B2C18: Stratagems (1)
The Chu kingdom is the number 1 kingdom on the Qian Long continent. At the moment, the clan heads of Qin clan and the Shangguan clan among the 4 big clans are in a secluded small courtyard.
Qin De is sitting at a stone table with a calm expression on his face. Xu Yuan standing by his side is also waiting calmly.
“Ha-ha … Brother Qin De. Long time no see.” A white-haired old man walks to him in strides. This old man is unexpectedly wearing a pair of gold earrings. His eyes are very cold and sinister. However, at this moment they are full of enthusiasm.
Qin De stands up, points to one side and says smilingly: “Brother Shangguan, please sit down.”
Shangguan Hong, the Chu kingdom’s North Vanquishing Prince, controls the 2 Northern region counties. At the moment, there are 4 people in the courtyard including Qin De and Xu Yuan. The other 2 people are Shangguan Hong and his subordinate Zhuang Jun. However, outside the courtyard, a large number of experts are secretly guarding it.
“Brother Qin De, why do you look for an old man like me this time?” Only after slightly fixing his silver hair does Shangguan Hong sit down. Obviously he cares a lot about his own hair. His subordinate Zhuang Jun stands behind him.
Qin De says smilingly: “I’m not going to beat around the bush. Please help me. We’ll seize the Chu kingdom together.”
Shangguan Hong is startled. He did not think that Qin De would be so straightforward even though he has already guessed why Qin De secretly meets him this time. Shangguan Hong then bursts out laughing: “Brother Qin De, you shouldn’t joke like this. This can cause you to lose your head. I can act as if I’ve never heard about this matter.”
Qin De slowly shakes his head and says: “I ask you, you’ll do it or not?”
Shangguan Hong, however, does not reply. Only after pondering for a long time does he raise his head and ask: “Even if we join forces, how much certainty will you have?”
“80 percent!” says Qin De indifferently.
But Shangguan Hong says laughingly: “Brother Qin De, don’t fool me. That Mu clan has 600,000 troops. The 4 Western region counties have even more than that, 800,000 troops. They amount to 1,400,000 troops. My 2 Northern region counties only have 400,000 troops altogether and yours have no more than 600,000. So how can you be 80 percent certain?”
“I want to destroy the Xiang clan so I can only show 600,000 troops,” says Qin De with a smile.
Shangguan Hong’s eyes glitter: “Oh? It seems brother Qin De also has quite a lot of troops in secret. But the Xiang clan and the Mu clan have 1,400,000 troops together. How many troops do you have in secret that you dare to say you’re 80 certain? Moreover, when your troops secretly increased, how could this have escaped the detection of the Xiang clan’s intelligence service?” Shangguan Hong is obviously very unconvinced.
“I still have 200,000 troops in secret.” Qin De says with a smile. “This brings the total amount to 800,000 troops. My Fierce Tiger Corps is only 50,000 strong but in terms of real offensive power it is equal to 200,000 to 300,000 troops.”
Shangguan Hong’s eyes brighten.
He certainly knows how formidable the Fierce Tiger Corps is. He calculates in his mind at once then says with a smile: “If we only talk about quality then your 3 Eastern region counties’ army is the best. If you really have 200,000 troops in secret then we’ll still have some hope. But according to what I know, 200,000 troops must be used to threaten the bandits in the Black Water mountain range. Otherwise, those bandits will wreak havoc on the 3 Eastern region counties and plunge your den into chaos.”
Qin De says in a totally unconcerned manner: “You needn’t worry about this. They’re merely bandits. It’s hard to exterminate them because the Black Water mountain range is so vast, but the thing is … the Black Water mountain range’s bandits are no more than bandits. We only need to negotiate with them and give them some benefits, they will quiet down.”
Qin De’s eyes suddenly brighten: “So, my entire army can attack. You must know that my 3 Eastern region counties are next to the Wilderness and my army often trains here. Compared to the attack of the Wilderness’s demonic beasts, the army of the 4 Western region counties, which hasn’t fought a real battle for several decades to 100 years, means absolutely nothing.”
Qin De is very confident.
Shangguan Hong nods his confirmation.
Indeed, among the armies of the 4 big clans, the 3 Eastern region counties’ army is definitely the strongest in terms of fighting power. The reason for this is that the 3 Eastern region counties’ army is based in the Immense Wilderness and often fights the Wilderness’s ferocious beasts so its troops have really experienced bloodshed.
In contrast, the armies of the Xiang clan, the Mu clan and the Shangguan clan have never seen real action for several decades to 100 years.
Shangguan Hong keeps thinking nonstop. After a while he raises his head and says: “Then how am I going to benefit from this? How can you assure me that you won’t destroy me after destroying the Xiang clan?”
Qin De smiles slightly: “Very simple, among the 4 Western region counties, the 2 counties next to the ocean in the North will go to you. Together with your 2 original counties, you’ll have 4 counties in total. None of these 4 counties is separate from the rest and, moreover, the ocean is behind them. You’ll have these 4 counties and have the ocean at your back, so you don’t have to worry that I’ll go back on my word. What do you think?”
“The 4 counties next to the ocean?” Shangguan Hong’s eyes glitter. Obviously his interest has been aroused.
These 4 counties are linked together. If they all go to him, even if Qin De later wants to eliminate him, it will be a difficult thing to do. After all, when having the natural barrier which is the ocean at his back and holding the 4 counties in his hands, at least defending himself will not be a problem. Moreover, after the war, the Qin clan will probably not have enough power left to deal with him next either.
“Then if the Han dynasty takes advantage of this and attack, what can we do?” Shangguan Hong continues to ask.
Qin De stands up and says with a wave of a hand: “You don’t have to be worry about this. The Han dynasty will definitely have no chance to interfere. As for the Ming dynasty, I believe that weak kind of dynasty which has only got attacked and has never dared to attack won’t ask for much.”
Shangguan Hong considers.
After a long time, he nods: “I promise you my support. But my 2 Northern region counties’ troops definitely won’t be the vanguard.”
“Good, that settles it.”
Qin De and Shangguan Hong slap each other’s hands to pledge allegiance.
“Ha-ha …” Qin De and Shangguan Hong look at one another and burst out laughing. However, nobody knows what these 2 men are actually thinking. Must a pledge made by slapping hands definitely be fulfilled? On the Qian Long continent, no one believes in making a pledge by slapping hands.
The next day, in a manor, Shangguan Hong is sitting at an escritoire and writing fast. Zhuang Jun is standing respectfully on one side.
After a while, Shangguan Hong finishes writing. He reads everything carefully once and cannot help feeling satisfied.
“Humph, that idiot Qin De actually wants to rebel. He even wants to pull me into the water. Won’t it be very good for me if I keep contentedly being North Vanquishing Prince? 4 counties are also very attractive, though. What a pity.” Looking at the sheet of paper on the escritoire, Shangguan Hong cannot help bursting out laughing.
Zhuang Jin on one side says: “Your Highness, this Qin clan’s offer is not bad. Moreover, it’s sincere. Are you really not giving them a chance?”
Shangguan Hong turns his head and looks at Zhuang Jun. He then burst out laughing: “Zhuang Jun, we can’t lose. Do you understand? Therefore we must put money on both sides. It doesn’t matter if the Qin clan wins or the Xiang clan wins, we’ll always benefit.”
Zhuang Jun still does not understand.
Shangguan Hong gives a smile. Zhuang Jun is his most loyal subordinate and is also the number 2 man in the 2 Northern region counties. He has saved Shangguan Hong’s life twice so Shangguan Hong naturally values him to the utmost.
“Zhuang Jun, I feel certain about this matter. You needn’t worry. You can leave now.” Shangguan Hong says with an indifferent smile.
“I take my leave.” Zhuang Jun immediately leaves the room.
Shangguan Hong’s face suddenly turns cold: “Deliver this letter to the Emperor.” A black silhouette suddenly flashes by and the letter on Shangguan Hong’s escritoire has already disappeared.
Shangguan Hong narrows his eyes and looks outside through the window. He thinks to himself: “Qin De, you simply can’t imagine the relationship between my Shangguan clan and the Xiang clan. You can only blame your bad luck. Even if I don’t help either side, how can your clan contend against the Xiang clan and the Mu clan? After the 3 Eastern region counties are exterminated, maybe I’ll gain some benefits.”
Shangguan Hong’s thinking is so optimistic but will the Qin clan entrust its hope to him?
End of b2c18.