After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 75

Chapter 75

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Yuan Li knew that he had made Chu Hechao angry.

Her heart was filled with mixed feelings.

In the rockery, Chu Hechao had made it clear that it was the last time he would indulge. Yuan Li understood his implication, knowing that Chu Hechao just wanted to cross the line once and then return to their normal relationship as in-laws.

Sure enough, after they left the cave, Chu Hechao treated Yuan Li politely and properly. In response, Yuan Li also reduced his confrontations with Chu Hechao, and they cooperated with each other, trying to forget anything abnormal. That would be the best outcome for both of them.

Yuan Li knew that even if he could bear the consequences of being with Chu Hechao, he couldn’t bear them. He couldn’t bear the pain of taking away his brother’s wife, the scolding and disappointment from his parents, he was a person born and raised in ancient times, how could he withstand it?

So when Chu Hechao said it was only an indulgence once, when he called him “sister-in-law,” it all meant that they should stop there.

In this regard, the two of them were thinking exactly the same.

Yuan Li understood it all, and he had always been rational, but seeing Chu Hechao’s figure leave, accompanied by his burning anger, he felt a sense of confusion and discomfort.

Why was Chu Hechao angry?

Wasn’t that what he himself thought?

Love… was it really this complicated?

This was the first time Yuan Li had encountered such a thing, and he felt lost and helpless. Yuan Li tried to analyze the situation with logic and reason, but in the end, he found that emotions were too complex and personal, and he couldn’t analyze them clearly.

Yuan Li took a deep breath, trying to dissipate some of the frustration in his heart. He deliberately ignored the sourness in his heart and, with rationality and even coldness, thought that if Chu Hechao was completely disappointed and angered by him, then let it be. It was exactly what both of them wanted.


His subordinates looked at him with concern.

Yuan Li said, “It’s nothing.”

He gathered his spirits, tidied up the food that Chu Hechao and the others hadn’t finished, and gave it to the most hardworking prisoners.

These prisoners would never complain about having too much food or that it had been eaten by someone else. They were grateful to Yuan Li for providing them with a stable home and filling meals. For most of the people who had joined the rebellion, having these things made them content and satisfied. They were full of gratitude towards Yuan Li for giving them this kind of life. To avoid being driven away, they worked diligently and never dared to be lazy.

In the afternoon, the prisoners who had eaten their fill worked even faster. Due to the scarcity of potato pieces and cotton seeds, they spent the whole day working. By the end of the day, all the new crops had been planted.

After finishing the task, Yuan Li went to find Chu Hechao.

He wasn’t going to talk about the previous matter with Chu Hechao, but to discuss military conscription matters.

When Chu Hechao heard his words, he lowered his eyelids and smiled, “Is that all you want to talk to me about?”

Yuan Li lowered his eyes and sat two seats away from Chu Hechao. Although he had already come of age, in Chu Hechao’s eyes, he still looked like a youthful young man. With the appearance of a green willow and a graceful lotus, he was as handsome as jade. Chu Hechao took in every detail, from the strands of hair drifting by his ear to the fingers holding his sleeve, stirring up an unnamed fire in his heart.

With that likable smile, his mouth looked so soft and attractive, and he could say words that touched his heart.

The remaining anger in Chu Hechao’s heart quietly ignited. He smirked, got up, and approached Yuan Li.

As the tall figure came closer, the more Chu Hechao looked at Yuan Li, the stronger the fire burned in his heart. His eyes were filled with icy blades, but deep inside, there was also a cage that imprisoned a trapped beast.

Yuan Li didn’t know if it was because he could feel Chu Hechao’s cold and fiery gaze, but his eyelashes trembled, and he pursed his lips, looking a bit nervous.

Chu Hechao stared at his fluttering eyelashes and was almost entranced.

He suddenly felt some confusion emerging from the depths of his soul.

What am I really suppressing?

Chu Mingfeng is already dead, and even if he wasn’t, so what if I took his wife?

He didn’t care about his parents’ scolding and condemnation, nor did he care about what his subordinates or the world thought of him. He completely disregarded the fact that he used all his rationality to resist touching his heart when he spoke about getting married, so why should he care about his attachment to Chu Mingfeng?

His rationality was crumbling. Chu Hechao’s adam’s apple rolled, and his voice became hoarse as he asked, “What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?”

Yuan Li slowly lifted his eyelids and looked up at him.

When his gaze met Chu Hechao’s, his fire suddenly extinguished.

Like a sudden cold shower, the images of Chu Mingfeng and Yuan Li’s mutual affection that Yuan Li had described appeared before him.

The withered and haggard appearance of Chu Mingfeng before his death merged with those images.

Chu Hechao was at a loss for words.

After a while, he raised his hand and wiped his face. Weariness was evident in his eyes, and he no longer looked at Yuan Li. He turned around and sat down in his chair, saying, “Let’s continue discussing the matter of conscription.”

When it came to official business, both of them were not the type to let personal emotions interfere.

The troops in Youzhou needed to be conscripted. Chu Hechao’s 130,000 soldiers were a regular force stationed on the border, and they needed to recruit and train more soldiers within Youzhou. This conscription would require a minimum of at least 100,000 troops. Considering the soldiers from the front and rear lines, along with the number of prisoners and laborers, there would be approximately 270,000 to 280,000 mouths to feed.

The pressure was immense, but the soldiers couldn’t be exempted from conscription. Although the number seemed large, the actual number of troops who could be deployed and fight on the battlefield was at most 150,000.

“Chenliu Wang in Jiangdong claims to have 500,000 soldiers, but in reality, there are only around 350,000,” Chu Hechao regained his composure, “Jiangdong has fertile land and abundant food, so they can support this number of troops. Youzhou, on the other hand, is barren and remote. Conscribing 100,000 troops this time is already quite a lot.”

Yuan Li thought for a moment and said, “General, do you remember the veteran from Bingzhou who taught me martial arts?”

Chu Hechao thought to himself, who would remember such a trivial matter, but he said, “I do.”

“The troops in Bingzhou are said to number 200,000, and this number shouldn’t vary much, but the majority of them are militia,” Yuan Li sighed, “Out of the people who survived together with me and my master from Bingzhou, hardly any of them are left.”

Militia refers to peasants who are incorporated into the army without professional training. Their purpose is to bolster the numbers and intimidate the enemy with a show of force. However, when it comes to actual combat, these militia would be the first to die, using their bodies to slow down the enemy’s advance.

Chu Hechao asked, “What are you trying to say?”

“I will personally arrange and train all the troops conscripted this time,” Yuan Li said directly, his tone unquestionable, “I don’t want to conscript soldiers who will die in vain on the battlefield. I will personally train them and turn them into an elite army.”

Chu Hechao raised an eyebrow, slightly surprised. “I admit that your personal guards are indeed well-trained, but 100,000 soldiers are not the same as the 800 personal guards you conscripted initially. Do you really think you can handle the training?”

Yuan Li smiled. If it were any other matter, he wouldn’t express such confidence. But when it came to the scientific and professional training of soldiers, he was more than knowledgeable. “General, have you ever seen me make a promise without being certain?”

“No,” Chu Hechao smirked, “You’ve always been cautious.”

He could sense Yuan Li’s confidence.

Thinking about the bravery and decisive actions of his personal guards, Chu Hechao couldn’t help but feel some anticipation.

Perhaps if he entrusted these soldiers to Yuan Li for a few years of training, they could truly become a sharp and formidable army.

Yuan Li was the Governor of Youzhou, and conscription was under his jurisdiction. Moreover, the soldiers would be funded by him. Since he had stated his intentions, Chu Hechao had no objections. However, Yuan Li was still too young, and handling 100,000 soldiers was not the same as dealing with a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand. Finally, he said, “Alright. I will assign Lieutenant Guan Zhihuai, who is a good hand at training soldiers in the Tiger Guard, to assist you.”

Pausing for a moment, Chu Hechao added, “You will have full authority, and he will assist you in handling any difficult matters.”

Yuan Li couldn’t help but smile and pursed his lips. “Thank you in advance, General.”

With that smile, the atmosphere eased considerably. Chu Hechao looked at him and responded with a deep voice.

The standards for conscripting soldiers in Youzhou couldn’t be the same as those for personal guards. However, Yuan Li’s requirements were equally strict, with the exception of height and physique.

Regarding the age requirement, he stipulated that only young and able-bodied individuals between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five could join the army.

Apart from this point, the other criteria were just as stringent as when he recruited his personal guards, especially in terms of not accepting individuals with a tarnished background.

Youzhou was a place of exile for criminals, and Yuan Li would never allow these exiled criminals to be incorporated into the army. Including criminals in the army would not only affect the soldiers’ status but also undermine the unity and honor of the troops.

To ensure the quality of the troops’ development, the most effective method was to instill a sense of honor. Every individual in the army should feel proud of their identity as a soldier.

Only then would the unit have a soul, and the soldiers within it would uphold military regulations and discipline out of their own volition. Once such spontaneous behavior emerged, it would prove that this unit had distinguished itself from other armies.

When the goal of a military unit was not just to fill their bellies but to have a greater belief to support them, that unit was destined to become an invincible force.

After Yuan Li announced his conscription, many people rushed to Jixian to enlist.

Yuan Li himself was a well-known scholar, with a reputation spreading throughout You, Bing, and Yi zhou. his teacher was the great scholar Ouyang Ting, and the master who conferred his the title was the grandmaster Cui Xuan. With such prominent backgrounds, many people admired him. Even disregarding these aspects and solely looking at Yuan Li himself, he had achieved the feat of killing Ma Renyi, not to mention his assistance to Chu Hechao in killing the Xiongnu leader, Huyan Wuzhu!

Just this alone would make righteous individuals within Youzhou willingly come and join Yuan Li.

Furthermore, Yuan Li dispatched troops to eliminate the bandits within Youzhou. As a governor who loved the people like his own children, how could the people of Youzhou not love and follow him?

However, despite the large number of people who came to enlist, their hesitation stemmed from Yuan Li’s stringent requirements.

In the end, only a few were selected.

After learning about this, Yuan Li pondered for a while and came up with a solution.

The next day, Yuan Li personally stayed at the enlistment site. When the selected individuals gathered, he solemnly handed them military uniforms, weapons, and the rewards of money and rations they were given for being chosen. These rations were not their military pay but rewards that they could take back home. Yuan Li made it clear that this was his gratitude to the parents of these soldiers, thanking them for raising talents who could defend their homeland in Youzhou.

The amount of money and rations given was not much, but they were all freely given by the government. The people of this era had never seen or heard of such things before, let alone heard such words from Yuan Li.

After Yuan Li finished speaking, the onlookers looked at each other in surprise, causing a commotion.

The soldiers who received their rewards in public blushed slightly. They held tightly onto the money and rations in their hands, feeling a mix of surprise and envy from the onlookers. Gradually, they raised their heads and chests, inexplicably filled with a sense of pride.

Youzhou had suffered from wars and was a desolate place. Most of the people were impoverished, and the families who sent their sons to enlist were often unable to afford to feed them. For them, money and rations were always the most irresistible things.

As for the righteous individuals who didn’t lack money and rations, Yuan Li’s appreciation of them made them feel even more heroic. They believed that Yuan Li was a true lord who cherished talents and respected the virtuous.

From that day on, more and more people competed to join Yuan Li. Even if his requirements were strict, they couldn’t stop people from joining the army.

The progress of conscription was incredibly fast, as if flying a thousand miles in a single day.

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