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Chapter 65: Tribute Must be Abolished, Otherwise Military Conflict Will Continue!
“Sir Lin, what is your opinion?” The empress asked.
Lin Beifan made a gesture and said something shocking, “Your Majesty, I believe that this tribute is very inappropriate and should be abolished!”
As soon as these words were spoken, the entire court was in an uproar.
“Abolish the tribute? We have worked hard to negotiate this tribute, and you want us to abolish it?”
“You want us to give up over 3 million taels of silver per year? How can this be justified?”
“Sir Lin, have you received benefits from the envoy of Darro, which is why you are speaking up for them?”
“Lin, do you know what this means? You are betraying Her Majesty and betraying our Great Wu! Can you justify Her Majesty’s kindness to you?”
“Your Majesty, I want to impeach the new top scholar and the master of the Imperial Academy, Lin Beifan!”
Lin Beifan remained calm, facing the officials with a cold eye.
The empress, who was prepared, was also very calm: “Silence! Let us hear what Sir Lin has to say.”
“Your Majesty, and all the esteemed ministers, before we discuss this compensation, let us first take a look at the situation in Darro.” Lin said.
“Darro was originally a small border country of our Great Wu with a population of only over ten million, and limited resources. The people there are extremely poor and cannot be compared with our Great Wu Empire!”
“It is reported that their annual treasury income only barely reaches 8 million! If there is a drought, or a military disaster, this treasury revenue will be greatly reduced!”
“In the past, they have had conflicts with our Great Wu Empire, and they lost, which made their situation even worse!”
“Under these dire circumstances, having to pay 3.2 million taels of silver annually is simply unbearable!”
“I think Your Majesty and all the esteemed ministers should have already known this!”
The atmosphere in the Golden Imperial Hall gradually quieted down as they listened to Lin Beifan’s analysis.
“So, this tribute will definitely be shared by the people of Darro! The people there are already living a hard life, and now they have to bear this extra burden, which will undoubtedly make their lives even more difficult!”
“Enduring it for one year may be possible, but what about two or three years?”
“Who would be willing to bear such a heavy burden forever?”
“In the long run, it will definitely provoke public anger! And when they are provoked, what will be their target? Can it be anything other than our Great Wu?”
The court was in an uproar again!
Lin Beifan continued impassionedly, “Because we are the ones that imposed this great burden on them, they will naturally hate us and seek revenge on us!”
“I conclude that military conflict will break out again within three years!”
The entire court was in an uproar once more.
All the officials were moved by Lin Beifan’s words!
Even the empress’s face changed.
“So, this tribute clause is actually a declaration of war! As long as we dare to issue it, we will have a war with Darro within three years!” Lin Beifan’s voice was resolute.
“If we’re going to fight, are we afraid of them?” an old minister challenged.
Lin Beifan sneered. “Sir Wang, it’s easier said than done! Do you know how many resources are needed to launch a war? How much manpower and material resources need to be used?”
“Let me tell you, a troop of 100,000 soldiers consumes 400,000 catties of grain a day! Based on current commodity prices, 2.5 taels of silver is needed for every 100 catties of grain, so 400,000 catties of grain require 10,000 taels of silver!”
“In addition, to support the main combat troops, nearly twice as many logistics personnel are needed. Therefore, it would actually be 200,000 people, with a daily consumption of 800,000 catties of grain and 20,000 taels of silver!”
“And we have to deal with Darro’s army! Based on past war experience, we need to send out 300,000 main combat troops to form an overwhelming force! So, just for one day, we need to consume 60,000 taels of grain!”
“If things go well, the war can end within three months! However, the consumption of grain alone in three months is a terrifying number, reaching 5.4 million taels! If things go poorly, consumption will only be even higher!”
“There are also other material resources, such as armor loss, horses, bows and arrows, as well as the consumption of transporting grain, compensation for soldiers and generals, and so on. These are also astronomical numbers that I haven’t calculated!”
“As they say, every shot of the cannon costs a thousand pieces of gold!”
Lin Beifan looked at the minister who questioned him, “Sir Wang, do you still think it’s so easy to fight a war now? These are all money, even if our treasuries are ample, supporting such a costly war is still very difficult! Is it worth it to fight a war that costs millions just for a few million taels of compensation?”
“Moreover, the enemy we face is not only Darro! There are many great empires, with their ambitions and eyes fixed on us, and they could invade the Central Plains at any time! There are also various local governors that we must guard against!”
The other party unconvinced, retreated among the officials.
Lin Beifan bowed and solemnly said, “Therefore, the use of military force must not be taken lightly! Your Majesty, please take note!”
The empress nodded. “Sir Lin’s words make sense!”
“So, should we just give up this tribute? If we don’t take it, won’t it encourage Darro’s arrogance? If we don’t take it, how can we justify the sacrifice of our soldiers?” an excited minister exclaimed.
“Of course we should take it! However, we can use a different method!” Lin Beifan smiled slightly.
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