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Chapter 361: The Sharpest Dagger Often Comes from Within!
“How did the Great Wu gather so many people? Didn’t we hear there were only 100,000?”
“Look at the armor! The regular troops are only 100,000; the rest are our Darro forces!”
“They joined the Great Wu and came to fight with the Great Wu army.”
“Aren’t we doomed here?”
“If only we had escaped earlier, what regrets!”
Though the city had over 500,000 soldiers, similar to the force Lin Beifan brought, the difference was evident. The troops led by Lin Beifan appeared vigorous, spirited, and full of conviction, while those in the city looked fearful, uncertain, and trembling, devoid of fighting spirit.
It was clear who was strong and who was weak. How could they win the battle? Prince Hamu looked at the trembling Darro soldiers, his face darkened with anger.
Before the battle even began, they were already frightened. How could they charge forward and resist the enemy later? Prince Hamu cursed the weak-hearted soldiers in his heart and felt extremely frustrated.
Among the 500,000 soldiers, only 200,000 were regular troops. The other 300,000 were hastily recruited conscripts who had received little training and had never been in battle. It was natural for them to be afraid of the Great Wu army.
So, they needed to boost morale!
Prince Hamu exclaimed loudly, “Soldiers, don’t be afraid! Although the enemy has a large number, they’re just a paper tiger, all show and no substance. With our weapons raised, there’s no undefeated foe in the world. We, the people of Darro, will triumph!”
At this moment, mocking laughter echoed from the Great Wu army.
“Prince Hamu, aren’t you feeling guilty as you speak?”
“Who is the real paper tiger after all?”
“Look at your soldiers, their legs are trembling in fear. It’s hilarious!”
“Tell your lies with open eyes. I’m willing to proclaim you as the strongest!”
Following the direction of the voices, Prince Hamu looked over, his anger surging through his veins.
Because the ones mocking him were the former Darro commanders—Moro, Qingfeng, Nihan…
They had all donned the Great Wu’s golden armor, embraced the Great Wu’s cause, and were now mocking him mercilessly.
Prince Hamu angrily retorted, “Shut up! You ungrateful traitors collaborating with the enemy, selling out our country—do you have the right to mock me? You surrendered without a fight and betrayed our land. You even cheered for the Great Wu. Our Darro doesn’t have such treacherous souls as yours!”
The defectors sneered, their faces full of disdain.
“What nonsense are you spouting? Weren’t you the first to break your promises, betraying loyalty and ethics, tearing up the alliance between our nations, stirring trouble with the Great Wu, causing our people to suffer in dire straits?”
“Now that the nobles have fled, no one is left to fight. You’re using our lives as a buffer!”
“You’re just trying to get us killed while dragging the entire city down with you!”
“You’re the real treacherous ones!!!”
“Nonsense!” Prince Hamu exploded in anger.
At this moment, Lin Beifan appeared with a cheerful smile. “Prince Hamu, as the saying goes, ‘Many roads lead to success, but few lead to righteousness.’ It’s because you acted without regard for ethics, without concern for the lives of the people, driven by personal gain, that you find yourself in this situation! It’s all your own doing, and you have no one to blame but yourself!”
“As for my generals here, they all understand righteousness and have the well-being of the people at heart. They’ve seen through your true nature, which is why they abandoned evil for good and joined the embrace of the Great Wu!”
“They are all fighting for the common people, for Darro, and for justice. They are all loyal and righteous individuals. The troops they lead are the forces of justice!” His voice resonated powerfully throughout the scene.
Having received Lin Beifan’s praise, the surrendered generals lifted their heads high, their spirits soaring.
Surrendered soldiers of Darro raised their chests, their fighting spirit surging.
“Lin Beifan!” Prince Hamu glared at Lin Beifan with gritted teeth.
It was this scoundrel who had deceived them back then, causing them to lose hundreds of thousands of taels of money and fall into a deep pit. And now, he dared to lead a massive army to attack! Shameless!
At this moment, Moro reported loudly, “Your Excellency, it’s getting late. Why don’t we charge into the city now and capture Prince Hamu and all members of the royal court to hold them accountable?” A general raised his sword and roared, “Charge!”
“Charge! Charge! Charge!”
The 600,000 soldiers shouted in unison, the sound shaking the entire city. Soldiers and commoners alike in the city took three steps back, their hearts trembling in fear.
Prince Hamu saw that this wouldn’t do!
He quickly shouted, “Wait!”
With a grin, Lin Beifan said, “Prince Hamu, do you have anything else to say?”
Prince Hamu didn’t look at Lin Beifan, but at the surrendered Darro generals. He said loudly, “Gentlemen, it’s certain that our royal family has done something disappointing, which led to your surrender to the Great Wu. I apologize to all of you on behalf of our royal family!”
Saying so, he bowed deeply.
The surrendered generals were a bit confused, not understanding what Prince Hamu was up to—was he playing the sympathy card?
Prince Hamu continued, “Although you’ve surrendered to the Great Wu, I don’t blame you. Blame myself, blame our royal family for not doing well enough. But as the saying goes, don’t criticize your own family. Remember, Darro is your eternal country, here is your eternal home, your roots!”
“Even though you’ve surrendered to the Great Wu, you’re still outsiders, unable to truly assimilate into the Great Wu. The same opportunities for promotion will certainly not come your way. The same opportunities to make money will first go to their own people. You will always be outsiders!”
“Moreover, don’t be fooled by Lin Beifan’s promises. Will he actually fulfill them in the end? No one knows! This guy is sweet-tongued but two-faced. He’s incredibly cunning, concealing his emotions, so beware of falling for his trap!”
The surrendered generals’ expressions gradually turned grim. Prince Hamu had touched on their concerns.
With a grin, Lin Beifan asked, “Prince Hamu, what do you really want to say?”
“My intention is for all of you to return!”
Prince Hamu declared loudly, “As long as you return, I won’t hold your past actions against you. Look around, our combined forces now number over a million—over ten times the size of the Great Wu army. Our odds of victory are high!”
“As long as we win this battle, you’ll become heroes of Darro, with promotions and honors just around the corner. You’ll have everything you desire, living the life you want, better than begging like dogs under Great Wu’s rule.”
One has to admit, Prince Hamu’s rhetoric was quite effective!
After hearing Prince Hamu’s words, the surrendered generals started to have some thoughts.
The surrendered soldiers of Darro were stirred with emotion. Prince Hamu was pleased with their reaction and was about to continue speaking.
However, Lin Beifan burst into laughter and said, “Prince Hamu, you’re quite amusing! At this point, you still want to sow discord? Do you think they’re foolish enough to believe your words?”
“Hmph! Isn’t what I’m saying correct?” Prince Hamu retorted angrily.
Lin Beifan remained composed and said, “Prince Hamu, you’re being delusional! I have 20 Innate experts and even a Grandmaster here. How are you going to contend with me? Do you think sheer numbers will suffice to challenge me?”
“Leaving aside the question of whether you’ll succeed or not, even if you do succeed, what will happen to Darro?”
“Hmph! It will remain the same!” Lin Beifan exclaimed loudly. “Everyone will still be hungry, without clothes to wear or homes to live in. Nothing will change! And after experiencing a great war, your supplies will be cut off by us again, making life even harder!”
Everyone was deeply moved by his words.
Because Lin Beifan was absolutely right! If they managed to drive back the Great Wu’s army and win this battle, what would change?
It would only make their lives even more difficult! Without food, clothes, or shelter—nothing at all!
If they were already suffering so much, why even fight? Just to return to the hardships of the past?
That effort would be in vain!
Prince Hamu urgently stated, “Listen to me, Lin Beifan is talking nonsense! After winning this battle, I will definitely treat you well!”
Lin Beifan laughed again, “Treat you well? What a joke! When our army hadn’t arrived, you were already in such a miserable state! Do you think things will magically get better after we leave?”
“Don’t be naive. Gentlemen, they will be even more ruthless towards you! Because they fear that you might rebel again, that you could shake their rule. They will undoubtedly resort to bloody suppression!”
“The ones who stab the deepest are often your own people! They know exactly where it hurts the most, where it’s most fatal!”
The surrendered Darro soldiers, who had been wavering, became resolute after hearing Lin Beifan’s words. The Prime Minister’s words were right; the Darro royal family could never treat them well.
Because they were afraid that they might rebel again!
And stabbing hurts more when it’s done by one’s own!
Because they knew our pain so well!
Lin Beifan continued, “And all you generals, don’t overthink it either! After submitting again to them, do you really think you’ll rise to high positions and live the lives you desire? No, it’s impossible!”
“Because those fleeing nobles will come back and continue to enjoy everything they had before. Where would that leave positions for you? Darro is so vast, but there are limited positions, not enough to go around!”
When the surrendered generals heard this, they found it quite reasonable.
The reason they had achieved their positions was that the nobles had fled, which had given them the opportunity.
When those nobles returned, where would there be a place for them?
They would inevitably become thorns in the side of the nobles, facing exclusion and suppression, living worse than before.
Given that, it was better to stick with the Prime Minister to the end!
Prince Hamu urgently stated, “Don’t listen to Lin Beifan’s nonsense. I will definitely give you the benefits you deserve! As for those fleeing nobles, they can stay wherever they want. I won’t tolerate them!”
Lin Beifan burst into laughter once more, “Prince Hamu, you’re joking again. Do you even have the ability to do that? Back then, they said they were leaving, and they left without hesitation. How many of them did you actually punish?”
Lin Beifan playfully winked, “How about you call them back now? Let’s see if they’ll pay attention to you.”
“You!” Prince Hamu was exasperated.
The surrendered generals became even more steadfast in following Lin Beifan!
With a triumphant smile, Lin Beifan said, “So, Prince Hamu, you’re truly powerless! Since you can’t deliver, don’t make empty promises and embarrass yourself!”
“Lin Beifan!!!” Prince Hamu ground his teeth in anger. His eyes turned red, emitting intense killing intent that seemed to pierce through the sky!