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Chapter 413: A Million Petitions, Conquering the White Elephant Kingdom!
On the other side, Liu Haotian received hope from Lin Beifan and immediately excitedly rushed back on my journey towards the White Elephant Kingdom.
He shared this good news with the people of the White Elephant Kingdom. “Fellow villagers, I have met with the Prime Minister of the Great Wu, Lord Lin. After I spoke to him, he agreed to take the risk and persuade the current emperor to send troops to rescue everyone!”
The people of the White Elephant Kingdom were filled with disbelief. “Is it true? Did Prime Minister Lin really agree to come to our rescue?”
“You’re not deceiving us, are you?”
“Sir, we can’t joke about such things!”
Liu Haotian nodded excitedly, “It’s absolutely true! However, this matter may affect his career, and he doesn’t completely trust my words. So, he requests to see a million petitions before taking action!” They instantly cheered with joy.
“That’s great, the Prime Minister is willing to help!”
“We are finally saved! We can look forward to better days!”
“Where is the petition? I’ll sign!”
Liu Haotian immediately spread out a large piece of white cloth and said, “I’ve prepared the materials, but the petition has not been written yet!”
“Let this old man… write this petition!” An elderly man who appeared well-read stepped forward. He looked elderly, with slightly dim eyes and unsteady steps, but his hand holding the pen was remarkably steady. He carefully wrote down their request on the white cloth, stroke by stroke.
Although it seemed like just over a hundred words, he spent almost half an hour writing it.
After he placed the final stroke, he finally sighed in relief.
He wiped his back, drenched in sweat. “Alright, the next step is…”
The old man bit his finger, letting blood flow, and pressed it onto the white cloth, leaving his red fingerprint. Seeing this, the other common people followed suit, biting their fingers and leaving their red fingerprints on the white cloth. In no time, this freshly written petition had hundreds of red fingerprints.
Next, the old man carefully rolled up the petition and handed it to Liu Haotian, filled with hope and tears. “Sir, we entrust this to you!”
“We trust you, Liu hero!” everyone said in unison. Liu Haotian took the petition with both hands, as if shouldering a heavy burden, and said solemnly, “Rest assured, everyone! Once I gather a million petitions from the common people, I will deliver this document to Prime Minister Lin and ask him to send troops to rescue all of you!”
“Thank you very much, Hero Liu,” the elderly man bowed deeply.
Liu Haotian wrapped the petition in a waterproof bag, then slung it over his back and said, “Please take care, everyone. Wait for my good news!” With quick steps, he carried the hopes of the people and left the village.
Subsequently, Liu Haotian tirelessly traveled throughout the White Elephant Kingdom, collecting the petitions from the people who had learned about the situation. They all supported him, leaving their bloody fingerprints on the petitions.
The blood fingerprints on the petition multiplied, becoming countless and impossible to count. However, Liu Haotian’s actions eventually caught the attention of the White Elephant Kingdom’s court. The White Elephant King was furious, sent soldiers to chase him, and prohibited others from contacting Liu Haotian, imposing heavy penalties on those who violated this rule.
Fortunately, Liu Haotian was skilled in martial arts; otherwise, he would have lost his life in the White Elephant Kingdom. But even so, this delay cost him quite a bit of time.
After a month of effort, he finally collected a million petitions. Then, carrying this petition with him, he journeyed to the capital of the Great Wu, where he met Lin Beifan.
“Prime Minister, this is a petition from a million people of the White Elephant Kingdom. Please, extend your helping hand and rescue them!” Liu Haotian excitedly opened the petition in his hands.
Upon seeing this petition, which was over four zhang (around 13 meters) long and almost filled the room with red fingerprints below the concise text, the court was deeply moved.
The Empress asked, “What do you think, my dear?”
Lin Beifan’s face was grave as he replied, “Your Majesty, although the people of the White Elephant Kingdom are not our subjects, their hearts belong to our Great Wu, and they willingly submit to us. Hence, they are our people! For the sake of our people, we must intervene. My suggestion is… to send troops!”
The Empress wholeheartedly agreed, nodding, “You speak the truth! Seeing our people suffering in another country, I cannot bear it any longer. My dear, you are the Supreme Commander of the nation; this matter shall be under your responsibility!”
“I shall obey your command!” Lin Beifan declared.
With their unanimous decision, the court officials had no objections, as this was part of the plan for territorial expansion.
As the time for the expedition approached, various generals couldn’t sit still and came to visit Lin Beifan, hoping to seize the opportunity to achieve military glory.
Lin Beifan gathered his generals and immediately set out. After approximately a week of travel, they crossed the land of Wuxi and arrived at the Green Dragon Fortress. From there, they assembled ten armies to prepare for the expedition into the White Elephant Kingdom.
After all preparations were complete, Lin Beifan signaled Liu Haotian, who had accompanied them, to come forward. “Liu Haotian, come here.”
“Prime Minister, what is your command?” Liu Haotian asked with a bow.
Lin Beifan spoke gravely, “Liu Haotian, early tomorrow morning, we will march to confront the White Elephant Kingdom. However, to minimize casualties, I hope you can help me with one thing.”
“Prime Minister, please give your orders. I am willing to go through fire and water for our cause,” Liu Haotian replied in a determined tone.
Lin Beifan waved his hand and smiled, “It’s not that serious! I just hope you can lead some of our generals to secretly infiltrate the White Elephant Kingdom. Mobilize and rally the people there. With your support from within and our military strength from outside, we can achieve our goals more effectively!”
“Prime Minister, rest assured, I won’t let you down!” Liu Haotian said, then led several Great Wu generals to secretly enter the White Elephant Kingdom.
They first arrived in a village where the residents recognized Liu Haotian. Seeing him, they were astonished. “Hero Liu, you…”
Liu Haotian joyfully exclaimed, “Fellow villagers, your petitions have been received by Prime Minister Lin! Prime Minister Lin, being benevolent, has come to rescue you! Now, a hundred thousand soldiers are at the city gates, and tomorrow morning they will enter the White Elephant Kingdom to save you!”
The people were overjoyed and cheered.
“The Prime Minister is here!”
“Haha! This is great; we are finally saved!”
“We’ve been waiting for this day!”
The commotion in the village alerted nearby White Elephant Kingdom soldiers. They yawned as they approached. “What are you all shouting about? Shouldn’t you be sleeping? Tomorrow morning, you have to work!”
“Who are you people?”
“Put down your weapons immediately, or we won’t be polite!”
One of the Great Wu generals released a burst of energy, swiftly cutting down the officials and soldiers. He then raised his arms and shouted, “People of the White Elephant Kingdom, your long-awaited Prime Minister has arrived! He is now outside the city. Let’s open the city gates together and welcome the Prime Minister!”
“Open the city gates, welcome the Prime Minister!” they chanted enthusiastically.
Following this, Liu Haotian and his group continued to roam, defeating the soldiers and rescuing the people of the White Elephant Kingdom. When they learned that Lin Beifan was just outside the city, ready to enter and rescue them, their excitement grew.
It seemed that as long as Lin Beifan was there, everything would be resolved.
They once again gathered their courage, picked up hoes, sticks, and the swords they had taken from the White Elephant soldiers, and rose in rebellion, rushing to the city gates to open them and welcome the Prime Minister.
This event spread like wildfire, sweeping across the nation from west to east, from south to north.
However, the White Elephant King and his court remained unaware of these developments. They were currently preparing for the imminent battle with the Great Wu’s massive army, fully armed and vigilant.
In this tense situation, the day gradually dawned.
As soon as it was light, Lin Beifan led his 100,000-strong army to the fortress gate of the White Elephant Kingdom.
Naturally, the White Elephant Kingdom would not sit idly by and assembled a force of 300,000 soldiers to prepare for the battle against the Great Wu’s army. Although their numbers were more than three times that of the Great Wu and they held the key fortress, they did not dare to underestimate the Great Wu’s forces.
The Great Wu’s military strength was inherently superior, and this time, they were led by the Supreme Commander of the Great Wu, Lin Beifan.
This guy was an expert in warfare, skilled in winning against the odds, defeating larger forces with smaller ones, and always emerging victorious. Many great nations had fallen to his hands. So, the pressure on the White Elephant Kingdom was enormous.
At this moment, the White Elephant King stood on the city tower, looking down at Lin Beifan with eyes blazing with fury.