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Chapter 288: Food Problem, Solved so Easily?
Princess Ziyue invited Lin Beifan into her private chamber. After the maidservant had poured tea and lit incense for them, she quietly exited the room. Alone in the same room, a man and a woman, with the woman having a previous record, Lin Beifan couldn’t help but shiver.
“Strategist, are you cold?” Princess Ziyue asked with concern.
Lin Beifan shook his head, “Not cold.”
“Not cold? Then why are you trembling?” Princess Ziyue retorted irritably.
“It’s mostly fear,” Lin Beifan admitted.
“Fear?” Princess Ziyue was puzzled.
“Mainly, I’m afraid of you. I’m afraid you won’t be able to resist pouncing on me and taking advantage,” Lin Beifan curled up, “My mother once told me that boys are a vulnerable group and that when they’re outside, they must protect themselves.”
“….” Princess Ziyue was at a loss for words.
Lin Beifan trembled even more, “Princess, please don’t look at me like that, can you? I’m scared!”
Princess Ziyue’s mouth twitched, “Strategist, rest assured, I won’t do anything reckless.”
“Really?” Lin Beifan’s face lit up with hope.
“Really!” Princess Ziyue said very seriously, “Even if I do something, you won’t be able to stop it! Hehe…”
Lin Beifan became angry, “Even if you have my body, you won’t have my heart!”
Princess Ziyue laughed, “Strategist, if I have your body, is your heart far behind? When I bear your child, I don’t believe you’ll remain indifferent!”
Lin Beifan trembled with rage, “How can you say that? The child is innocent. If you have any issues, take them up with me!”
Princess Ziyue laughed so much that she leaned forward and backward, “Strategist, chatting with you is so much fun! Hehe…”
The Empress, who was eavesdropping in the attic, felt a bit annoyed. Somehow, seeing them bantering and flirting made a sour feeling rise within her.
Displeased, she muttered, “Hmph! Shameless couple!”
Beside her, Bai Guanyin smiled, finding the scene quite amusing.
Back in the chamber, Princess Ziyue finally stopped laughing, “Alright, Strategist, enough with the jokes. Let’s talk about serious matters.”
“Please, Princess, go ahead. I’m all ears!”
Next, Princess Ziyue and Lin Beifan reported on the situation in Wuxi.
Over the past few months, relying on Lin Beifan’s revolutionary theories and the three major tactics, they had developed rapidly in the land of Wuxi. Their progress was unstoppable, best described as an irresistible force.”
“Although the Wuxi forces are formidable, thanks to the Strategist’s strategies, we’ve been smoothly advancing in our battles! Originally, we had a regular army of over 100,000 soldiers, but now it has grown to nearly 200,000!”
“Our reserve forces have developed even more vigorously, with numbers exceeding a million. Almost every village has our people, even various camps within the Wuxi forces!”
“It’s with this foundation that we’re growing stronger as we fight, while the Wuxi Duke’s strength is diminishing. So far, they’ve lost nearly 100,000 soldiers!”
“Take, for example, the Battle of Sha Village, where we annihilated 3,000 enemies! In the Battle of Daliang Village, we took down over 6,000 enemies…”
Princess Ziyue spoke eloquently, becoming more animated as she continued. Lin Beifan chimed in at the right moment, “Princess, you’re truly impressive!”
“Thank you for your praise, Strategist!” A charming smile curved on Princess Ziyue’s lips, her heart swelling with pride.
Receiving compliments from others might not mean much, but being praised by Lin Beifan made her immensely happy. After all, Lin Beifan was the brilliant strategist behind the Wuxi tactics, a top-tier talent without equal in the world. His approval carried more weight than a thousand words from others.
“However, we’ve encountered a couple of issues now.”
Princess Ziyue said seriously, “Due to the Wuxi Duke’s multiple defeats and losses, along with a shortage of supplies, especially food, their development is facing difficulties. So, they’ve secretly contacted the Dayue Dynasty, hoping they could provide them with provisions and weapons.”
Lin Beifan nodded, “That’s inevitable! The Wuxi Duke’s supply lines have been severed by the court. He can only rely on self-sufficiency to develop, but your emergence has left him with no choice but to seek support from the Dayue Dynasty. However, this shouldn’t pose a challenge for you, Princess.”
“It certainly won’t! The arrival of the Dayue Dynasty is even better. Old grudges and new hatreds will be settled together!” Princess Ziyue said confidently, her voice tinged with bitterness.
Now, she was no longer a defeated force. Holding her ground with an army of 200,000 soldiers gave her confidence.
“However, the main issue we’re facing is something I’m not sure how to solve, which is why I’ve come to consult you, Strategist.”
“What’s the second issue?”
“Strategist, our development in recent months has been incredibly rapid, evolving every day! But, precisely because we’ve grown so fast, our food supply is falling short.”
Princess Ziyue said with a mix of pain and joy, “Having more people has its advantages, but it also comes with disadvantages, like an exceptionally high demand for food. When we had around 100,000 people, we could rely on farming, raiding the Wuxi army’s supplies, or purchasing provisions from outside to barely manage.”
“But now, there are simply too many of us. Feeding everyone has become an enormous burden. Sometimes, food isn’t something you can buy with money. Even if we could buy it, transporting food into Wuxi is a big challenge…”
Princess Ziyue concluded, “So, in order to keep growing, we must resolve this food supply issue.”
Lin Beifan nodded, “Exactly! In any war, logistics become the ultimate challenge. Whoever has abundant food and ample weapons has a greater chance of victory.”
The Empress upstairs couldn’t help but nod. In the end, wars were decided by logistics. The more food and better weapons one had, the greater their chances of winning. Without food, you couldn’t even engage in battle, you’d starve along the way.
For the remnants of the former Slanted Moon faction to truly develop, they had to tackle this issue as well. The Empress’s mind started to churn. The Great Wu Dynasty currently had sufficient food supplies. Should they secretly support the Slanted Moon faction a little, and let them teach the Wuxi Duke a lesson?
In the attic, Princess Ziyue’s beautiful eyes turned towards Lin Beifan, speaking earnestly, “I’ve really hit a wall here, that’s why I’ve come seeking your advice, Strategist.”
The Empress couldn’t help but shake her head and smile. How can this problem be solved? Food is either there or it’s not. There’s no clever trick to it. Even if you’re the smartest person, you can’t solve this problem.
As expected, Lin Beifan sighed, “Princess, this is quite challenging for me. You know, the food issue has always been a global problem. If I could solve it, I might have become a sage among humans by now!”
“Strategist, here’s 2 million taels. Please, I implore you!” Princess Ziyue took out a stack of silver bills and pushed them toward Lin Beifan.
Lin Beifan continued to shake his head, “Princess, you’re really putting me in a difficult spot. I truly have no power to solve this.”
Princess Ziyue took out another 1 million taels, “Strategist, please accept this!”
Lin Beifan’s expression turned even more bitter, “Princess, it’s not that I don’t want to help you. If I could help, I would have done it already. Unless…”
Princess Ziyue’s eyes brightened, “Unless what?”
“Unless you pay more.”
“Damn it!” Princess Ziyue exclaimed.
“Damn it!” The Empress echoed.
At this moment, both women truly wanted to grab Lin Beifan’s head and kick it like a ball.
Princess Ziyue took out 2 million taels and pushed them toward Lin Beifan, saying with resentment, “Strategist, is this enough? I don’t have any more than this. This is all I brought! If you still won’t agree, I’ll have to resort to extreme measures. They’re very crude and violent. I hope you won’t regret it!”
Under Princess Ziyue’s threat, Lin Beifan reluctantly accepted 5 million taels with tears in his eyes.
“Princess, actually solving the food problem isn’t that difficult.”
Princess Ziyue’s eyes brightened, “Strategist, what’s your solution? Please, tell us quickly!”
Lin Beifan smiled, “If you can’t have grain, why not have meat?”
“Strategist, what kind of solution is that? If we could eat meat, we would have done it already!” Princess Ziyue said irritably, almost quoting the classic line “Why not eat meat?”
“Princess, you’ve misunderstood me.”
Lin Beifan shook his head and chuckled, “What I mean is, to the west, you have the Qinglong Mountain Range, and to the east, you have the Fenghuang Mountain Range. These mountainous and forested areas are full of animals and beasts. Why not venture in and catch some for food?”
Princess Ziyue shook her head, “Strategist, we’ve considered this approach as well, but capturing wild beasts is time-consuming and requires a lot of energy. We’re busy with battles and don’t have the time or energy for such activities.”
“Moreover, capturing wild beasts is dangerous! Even ordinary beasts can’t be easily caught by a few strong men, and there’s a risk of injuries or deaths. It’s not worth the danger just for a meal.”
“Actually, the main issue is that there aren’t many beasts in these two mountain ranges; we can describe them as scarce. With our large numbers, there simply wouldn’t be enough to feed everyone. To catch more beasts, we’d have to go deep into the mountains, which is not feasible for us.”
Lin Beifan smiled, “Princess, your reasoning is sound! The beasts in these two mountain ranges are indeed difficult to catch, and they’re not plentiful. So, my solution is: why not introduce rabbits from Southern Jiang into these two mountain ranges?”
Princess Ziyue was stunned, “Introduce rabbits into the mountain ranges?”
What kind of idea was this?
She couldn’t quite comprehend it!
Not to mention her, even the two women on the attic couldn’t understand it!
“Princess, you might not be familiar with rabbits as animals.”
Lin Beifan smiled, “Rabbits are edible animals, their meat is delicious, they have strong survival abilities, and their reproductive capabilities are astounding. They can grow in a matter of months and start breeding. A litter can have seven or eight. They can breed every month, the output is astonishing!”
“The Qinglong Mountain Range and Fenghuang Mountain Range don’t have large predators, meaning rabbits would have no natural enemies. As a result, their reproduction rate would be even more astonishing! In less than half a year, you could have a sufficient number of rabbits to feed your entire army!”
“Moreover, capturing rabbits is much easier than capturing wild beasts! With some skilled warriors, catching rabbits is a breeze, and each catch could yield a litter. You can even set up traps and wait for them to come to you.”
“This way, wouldn’t the food problem be solved?” Lin Beifan concluded with a smile.
Princess Ziyue was astonished!
The Empress was astonished!
Bai Guanyin was astonished!
The food problem they had been worrying about, was it really that simple to solve?