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Chapter 290

Chapter 290: Exchanging Dragon Bones for Food?

After returning, Princess Ziyue immediately gave orders to her subordinates.

“Go to the Southern Jiang region and buy as many rabbits as you can find! Once you’ve purchased them, transport them to Wuxi. Release them into the Qinglong Mountain Range and the Fenghuang Mountain Range to let them multiply on their own!”

Her subordinates were puzzled, “Ah? Princess, why do we need to buy rabbits?”

“This is the strategist’s suggestion. This way, we can solve the food shortage problem for our Slanted Moon Army! It’s a bit complicated to explain; don’t ask too much. Just follow the orders. Oh, and…”

“Yes, Your Highness!”

“In addition to rabbits, send people to the Jiangdong region to purchase bamboo rats. Transport them to the two mountain ranges as well.”

“Yes, Your Highness!”

“And carps, tilapias, and other fish fry. Buy as many as possible and then transport them to the lakes in the mountain ranges. Do you understand?”

After issuing a series of instructions, Princess Ziyue felt much more at ease.

“Hopefully, this plan works as the strategist anticipated! Once our Slanted Moon Army is free from food concerns, we can go all out. The Duke of Wuxi and the Dayue Dynasty won’t be our opponents!”

After the Empress returned, even though she was displeased with Princess Ziyue’s involvement with her beloved courtier, she secretly issued a few orders to assist in the empire’s cause, deal with the Duke of Wuxi, and handle the Dayue Dynasty on the other side of the Qinglong Mountain Range.

“Hope these small creatures really prove useful. We shall wait and see!”

Under the efforts of the two most powerful women in the world, progress proceeded smoothly.

At this time, in the territory of Wuxi, within the royal palace…

Duke of Wuxi was in a bad mood, spending his days in gloom. It was all due to the sudden appearance of those rebels.

Over four months ago, these rebels suddenly emerged and targeted the Wuxi Army. Their movements were swift, and they excelled at evasion and concealment. Moreover, their tactics were incredibly cunning. They always managed to avoid his strong forces and targeted the weak ones. After each attack, they would quickly retreat, leaving no trace.

Over these four months, he had lost more than 100,000 soldiers and horses. The losses were significant. In contrast, the enemy’s strength seemed to have expanded considerably. They grew stronger with each battle, while his own forces weakened, driving him to the brink of madness.

“Damn these rat soldiers!”

He had tried many methods, but none seemed to work.

Recalling the past, just a year ago, he had a million-strong army and ruled the land of Wuxi. He was full of confidence and ambition.

However, the tides of fate had turned against him. Encountering various dangers, his soldiers dwindled, leaving him with only slightly over 600,000 now.

Compared to a year ago, the difference was like night and day.

He couldn’t comprehend why in just a year’s time, things had turned out this way.

It felt like since last year, there was an elusive force targeting him.

The more he thought about it, the angrier he became. The court hadn’t suffered even a hair’s worth of damage, but he had lost 400,000 troops. He had become the subject of mockery by countless people!

Those two idiotic brothers had probably made fun of him countless times!

At this moment, Feng Chu, the Advisor, hurriedly approached. “Your Highness, an envoy from the Dayue Dynasty has arrived!”

“Good! Quickly invite them!” A trace of delight appeared on the Duke of Wuxi’s face.

After a moment, a middle-aged man dressed splendidly walked in with a dignified air, slightly bowing as a gesture of respect. “Greetings to Your Highness, the Duke of Wuxi. May you live a thousand years!”

“Lord Liu, we are old acquaintances. There’s no need for such formality! Haha!” The Duke of Wuxi welcomed him with a hearty laugh.

“Your Highness of Wuxi, some courtesy should still be observed,” said Lord Liu, the envoy, politely after exchanging pleasantries.

Without wasting time, he got straight to the point. “I wonder if the Dayue Dynasty can continue to provide food?”

Over these past months of fighting against the rebel army, he not only lost many troops but also had his food supplies raided or destroyed by the enemy. This left him with a severe shortage of food that needed replenishing. The court wouldn’t provide him with supplies, and they had blocked his food transportation routes, so he had no choice but to turn to the Dayue Dynasty for assistance.

The envoy from the Dayue Dynasty said with an expressionless face, “Your Highness of Wuxi, my sovereign is very dissatisfied with you.”

“Last year, we had already agreed that my dynasty would provide you with food and military resources, and after your autumn harvest, you would immediately march to attack the Grand Wu Dynasty. But later on, because of an unfounded rumor about a Slanted Moon treasure, you broke our agreement. Those who betray trust and principles are unwelcome wherever they go.”

The Duke of Wuxi’s face darkened.

“Moreover, it has been over four months since the beginning of the year, and you haven’t even managed to eliminate a small rebel army. Instead, you let them grow stronger while you continue to suffer losses. To be honest, my sovereign doubts your ability greatly. Cooperating with someone without competence poses enormous risks.”

The Duke of Wuxi’s expression grew even gloomier.

The envoy from the Dayue Dynasty questioned loudly, “Now you come to us, hoping we provide you with food. Your Highness of Wuxi, if you were in our shoes, would you be willing?”

The Duke of Wuxi felt ashamed and furious that his flaws were so ruthlessly exposed by the other party.

If he didn’t need something from them, he would have wanted to kill them on the spot!

Suppressing his inner anger, the Duke of Wuxi said in a deep voice, “Regarding the Slanted Moon treasure incident from a year ago, it’s not that I didn’t want to raise troops, but I had already lost over 300,000 soldiers and horses by then. Our forces were weakened, morale was low, and the weather turned colder. Starting a war at that time would have been a losing proposition. So I chose to rest and recuperate, accumulate strength, and prepare for next year’s battle.”

“Since the beginning of the year, we have indeed encountered this rebel army. It’s not that I didn’t want to deal with them, but they are cunning and elusive like the wind. They are extremely difficult to handle. Anyone facing them would struggle.”

“As long as you supply me with enough food, I can definitely deal with this group of rebels and then launch a campaign.”

The envoy from the Dayue Dynasty waved his hand. “Your Highness of Wuxi, we don’t want to hear your explanations. We only care about results. If you still wish to cooperate, follow our instructions. We have two options for you to choose from.”

The Duke of Wuxi’s expression remained calm. “Please explain.”

The envoy raised one finger. “The first option is that we provide you with ample food, but you must immediately raise your army.”

“That’s impossible. Now is not the right time at all!”

The Duke of Wuxi exclaimed, “Not long ago, the Great Wu court achieved a great victory against the Great Xia Dynasty. Morale is high, and they received food support from Great Xia. They have no worries in the rear. On the other hand, my military strength is not what it used to be, and if I start a war now, the losses would be severe.”

“The second option is that this rebel army hasn’t been dealt with yet. How can you consider starting a war? What if I’m in the frontlines fighting while they sneak into my territory behind and destroy my base?”

“Thus, only the second option remains.”

The envoy from the Dayue Dynasty smiled. “We will still provide you with ample food, but in return, we request that you open the city gates wide and allow our army into Wuxi. This way, with combined strength, we can eliminate the rebel army, advance towards Great Wu, and it won’t be difficult, right?”

The Duke of Wuxi’s complexion changed. This was the equivalent of betrayal, inviting the thief inside! Although he had cooperated with the other party before, he had never agreed to let them enter. This was the bottom line for someone of royal blood.

“If you really do this, there’s no turning back! ‘Regarding this matter, let me consider it! Advisor, accompany me to see Lord Liu!’ Duke Wuxi turned around and left.

“Yes, Your Highness!” Mr. Fengchun bowed.

Shortly after, Mr. Fengchun returned, and Duke Wuxi asked, “Advisor, which of these two options do you think we should choose?”

Mr. Fengchun anxiously replied, “Your Highness, neither option should be chosen! In the first plan, Dayue urges us to raise an army immediately. We have the mighty Wu army in front and the Rat Army behind. We don’t stand a chance at all; defeat is almost certain!”

“In the second plan, if we do that, we would undoubtedly be seen as unjust by the world, and people would despise us! Your Highness, under such circumstances, success is simply impossible. This has been the case throughout history!”

Duke Wuxi sighed, “Have I not known that? But now, what other options do we have? Without food, we will lose, just slowly awaiting death!”

“Your Highness, there’s actually one more option!”

Duke Wuxi’s eyes brightened, “What option? Tell me!”

Mr. Fengchun bowed and said, “Your Highness, you have the Dragon Bone, a priceless treasure of the world, something of immeasurable value! Which royal family wouldn’t desire it? If we exchange it with Dayue for food, they should agree!”

…. .. …….

Duke Wuxi shook his head vigorously, “No, no, the Dragon Bone involves the secret of longevity, an incredibly precious treasure. We absolutely cannot give it away!”

Although he valued food, he valued the Dragon Bone even more. After all, human nature is selfish—soldiers might starve without food, but he would shatter his dream of immortality without the Dragon Bone.

Mr. Fengchun urged, “Your Highness, I understand the importance of the Dragon Bone, but right now, food is even more crucial! Without food, we won’t make it through the autumn harvest; soldiers will starve, and our ambitions will be in vain! If we can’t endure this, we won’t have a chance to rise again. Are you willing to accept that, Your Highness?”

Duke Wuxi’s heart wavered slightly.

“Your Highness, even without the Dragon Bone, we can obtain it again! Think about it, we got the Dragon Bone from Lin Beifan. It’s so precious, do you think he wouldn’t have kept some for himself?”

Mr. Fengchun whispered, “Once we survive this crisis, we can find a way to get it back from him. He’s greedy for money; if we offer him more, I believe he’ll agree!”

Finally, Duke Wuxi’s heart gave way, “Alright! Let’s use the Dragon Bone to exchange for food!”

The emissary from Dayue was shocked when he learned that Duke Wuxi had the Dragon Bone and intended to use it to trade for food: “You actually have the Dragon Bone?”

Duke Wuxi nodded, “Naturally! Would we use this as a deception?”

The emissary asked anxiously, “How much do you have?”

Seeing the other’s eager expression, Duke Wuxi exchanged a glance with his advisor and knew the matter was settled.

A smile appeared on Duke Wuxi’s face, “Probably around two taels (weight)!”

Actually, he had three taels, but just in case, he didn’t reveal everything.

The emissary inquired further, “Where did you obtain it?”

“Lord Liu, this is related to a secret of mine, which I can’t divulge!” Duke Wuxi shook his head. Lin Beifan was their hidden piece within the court, playing a significant role, and his involvement couldn’t be disclosed.

“This matter is of great importance; I cannot decide. It must be reported to His Majesty! However, if you truly possess the Dragon Bone, you should be able to exchange it for some food!” answered the emissary.

“Then we’ll trouble Lord Liu!”


           



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I Am A Corrupt Official, Yet They Say I Am A Loyal Minister!

I Am A Corrupt Official, Yet They Say I Am A Loyal Minister!

我是贪官,她们却说我是忠臣!
Score 7.2
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2021 Native Language: Chinese
In the dangerous world of high martial arts, Lin Beifan traversed and found himself bound to a corrupt official system. It seemed that the only way to become stronger was through corruption – a ridiculous notion, but one that he had to follow nonetheless. He found himself embezzling, accepting bribes, and using his power for personal gain, becoming a despised and hated corrupt official. Yet, secretly, he distributed his ill-gotten gains to the people, leaving nothing for himself. He carried the weight of his bad reputation while still trying to make the world a better place. The empress, who knew the truth, shed tears and said, “My dear, I’m sorry for the injustice done to you. Come to my palace tonight.” The intelligent and beautiful women who knew the truth declared, “No matter how the world sees you, we are willing to stand by your side, through thick and thin!” The martial women of the Jianghu who knew the truth vowed, “If they want to take down Lin, they’ll have to get through us first!” Others were left in shock, “He’s clearly a corrupt official, why are you all protecting him?”

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