Chapter 452 – For the Grand Wedding, Are You Giving Up Easily Accessible Territory?
Lin Beifan smiled and said, “Your Majesty, we can raise an army, but it’s not the right time yet!” Everyone’s gaze turned towards him.
“Supreme Commander, what do you mean?” A general asked, puzzled.
“Now, within the Great Yan’s borders, there’s chaos with dragons contesting the throne, and the common people are in distress, taking up arms in revolt. Beyond that, there are wolves circling from outside. The Great Yan’s national strength is very weak; this is the perfect time for us to take action! Why do you say it’s not the right time? Please, Supreme Commander, enlighten us!”
Lin Beifan smiled and said, “Just as you’ve said, the Great Yan is in a precarious situation right now, but it’s easier said than done to conquer it. Like when we attacked the Great Xia, we had to gather six other nations and assemble an army of over two million men before we could carve a piece of flesh from the Great Xia. However, after the Great Xia’s Crown Prince returned, he activated hidden powers and reclaimed all the lost territory within a month, except for the Far East! The same logic applies; being one of the Three Great Dynasties, the Great Yan Empire won’t be that simple to deal with!”
Everyone nodded involuntarily. Initially, they all thought the Great Xia Dynasty was done for, but after the return of the 30th Crown Prince, he took decisive action, eliminating all the traitors, and swiftly regained lost territories, seizing supreme power.
The Great Xia Dynasty was like this, and the Great Yan Empire would definitely not be easy to deal with. The Empress also nodded in agreement, saying, “Prime Minister, you speak wisely!” No dynasty was straightforward, and she, too, secretly held a powerful force.
Even if a dynasty came to an end, she could regain power with this force.
“In that case, why don’t we wait until they weaken further before launching an attack?” Lin Beifan smiled and said, “The Great Yan Emperor has just passed away, and there’s no designated heir. Internal power struggles are just beginning within the imperial court! So, let’s let them fight it out. The more intense their infighting, the more they’ll weaken themselves!”
“Over the past year, the Great Yan Emperor has exhausted the treasury to collect rare resources in pursuit of immortality, disregarding the livelihood of the people, which has led to widespread discontent and uprisings among the common folk! Now that the Great Yan Emperor has passed away, the situation in the common realm is even more chaotic!”
“Furthermore, neighboring countries are watching closely and engaging in various covert actions… The Great Yan is beset with internal troubles and external threats, with danger on all sides!” Lin Beifan smiled and said, “So, we should give the Great Yan more time. The longer we delay, the more their national strength will be depleted, and the more advantageous it will be for us!”
The officials admired him and said, “Supreme Commander’s words make sense!”
The Empress asked, “Prime Minister, in your opinion, when would be the most suitable time to launch an attack?”
“It would be best to wait until the end of this year, next spring!” Lin Beifan replied.
A minister responded with a furrowed brow, “So long? It will have been over three months!”
Lin Beifan replied, “Yes, we need to wait until the end of this year because this upcoming winter might be colder.”
This upcoming winter is going to be colder?
Everyone immediately remembered the once-in-a-century ice disaster that had occurred less than a year ago – the haunting scene was still fresh in their memories.
The Empress couldn’t sit still and asked, “Prime Minister, it’s not another ice disaster, is it?” Lin Beifan shook his head, saying, “It’s not that severe; it’s just going to be colder compared to previous years. So, we need to take more precautions to reduce casualties among the population and livestock.”
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, saying, “As long as it’s not an ice disaster!” Lin Beifan continued, “In the harsh twelfth month of winter, with ice and snow covering the land, it’s not suitable for warfare. Otherwise, we’ll only waste our forces in vain! We should focus more on internal preparations to withstand the cold and reduce casualties among the population and livestock to preserve our strength.”
“Moreover, at this time, the Great Yan is in internal strife, and they certainly can’t divert their attention to dealing with the cold! Since this year began, the Great Yan has been in turmoil, with chaos everywhere! Crop yields are poor, and people are in dire straits. Plus, with the bitter cold, it will surely hasten the depletion of their national strength.”
“By next spring, after we’ve weathered this harsh winter, and with the territories of the White Elephant Prefecture and the Far East fully integrated, we can once again expand our borders! At that time, we can seize the opportunity, mobilize our forces, and march south!”
The Empress exclaimed, “Good! Just as you’ve said, it’s not time to go to war now. After we endure the harsh winter, we will gather our troops and head south to conquer a significant piece of territory!”
“All hail the wise Empress!” the officials chorused.
With this, the court set the tone: they wouldn’t go to war now, but they would wait until after the severe winter. However, at this time, foreign nations were watching the Great Wu closely, waiting to see when they would march and invade the Great Yan.
But what frustrated them was that the Great Wu showed no signs of action. There were no troop movements, no stockpiling of provisions; it was as if they were not taking this matter seriously. This puzzled everyone; how could the Great Wu let such a golden opportunity slip by?
First, the smaller countries surrounding the Great Yan couldn’t sit still, and they reached out to the Great Wu, requesting them to lead a coalition army, just as they did in the previous joint campaign against the Great Xia. The plan was for the Great Wu to lead a million-strong army to conquer cities and divide the Great Yan’s territories.
Lin Beifan personally received them but politely declined, saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry to say that the Great Wu has no plans to go to war. So, please return.”
Everyone was taken aback, with someone asking, “Prime Minister Lin, why would you pass up such a rare opportunity?”
A contented smile appeared on Lin Beifan’s face as he replied, “You should all know that Her Majesty and I are getting married next year! It’s a joyous occasion, and it’s not appropriate to create bloodshed. So, please return! But next year, when you have the time, remember to come and celebrate our wedding with us. Ha-ha!”
Everyone was even more astonished. It was all because of this reason? For the grand wedding, they were willing to give up even the easily accessible territory?
“Prime Minister Lin, please listen to me. The internal strife in the Great Yan presents a rare opportunity! If we miss this chance, it won’t be as easy to seize a piece of their land in the future!”
“Prime Minister, getting married and going to war are not fundamentally incompatible! Moreover, you and His Majesty should prioritize the nation’s interests rather than personal matters!”
Lin Beifan refused once more, saying, “Thank you all for your kind intentions, but we really don’t want to go to war. Please return.”
Under Lin Beifan’s repeated refusals, the people reluctantly left.
The Great Wu had vast territories and abundant resources, so they didn’t prioritize the Great Yan’s lands. However, the smaller nations, with limited land and scarce resources, couldn’t remain indifferent to the Great Yan’s “temptation.” Therefore, they returned and immediately raised armies, causing turmoil along the Great Yan’s borders.
As expected, the Great Wu honored their promise and didn’t go to war. Instead, they focused all their efforts on preparing for the harsh winter. They posted announcements, informing everyone that this year would be colder, and advised stocking up on winter supplies. They mobilized various cold-resistant materials and distributed them to cities. Additionally, they activated some shelters, centralized heating, and helped those without proper conditions to endure the severe winter.
This series of actions caught the attention of some observant individuals.