了。站在他们面前的,是一个满手血腥的侵略者头目,敌人的高级贵族,也是冷酷无情的敌方谈判代表。他的两个儿子是魔族的高级军官,自然也是凶狠的刽子手,死了那是大快人心。按理说,他们应该对这个顽冥不化老家伙的任何悲痛感到幸灾乐祸才好;或者,应该对他喝道:“这就是你们侵略人类的下场了!”可此刻,他们实在不忍。他们只看到了,在自己面前的是一个白发双鬓的老人在悲痛自己早逝的儿子。老年丧子,白发送黑发,那种无以言述的悲痛超越种族和国界,同样身为有情感的智慧种族,他们感同身受。看到他,他们就象看到了无数人类父母一般,在远方的天际下为传来的噩耗悲痛欲绝。斯特林庄重地说:“很难过听到这个消息。请节哀。”老人点头,轻声说:“谢谢。”泪水再也抑止不住了,从眼中滚滚落下。他起身,再次说声:“失礼了。”然后,他行了个礼,蹒跚着走出了东南军司令部的大门。斯特林望向紫川秀,不满地挑起了眉头。他困惑不解。这是人类和魔族最重大的一次谈判,紫川秀却因为和马维的事而耽搁了下来。这种因私废公的行为不象紫川秀一贯的作风。迎着斯特林责备的目光,紫川秀笑笑:“别这样看着我,我是故意的。”“你故意搞混这次谈判?”“这里距离魔王坡约有十五里,那个信使来回,即使骑马也得一个多小时,再加上汇报和魔神皇考虑的时间,我们很容易就能混来两三个小时。”“可我们要这两三个钟头能干什么呢?”“让部队歇息,恢复体力,全力备战。从现在到今晚,每一分钟对我们都是珍贵的,若不能在明天日出前击溃魔神皇军团,那我们就完蛋了!”斯特林一惊:“怎么说?”“卡顿快到了!”斯特林猛然站起:“在哪里?”“主力还没抵达,但一个小规模的先遣队企图混过我们防线向魔神皇报讯,结果被半兽人的巡逻队发觉了,被我们全歼了。从一个军官身上发现了卡顿写给魔神皇的信,信上报告说,卡顿亲王已抵达了塔伦城,距我们这只有一天半的路程。”“该死!”斯特林狠狠一拳砸在椅子上,将简陋的椅子一下子打了个粉碎:“卡顿来得太快了!数十万大军,他怎么可能这么快!?太反常了!”“若真是三十万大军,卡顿无论如何不可能在四五天里就跑到这来。来的估计只会是少部分骑兵团队——但不论多少,只要让魔神皇知道有三十万大军正在往这赶来,他肯定会鼓足信心跟我们再打,无论达成什么协议都是白费力气。现在我们不忙跟魔族决裂,先拖延时间,等部队做好战斗准备再说。”第265章帝国的黄昏奇兵突起两个小时后,卡尼侯爵回到了东南军司令部,他带来了魔神皇的答复:“可以将十六军团交还人类。”——事情果然被紫川秀料中了,相比于整个神族大军的存亡,几个人类叛徒的性命实在微不足道,魔神皇没必要为他们误了跟人类的谈判。这次,斯特林要忙着整军备战,没时间来陪他聊天了。他派了几个参谋来陪信使谈,这让卡路很是迷惑不解,怎么只过了两个小时,人类对待自己的待遇就大相径庭了?午饭过后,紫川秀走进了房间,直截了当地告诉使者,对于魔神皇的谈判条件,紫川家族感到无法接受。听了紫川秀的回答,使者的表情颇为丰富。他先是困惑地摇摇脑袋,象是不敢相信所听到的回答。等他确认听到的回答后,他用一种很委屈、象是受到了伤害的口气问紫川秀,紫川家到底想要什么?难道神族和神皇陛下表现得还不够诚意吗?难道紫川家到底看不出,再打下去,只有大家一同进地狱吗?“阁下,“紫川秀打断了他的陈述,他平静地说:“第二轮攻击部队已进入阵地了。您现在离开还来得及。”中午一点,几乎在魔族使者仓惶地离开东南军司令部的同时,战斗又一次打响了,人类再次发动了进攻。半天的休息时间可以恢复士兵的体力,却不足恢复他们斗志和士气。人类方面还好些,他们还有预备队,可以轮番作战。但魔族的底子早就光了。激战之后,士兵们都在战壕和帐篷里睡觉休息,被突然攻上来的人类打了个措手不及,来自奥斯行省的步兵密集地冲入了魔族的阵地,午睡中被惊醒的魔族官兵惊叫着赤手空拳地从战壕里冲出来,被大批地斩杀。“什么?”被部下叫醒的云浅雪又是惊怒又是好笑:“我们在光天化日里被人类偷袭成功了!”团队长支支吾吾地说:“老实说,也不算偷袭。。。他们是大摇大摆地冲杀过来了,只是部队都睡着了,被打得措手不及。。。”“休息不安排哨兵吗?”“连哨兵都睡着了。大家累得要死,听说陛下又和人类开始谈判了,于是都松弛下来了,谁都料不到三个小时,人类马上就攻上来了。。。”“别废话了!”云浅雪匆匆把制服披上,起身出了帐篷。刚刚从午睡中醒来,被正午的日头照下来,云浅雪眼前一黑,头昏目眩。中军营所处是一片高地,但被帐篷前的树木所遮盖,云浅雪没法看清整个战场。巨大的音量如风暴一般扑面而来,云浅雪什么也听不到,但旋即,他能分辩出其中滴答的马蹄声、马嘶声和人类战士呼喝声、魔族兵马的“瓦格拉”声。他侧耳倾听着,觉得右翼传来的交战声更为响亮,传来亲兵们:“你们去观察,看看人类在哪个方向主攻。还有,我军各个部队情况如何?友邻部队情况如何?迅速查探清楚,然后回报于我。我在近卫团的指挥部,你们可到那找我。”亲兵们齐齐领命而去,云浅雪这才跨步上马。近卫团指挥官亲自给他领路,走出了树林,于是战场的局势一览无遗。正前方的远方,整个战场场面如画卷一般地展开,站在高处看整个战场,有一种云雾中的感觉。那些正在奔跑、厮杀、流血、呻吟的士兵们,在远方看,只剩下了一些跳跃的黑点。虽然身处混乱,但塞内亚魔族兵良好的战斗素质在此时发挥了作用,三五个士兵们自发地聚在一起,组成一个又一个小阵。数百上千个小阵构成了团队的防线,而数十个团队一字摆开的,战线如长蛇一般蜿蜒不绝,望都望不到尽头。只一眼,云浅雪立即察觉到了危险,防御摆得太开,阵线太单薄了。这种长蛇阵,人类很容易就可以在某个地段实现突破的。自己手上连一个团的预备队都没有,没法对阵地上的缺口实施堵截。身后传来了马蹄声,云浅雪转身,骑在战马上的凌步虚正朝他疾驰而来。西南大将在马背上冲羽林将军匆匆行了个礼,云浅雪连忙回礼。“将军,你那如何?”“不好。”凌步虚皱着眉头,他正要说话,云浅雪打断了他:“将军,能否给我抽出三个团——”看凌步虚的脸色,他连忙改口说:“两个团!我急需要两个团做预备队,准备与人类打反突击!将军,形势很危险,你那还能抽出部队吗?”凌步虚转头,猎鹰般锐利的目光望向战场。他简单地说:“不能。”“将军,战线一旦被突破,我们都完蛋!这不是吝啬兵力保存实力的时候!”“跟我来。”凌步虚伸手牵过云浅雪战马的缰绳,领着云浅雪向树林后走。云浅雪不住地叫:“去哪里?去哪里?”可凌步虚绝口不答,只是固执地牵着缰绳。云浅雪的卫兵们跟在后面,不知所措。从西北方出了树林,凌步虚遥指指着前方数里外遥遥的大片森林。云浅雪摸不着头脑:“干什么?”“看。”西南大将的话永远是那么的言简意赅。云浅雪疑惑地搭起了眼帘,因为那片丛林距离实在太远了,即使以他良好的眼力也只能看到一片茫茫的绿意,森林的轮廓如同云雾一般隐现。云浅雪扫了一眼,没看到什么异样的东西,他疑惑地看了凌步虚一眼,若不是西南大将历来信誉良好,他真要以为他在开自己玩笑了。凌步虚抬手指去,顺着他手指的方向,云浅雪望去。突然,他一震,揉了揉眼睛,叫道:“那是什么?”在森林的边缘,有一些小点。这些小点的颜色与森林颜色并不一致,好象是活动着的。云浅雪仔细再看,没错,那确实是一些在活动的小点。“那是树木?还是人?”“人。”“什么人?是十六纵队的人?还是当地的农民在观战?”“我问过马维,他说不是他的人。”凌步虚和云浅雪对视一眼,都在对方眼里发现了深深的恐惧。再次打眼帘观察了一阵,云浅雪发现那些小点并没有向战场方向接近,这使得他稍微好受了些:“他们好象停在那不动了?在干什么?”凌步虚淡淡地一挑眉头,表示他也不清楚。“将军,我马上往那个方向派斥候侦察。我希望不是,但若真是我们想象的那样。。。我们必须早做准备。”凌步虚点头:“我部在此设防。”他严峻地望云浅雪一眼,后者立即领会严肃的西南大将没说出口的话了:“以掩护我军撤退。”正面的战斗进行得如火如荼,因为战事的残酷,两军的阵线都大为缩水了,右翼的裴玛军团甚至不能维持其阵线,不得不向中央的云浅雪和凌步虚军团靠拢,最后紧缩在云浅雪军团的右边成为一个大方阵。因为要防御的地方少了,人员密集,处于内线作战的魔族阵地显得巩固了许多,云浅雪一下显得兵力充足起来了。他甚至有余力从羽林军中抽出两个团出来对进攻的文河军团打了一次漂亮的反击,魔族步兵凶狠地挥着刺枪将攻进阵地的人类骑兵打得狼狈地退出。强弩之末的东南军士气被鼓起来了,但却不能持久。文河挥舞着刀剑在前线亲自督战,一连砍倒了几个溃退的部队长官,但士兵们实在太疲倦了。在接近一半的伤亡代价下,视死如归的勇士并不多。斯特林的意志非常坚决,但部队长官执行得都比较敷衍,最勇敢、最坚决的士兵在先前的战斗中都死得差不多了,剩下的多半是些老油条和兵混子,跟魔族稍一接战就退下来了。东南军进攻在下午三点左右就陷入停顿了,进攻的人类士兵如潮水般退了下去,云浅雪还没来得及松一口气,却见一员骑兵以不怕跑死马的速度飞一般的向指挥营扑来。卫队立即上前拦住他们,喝道:“来者何人?擅闯中军营,不怕杀头吗?”领头的骑兵狼狈地滚下马鞍,脱下头盔,于是云浅雪认出他是自己派出的侦察队长。他满面尘土和惊惶,磕磕跌跌地往前跑,却被地上的石头绊了一跤,狼狈地趴倒在地,惹得大营的警戒士兵都哄笑起来了。但很快地,他们笑不出声来了,侦察队长抬起头,凄厉得不似人声的嗓子撕裂空气般惊叫:“示警!示警!大军来了!红潮来了!”云浅雪霍然站起,脸色铁青。此时,西边的地平线上,出现了第一线明晃晃的刺枪闪光。红色的小点汇集成线,密集地向前推进。七八四年十二月十三日,下午三点钟,流风军出现在战场上。流风军团从森林和丛林中现身,以严整的战斗阵容向前推进。走在前面的是展开阵势的三十一个轻骑兵联队,那是流风家的菁华,大多是流风家最强悍最有经验的老兵组成,骑兵们以密集的队列缓步推进,神色森严,身子随着战马的前进而有节奏地微微晃动着。紧跟着骑兵阵的是步兵军团,黑压压的步兵队列犹如森林般一眼望不到尽头,后队还在源源不断地涌出。各联队队长身披华丽的甲盔,举着旗帜在前方为本队向导。传令兵快马奔驰于各队之间,一身红色的斗篷在身后细细飞舞,就象快速掠过天际的流星尾巴,响亮的命令声响彻各阵:“压稳阵脚,保持队列!”“保持速度!”“前队~缓步~!”军阵威严如山,浩荡似海。与流风霜军团一同出现的,还有明辉所部的紫川家西北军。他比流风霜早抵达战场两个钟头,凌步虚发现的小点就是他的兵马。昨天黄昏时候,西北联军强渡了泛着薄冰的瓦涅河,进军巴丹战场,昼夜行军八十里,于清晨九点抵达战场侧后的森林。就在魔神皇与人类谈判时,明辉已在那整顿好了兵马。但作为前锋,他的兵力太弱,不敢单独进入战场,只能催促流风霜一同进兵,流风霜的回答是:“兵马在休整。”直到下午三点,在森林中按兵不动观战的流风家将领们得到流风霜的明确指示:“是时候了,得给斯特林喘口气了!”不到半个小时内,十字军前营指挥使蒙那少将、国防二十八军军长萧元中将、国防二十七军长费加中将、十字军中营指挥使英木兰少将纷纷把部队从森林中拉出来,在魔族军的后方大摇大摆地展开队列。此次来援的西北联军包括了流风霜军团和紫川家西北军团的主力,兵马多达二十五万之众。流风家军阵浩荡,步骑统统赤红,整个军阵俨如红色的海洋,从森林中不断地流淌出来。“流风军到了!流风军到了!”红色的军队抵达,给巴丹战场带来了最大的震荡,不亚于一场八级地震。战局陡然发生变化。听闻流风军出现,魔神皇失手把杯子掉到了地上。望着地平线上源源涌出的军队,望着那山一般闪亮的刀枪剑阵,那飘扬在空中的一面又一面红色霜字旗,他被一种沉重的、极为可怕的预感压得喘不过气来。足足有十分钟时间,魔神皇一句话也说不出来,幕僚们紧闭着口,指挥帐笼罩在一片压抑、沉重的静寂中。“王国完了。”这是所有人心中没出口的一句话。魔神皇与斯特林拉锯了一天一夜没分出胜负的战局,却在流风霜抵达后迅速急转直下。首先与流风军接触的是留驻后方大营的魔族十六军团,稍一接阵,十六军团就如沙子组成的堡垒一般迅速崩溃、瓦解。大势已明,叛军士兵并没有为异族政权殉葬的意思,而且比起原来背叛过的紫川家,向流风家投诚看起来似乎是他们最好的出路了。蒙那将军率领的一个轻骑大队刚刚抵达,叛军们纷纷抛下武器,大部分人就地跪倒投降了,小部分军官和头目则骑马逃跑了。军心士气如此低落,马维连稍微维持一下的努力都没有做,他直截了当地骑上马往魔王坡逃。为了阻挡流风军的前进,魔族并不是没做任何努力。凌步虚紧急从东南军作战的阵线重抽调了五个团回头设防,但就连他本人都对这次阻击不抱任何信心。流风霜出击的时机选择得太好了,魔族军无论是士气还是体力都堕落到了最低点,仓促组成的防线挡不住流风霜宽广的进击面,对于凌步虚部下那些疲惫不堪的魔族步兵,蒙那根本无视,庞大的骑兵队绕开了那道仓促组建的防线,从战线右翼划了一个大弧线,最后猛然冲进了裴玛的军中。本来就被文河打得支撑不住的裴玛军团腹背受敌,终于彻底垮了下来。在迅若雷霆的流风家骑兵前,魔族兵惊叫着四处逃散,土崩瓦解。紧接着,汹涌的骑兵潮水般向云浅雪军团涌来,同时,眼见援军抵达而士气大振的东南军再次发动了进攻。下午五点钟时,蒙那所率领的骑兵部队已在击溃裴玛军团后与文河所部会师了,断绝魔族军向右翼逃窜的可能。魔族军接连不断地遭到来自四面八方的打击,他们连喘口气的时间都没有。东南军的铁甲骑兵冲阵、流风霜的赤色轻骑如一阵暴风般卷过,飞箭、长枪、砍刀、马刀、半兽人的狼牙棒,砍得魔族粉身碎骨,尸积如山。魔族十一军阵地一片慌乱。塞内亚兵骁勇,但毕竟还是想活命。谁都知道,大势已去。到处都是脸色惨白的魔族兵惊惶地四处张望,企图为自己寻得一条逃生的道路。很多魔族军官都在慌乱地脱掉自己的厚实的军官铠甲和别着彩色羽毛的军帽,匆忙从死人堆里拣那些染血的普通士兵制服给自己穿上,这样逃命时候方便点。流风霜军团在战场上出现后,卡兰皇子第一时间就扑到了云浅雪跟前,一个劲地催促他撤兵。“再不走就来不及了!快跑吧,流风霜要断我们后路了!”“殿下,您是真不懂还是装不懂?没有命令敢撤兵,你再得宠,陛下也要砍我们头的!”卡兰怒吼道:“云,你没长眼睛吗?现在还说什么陛下!王国完蛋了,父皇完蛋了!再不走,流风霜和斯特林就要把我们抓了扒皮!你没看吗,马维的十六军垮了,裴玛的十一军也垮了,他溜了!”“什么!”听闻裴玛逃跑的消息,犹如一个晴天霹雳打在云浅雪头上,他耳朵嗡嗡作响,以同样的声量回吼卡兰:“殿下,这不可能!我知道裴玛,他不可能这样做!”“云,你睁大眼睛自己看!除了羽林军,现在还有哪支部队在抵抗!你派人去十一军的阵地看看,看看还有没有人在守!”云浅雪不敢相信,不敢相信自己的好友,那个豪迈、勇敢的贵族将领裴玛会逃跑。但他不知道,在平常时候,人往往能表现出人性中较好的一面,他会显得优雅、大方,游刃有余。但在危急时刻,当恐惧和压力大到他不能承受的地步时,人就露出他的怯弱和弱点来。裴玛也是如此,昼夜不眠不休的战斗压垮了他的意志和判断力。当流风霜的骑兵朝着他指挥部冲来时,被这支生力部队的声威所慑,裴玛失去了理智,不顾所有幕僚和亲卫的阻拦,他几乎是抢过一匹战马,自个逃出了指挥部。得知主帅临阵溃逃,本来就疲惫不堪士气低落的十一军被流风霜一击击溃。不必派人去查探了,出帐篷就可以看见了,溃败的十一军士卒逃得满山遍野,黑压压的一片朝这边涌来。云浅雪铁青着脸下令羽林军对逃过来的十一军士卒放箭,命令他们重新走上战场。于是可怜的溃兵被羽林军的刀枪和流风霜的铁骑夹在中间,进退不能,跑去又跑来,惊慌失措,被大片大片地砍杀,哭号惨叫声震天,溃兵们已经兴不起反抗的念头了,遇刀刀下死,碰剑剑底亡,那种狼狈和凄凉,完全不似曾纵横大陆、征服过半个紫川家和整个远东的无敌劲旅。看到十一军溃败的凄惨情形,卡兰脸都白了,他更加起劲地催促云浅雪快快撤退,不然就真的来不及了。但云浅雪却还在迟疑,王国还存有最后的希望,十五军团没有参加会战,近二十多万魔族官兵还留驻达克城。虽然目前局势极端不妙,但若十五军能及时赶到的话,必能对战局产生极大的变动,王国还是有希望的。但下午六点钟左右,一队兵马自西奔来,宣告了魔族军最后希望的破灭。他们带来消息,遭到帝都军的围攻两日后,慑于帝林的可怕威名,经七个小部族长协商,十五军军团长雷豹公爵决定向人类的帝都军团投降。但雷豹公爵还是留了点情面的,他没有把十五军中塞内亚族的监军使送给人类宰刀,而是在投降前把他们全部礼送出城,放他们回去向魔神皇报信。“皇子殿下,羽林将军,帝林大军得城后并没有据守,而是挥师直扑巴丹而来!帝林兵力雄厚,其军中有可怕的强弓劲弩,其射程超过一般弓箭的两倍,更能连发,威力十分可怕!必须及早通知陛下,早做提防!”被雷豹放回来的监军使见到云浅雪就象见到亲人一般激动,一口气说了下去,却没注意到卡兰皇子和羽林将军阴郁的脸色。云浅雪缓缓点头:“知道了。陛下就在左翼,离这里大概有三里路。我派人给你带路。”监军使感谢地下去了,云浅雪和卡兰对视一眼,都看到了对方眼中的恐惧。“没有援军会来。”“帝林也正在朝这边赶来。”“阿云,”卡兰的神色少见地严肃:“这次是当真的了。我清楚父皇的性格,这次败得这么凄惨,他绝不可能下令撤退的。我们只有两条路,要么陪父皇一起殉葬,要么就得逃命了。”“毋宁死,不能逃。”云浅雪说得斩钉截铁:“殿下,我是统军大将,我对阵地负有责任,而您不是。殿下,我安排人马,送你从东南方出去。我留下来陪陛下战斗到最后!”“云,你根本不明白!”卡兰暴躁地说:“我自个逃出去,那丝毫不难!但丢下父皇自己逃生,回到王国我也难逃一死,卡顿不会放过我的!他随便安排个罪名都能把我给搞死。但带着羽林军回去,有这支强军保护我,卡顿就对我无可奈何了!”“说什么都不可以!羽林军一撤,王国大军就全面崩溃了!”“王国输定了,即使羽林军死守到最后也改变不了败局的!”“起码,”云浅雪忧郁地说:“敌人不是从我的阵地上突破的。即使死,九泉之下见到陛下,我问心无愧。陛下对我恩重如山,将我提拔为亲军长官,又将唯一爱女许配给我,这是最后关键时候,我不能离陛下而去。皇子殿下,您的命令,我一向言听计从,但这次,恕末将不能从命了。若要离开就请抓紧,我会为您准备好快马和卫队。”卡兰皇子脸色变幻,沉默良久,他用一种古怪的声调说:“云,你的心意我明白了。既然如此,那我就陪你坚持到最后吧。”不明白卡兰皇子为何突然改变了心意,但云浅雪还是很高兴:“谢谢,殿下!我们一同到前线去,会合凌步虚大人,大家一起商量,看看还有些什么法子。”“嗯,你带路吧。”云浅雪转身,正要跨步出帐篷,突然背后风声响动,他还没来得及转身,只听到“砰”一声闷响。云浅雪艰难地转过头来,留在视膜里的最后景象,是卡兰皇子那张惊惶的脸。“殿下,你!”眼前一黑,云浅雪整个人向前扑倒,已昏了过去。云浅雪不知道自己在昏迷中躺了多长时间,他感觉好象并不长,似乎连五分钟都不到。只是身下连续不断的摇晃把他给晃醒了,他醒过来时,首先感到的就是一片寂静,面前有一个熟悉的脸孔,正在关切地望着他。卡兰皇子。看到云浅雪醒来,皇子很露出如释重负的表情:“好啦,终于醒过来了!我还一直担心下手太重,把你打坏了呢!老妹非得找我拼命不可。”云浅雪摸了摸脑袋,脑子依然里是一片嗡嗡作响。他慢慢地坐起身来,发现自己是在一辆马车里面,车子正有节奏地晃动着前进。从马车窗口望出去,可以看到大队的羽林军士兵行进在马车的周围,部队行进在郁郁葱葱的树林之间,残阳在森林上露出了最后的余晖。“现在是什么时候了?”“晚上七点多。你昏过去大概一个钟头吧。”“我们在哪里?”“在马车上。”“废话!我问的是地点!”回避了云浅雪咄咄逼人的目光,卡兰轻声说:“在往塔伦城的道上。”“就我们自个?”“还有羽林军。”“你怎么能调动他们的?”“你晕倒了不能理事,我就接手指挥权。然后我就告诉团队长们,陛下有军令,差遣我们到塔伦城执行紧急任务。”“这个谎撒得太假了!”云浅雪怒吼道:“不可能有人相信的!这分明是临阵逃脱!大家不可能看不出来!”卡兰皇子耸耸肩膀,摊开手:“没有一个团队长反对,大家都很高兴地服从了命令。”“怎么可能!”“你可以自己看,事实摆在眼前,整个羽林军都和我们一起走了。”云浅雪睁大了眼睛,呆呆地望着窗外行进的羽林军兵马,什么也说不出来。卡兰亲热地揽住他肩头:“云,不要再一厢情愿了。没人愿意为父皇殉葬。他疯了,我们没必要把大好的生命陪他一起葬送在这里,不是吗?回国以后,我登基后,你就是我的护国大将军,我俩好好开创一番事业,我绝对不会亏待你的,呵呵!”云浅雪转过头来,冷冷地盯着卡兰,对方那张微笑的英俊脸蛋此刻却显得那么令人憎恶。察觉到他目光中的凶狠,卡兰向后靠了一些:“怎么了?”云浅雪冷冷说:“我很想一拳打塌你的鼻子!”吃惊地跳后一步,卡兰连忙举手虚挡在面前:“别!云,我们是斯文人,你要报复就打屁股好了,别打我的脸。”没有理会他,云浅雪扬声喊道:“停车!”马车停住了,云浅雪推门跳下了马车,双脚踏上坚实的大地,他头脑一阵眩晕。被卡兰暗算那拳的后遗症还没有过去,后脑还隐隐作疼。一队羽林军骑兵经过,云浅雪向带队的百人队长说:“把你的战马给我。”百人队长立即下马,将缰绳交给云浅雪。云浅雪翻身上马,这时,卡兰从马车里探头出来叫道:“云,你要去哪里?”云浅雪冷冷说:“到该去的地方。”一抽马鞭,逆着羽林军队列行进的方向,战马向来路奔跑起来,云浅雪听到身后传来了卡兰皇子的喊声:“云,我在塔伦城等你!我们在那会合,记得过来!”虽然听到了,但云浅雪根本没把皇子的话放在心上,这时他一心一意想的只有战局。他心头藏着极大的恐惧:卡兰皇子突然把羽林军从阵地带走,神族大军是否已崩溃了?云浅雪急马回到战场上时已是晚上八点多了,呈现在他面前的是一片混乱而惊恐的景象。一片喧嚣,烈火烧红了夜幕的天际,纷乱的人群,喧嚷的叫喊,谁都看不清谁了。溃败的兵马不断地从云浅雪身边冲过,云浅雪甚至来不及看清他们的旗帜和服装。正如云浅雪所担心的那样,羽林军的撤退不但在流风军面前敞开了阵地,更沉重地打击了魔族军士气。羽林军历来是护卫皇室的亲卫军团,云浅雪本人也是王国数一数二的大将,知道他们都跑了,沮丧和被背叛的愤怒溢满了心头,很多部队发生了骚乱,血流满面的魔族官兵拒绝作战,他们愤怒地把武器砸在地上,叫道:“大伙都死了吧,还打什么?”有些地方,军官不得不杀掉了动摇得最厉害的一些士兵。连塞内亚族战士,魔神皇最忠诚、最坚定的捍卫者们也开始惊慌失措,那是魔族王国彻底崩溃的一个信号。这是魔族王国的最后关头了,魔族军团在各个方面遭到四面突击。流风霜从背后猛攻叶尔马,紫川秀则正面阻挡了叶尔马,裴玛被击溃,云浅雪被击退,凌步虚在努力支撑,他一个军团竟然要阻挡文河、斯特林和蒙那三路大军的围攻。晚上八点钟时候,魔族军中路已被英木兰突破,萧元占领了魔神皇原来的驻地魔王坡,与斯特林的主力会师,费加则从侧后突破,切断了魔族中军与左翼的联系。这时候,魔族大军已经不复作为一个整体而存在了。魔族各个军团不得不为了自己的生存而与四面八方涌来占绝对优势的人类军团浴血奋战。最艰难的苦战依然是在中路。由于羽林军的突然撤退,凌步虚的各个团队被从缺口处滚滚涌来的斯特林大军给打得支离破碎。作为军团长,凌步虚失去了和他所有团队的联系,血战到最后,他守着一面大旗,身边仅剩不到十名卫兵。文河喊话招降他:“凌步虚将军,投降吧,你和我们人类没有血债,可以活命!”凌步虚回喊道:“狗屎!”七八四年十二月十三日,晚上八时,西南大将凌步虚公爵战死。一个小时后,魔族军团长裴玛公爵被俘。先前,裴玛曾从阵地上逃跑,但当他清醒过来后,他痛哭流涕。一直以来,他都以为自己是个坚强、不怕死的勇士,直到生死关头,他才突然明白,自己原来是个胆小怕死的懦夫,这个打击对他来说实在巨大。他想回到原部队继续指挥,但十一军垮掉了。他想到云浅雪的军中去,但找不到云浅雪的指挥部——他还不知道云浅雪和卡兰已经撤离了。此时,战场上已经乱成一团,人类的各路大军齐头并进,魔族军彻底崩溃,溃逃的官兵纷乱如潮,人嚷马嘶,谁都顾不上谁了。这个失去了自己军队的将军徘徊在这片混乱中,逆着人潮前进,失魂落魄。到后来,他遇到了一群十一军的溃兵,命令他们跟着他走,他们据守在一个小山冈上顽抗。一队流风家骑兵从这边路过,只放了一通箭,于是溃兵们一哄而散,只剩裴玛一个人。此时,裴玛已不再是为什么希望和胜利而战,他纯粹是求死。他举着长剑疯狂地大叫:“我是王国公爵,我是军团长!来啊,来啊!杀了我,给我光荣一死!”可是流风家的骑兵只当他是疯子,风一般地从他身边掠过。魔族军大溃,追击正是时候,流风家军功赏赐最为丰厚,谁也不想为了个疯子耽误了杀敌立功。接着开过来的是斯特林麾下的各个步兵团队,人类步兵却以为这个外貌与人类一般无二的魔族皇族是人类——魔族要不战死,要不逃跑了,怎么可能还留在这大喊大叫呢?——就在这种惯性思维的作用下,他们也避开了这个大叫大喊的疯子。裴玛又舞又叫,直到嗓子沙哑,再也发不出声来。他放声大哭,泪如雨下,却没能发出哭声。人类军队一队队潮水般从他身边涌过,却没人停下来给他一剑。直到斯特林统领骑着马从这边经过,看到那边有个手舞足蹈的人,问:“这人是哪个部队的?他是疯子吗?”警卫们上前查看,直到这时,人们才察觉到裴玛的身上的服饰与人类截然不同,注意到他帽子上凌乱的金黄色的羽毛。一片惊呼声:“他是塞内亚皇族!是魔族的贵族!”斯特林策马近前,用魔族语喝道:“我是东南军统领斯特林!你是谁?”听到斯特林的名字,就如被一盆冷水迎头浇下,裴玛从疯狂的状况中清醒过来。他眯起眼睛,打量着眼前这个一手扼杀了魔族希望的人类。用沙哑得几乎不似人声的声音,他咬牙切齿地回答:“王国十一军军长,裴玛!斯特林,决斗吧!你我只有一个能活下来!”他挥着长剑就向斯特林扑来,势若颠虎。对这个败将的举动,斯特林只是报以怜悯的目光。没等裴玛扑出两步,斯特林的卫士一拥而上,毫不费力地将裴玛手中长剑打飞,将他按倒在地上。“你这败将,还想跟我们大人决斗?你不是做梦吧?!”卫士们发出欢快的笑声,象打一条狗一般毫不怜悯地用枪杆将裴玛痛打。裴玛被打得发出阵阵惨叫,脸上青筋毕露。听着那惨叫,斯特林默默地想,胜负真是只有一线之差。若及时赶到的不是流风霜而卡顿的话,那现在象条野狗般被按在地上痛打的人该是自己而不是裴玛了吧?第266章帝国的黄昏人类欢歌。




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