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Chapter 398: As long as I’m in charge, no matter how many rioters come, I can handle them!
After receiving the imperial edict, Lin Beifan began to make arrangements.
First, he met with the envoys sent by the White Elephant Kingdom and conveyed the court’s intentions: “After careful consideration, Her Majesty and all the court officials unanimously agree that the Yun Army will help the White Elephant Kingdom suppress the rioters!”
The White Elephant Kingdom envoys were overjoyed: “Prime Minister, is this true?”
“Of course it’s true. Can I deceive you?” Lin Beifan patted his thick sleeves and smiled. “After all, I’ve accepted your benefits. When I take your money, I have to get things done!”
“Yes, yes… Thank you, Prime Minister!” The White Elephant Kingdom envoys bowed. “But there is one request,” Lin Beifan said.
The White Elephant envoys became uneasy: “What request?”
“When you’ve dealt with the unrest in your country, your court must deliver the promised tribute to our court within three months.”
The White Elephant envoys furrowed their brows even more tightly. “Prime Minister, isn’t this a bit too hasty? You must understand that our White Elephant Kingdom has just experienced a severe frost disaster, with significant losses! With ongoing unrest and chaos, we simply don’t have the time to gather enough tribute. Please, Prime Minister, show some leniency!”
“I understand your difficulties, but the Great Wu has also suffered heavy losses from the frost disaster! Therefore, we hope to receive some supplies as soon as possible to alleviate the shortage of resources in our country. This is the only request made by our Emperor, and if you do not agree, we will have no choice but to use force.”
“Well…” The White Elephant envoys hesitated.
“What do you think, Gentlemen?” Lin Beifan grinned and said, “When the rioters are suppressed, they’ll be compliant, won’t they? At that time, it will be easy for you to gather tribute.”
The White Elephant Kingdom envoys were convinced. “That’s true!”
So, they agreed to the Great Wu court’s request and asked the Great Wu court for assistance. Lin Beifan and the White Elephant envoys set out that night, traveling for about a week, finally crossing through the Western Wu region and entering the White Elephant Kingdom.
The ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom personally received Lin Beifan. He was dressed in luxurious armor, walking proudly, and warmly said, “I didn’t expect a small matter from the White Elephant Kingdom to trouble Prime Minister Lin. If I had known that Prime Minister Lin was coming, I should have waited at the border! Please forgive my rudeness.”
At present, Lin Beifan held higher power and status than the ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom. As the Prime Minister and Supreme Commander of the Wu Dynasty, he led the court and the entire military, with power second only to the Empress. He was also known as His Royal Highness the Brave and Loyal King, with unparalleled prestige.
In terms of power and status, he was the second most important figure in the Wu Dynasty, with great authority and weight. When the ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom saw him, he naturally had to be very polite.
Lin Beifan smiled and said, “White Elephant Kingdom’s ruler, there’s no need for such courtesy! Currently, there’s chaos and disorder in the White Elephant Kingdom, and you have your hands full. We understand that. Our Emperor attaches great importance to this matter, so she sent me to resolve it.”
The ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom raised his right hand to his heart, very solemnly. “Thank you, Prime Minister, for your understanding, and thank you, Her Majesty, for her consideration.” Then, he looked behind Lin Beifan and was surprised to see that there were only a few dozen people with him, not even close to a hundred.
He was puzzled. “Prime Minister Lin, where are the troops from the Great Wu?”
Lin Beifan pointed to the people behind him. “Aren’t these them?” The ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom became even more confused. “You came here with only a handful of soldiers from the Great Wu?”
Lin Beifan smiled and nodded, saying, “Exactly!” The ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom was not at ease and said, “Prime Minister Lin, are you joking? With such a small number of troops, not even enough for one unit, how can you suppress the riots in my country? You must know that this time the unrest has spread across the entire nation, involving millions of people. Without three or four hundred thousand soldiers, it cannot be resolved!”
“It’s more than enough because I’m here!” Lin Beifan said with great self-assurance. “As long as I’m present, no matter how many rioters come, I can easily handle them. Your Majesty, please rest assured!”
The generals behind Lin Beifan all flattered him.
“Your Majesty, please rest assured. Our Supreme Commander is the military god of the Great Wu, undefeated in six major battles!”
“Though we may be few in number, with Supreme Commander alone, we can stand against ten thousand enemies!”
“When he rides out, all problems are immediately resolved!”
“Just put your mind at ease!”
The ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom recalled Lin Beifan’s brilliant military record. This young man in front of him, although originally a scholar, was exceptionally skilled in warfare. He excelled in winning with less, defeating the strong with the weak, and every time, he achieved quick and decisive victories with minimal sacrifices. He had never been defeated, and calling him a contemporary military god was not an exaggeration.
The fewer troops used, the faster and easier the victory. Shouldn’t it be the same this time?
The ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom gained some confidence. “Then… thank you, Prime Minister Lin!”
“It’s my duty!”
Next, the ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom warmly hosted Lin Beifan and his entourage. During the banquet, Lin Beifan once again pledged with great determination that he would swiftly resolve the rebellion in the White Elephant Kingdom.
As long as he mounted his horse, success was guaranteed, and victory was at hand.
Seeing Lin Beifan’s confident demeanor, the ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom felt even more reassured. After dinner, Lin Beifan followed the ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom to the war-torn area. Along the way, they saw scenes that shocked Lin Beifan and his companions.
Everywhere, there were ruined buildings, white mourning cloth hanging over doorways, and the ground was littered with spirit money. In the streets, they could see some ragged, barefoot people armed with hoes, clubs, and various makeshift weapons, confronting the soldiers of the White Elephant Kingdom. The clashes were intense, with shouts and violence.
“It’s you! You killed my parents, and I’ll avenge them!”
“I’ll avenge my family, damn the court!”
“Now you’ve pushed me to a dead end! I can’t live, and you won’t either!”
“Die if you must, in eighteen years, you’ll be a hero!”
The ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom sighed and said, “Originally, even though our White Elephant Kingdom isn’t wealthy, it was a place of peace and harmony, with good relations between officials and the people. But who could have expected a once-in-a-century frost disaster to strike suddenly! This frost disaster not only took away millions of lives but also countless wealth. It pains me more than anyone else.”
“But the common people not only fail to understand me, they direct their anger at me, rising up in rebellion one after another, and the unrest has spread across the entire nation! During this natural disaster, I suffered heavy losses as well. Over two thousand of the three thousand white elephants I raised died. I’m truly powerless to quell the unrest. Sigh… To maintain stability in the country, I had no choice but to request military assistance from the Great Wu.”
Lin Beifan nodded, saying, “I understand.”
“Next, it will be up to Prime Minister Lin!” The ruler of the White Elephant Kingdom said with some anticipation. “I’ve always said that Prime Minister Lin, your military skills are godlike, undefeated in a hundred battles, truly the military god of our time! I hope that this time, Prime Minister Lin, you can use your full abilities to resolve the turmoil in the White Elephant Kingdom. I am deeply grateful!”
Lin Beifan patted his chest with great confidence. “Your Majesty, please rest assured. Everything is on me!”
With that, Lin Beifan stood up and looked at the rioters below, loudly saying, “Quiet, everyone! Please be quiet! Listen to me!” However, these irrational rioters paid no attention.
“Who are you? Why should we listen to you?”
“That’s right! We don’t even care about the king. What are you worth?”
“Look at him, he’s probably the king’s lackey!”
“He looks well-fed, definitely a noble! Feeding on the sweat and toil of the common people, nobles should all die!”
“Kill him! Kill him! Kill him…”
Everyone was extremely angry. Some of the rioters had even raised bricks, ready to throw them at Lin Beifan.
Seeing this scene, Tang Kuo, who was standing beside Lin Beifan, was furious. He stepped forward and shouted loudly, his voice echoing throughout the crowd, “Calm down! No reckless behavior! Standing before you is Lin Beifan, the current Prime Minister of the Great Wu Dynasty, Supreme Commander of the Military, and His Royal Highness the Brave and Loyal King!”
“Supreme Commander is the pillar of our dynasty, and there can be no mistakes! If you harm a single hair on the Supreme Commander’s head, the million-strong army of the Great Wu will march south, and you’ll be waiting for your doom!”
All the rioters present were silenced. They looked at Lin Beifan in astonishment.
The current Prime Minister of the Great Wu Dynasty!
Supreme Commander of the Military!
His Royal Highness the Brave and Loyal King!
Each of these titles was prestigious in its own right. Yet, the young man before them held all three titles simultaneously. It was astounding!
However, among the rioters, there were some knowledgeable individuals. One older man who appeared more refined and had a somewhat aged voice said, “I’ve heard that the Prime Minister, Supreme Commander of the Military, and His Royal Highness the Brave and Loyal King are indeed the same person, a young man in his twenties named Lin Beifan. Although he started as a commoner, his abilities are outstanding, and he has achieved great feats, which is why he was promoted by the Empress herself.”
The rioters were shocked. “Is there really such a person?”
“A commoner who became Prime Minister and Supreme Commander, and was even made a king?”
“And he’s this young?”
“If this is true, it’s unbelievable!”
Some still didn’t believe it, but the old man immediately began recounting Lin Beifan’s impressive achievements.
At the age of 20, he became the top scholar in the imperial examinations, known for his literary talent and innovation. He invented various national treasures such as the hot air balloon, hovercraft, and cement, enhancing the power of the Great Wu.
He excelled in military strategies and warfare, quelling internal rebellions and confronting external threats from the neighboring nations of Dayue and Great Xia. He even reclaimed a lost territory.
He predicted the impending ice disaster, issued a nationwide warning, and ensured the safety of the entire population during the catastrophe.
As the old man shared these stories, the crowd had no choice but to believe.
But their astonishment grew. Could this still be a human?
At this moment, the old man raised his voice and shouted, “Are you… truly His Royal Highness Lin Beifan, the Prime Minister, Supreme Commander of the Military, and Brave and Loyal King of the Great Wu?”
“I guarantee it!” Lin Beifan said confidently. “No one should dare impersonate me!”