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Everyone’s thoughts were very complicated. Ming Yu gave them their last hope. Three to five years was not long. With hope that was bestowed by the person in front of them, at least at this moment, they were grateful.
When Ji You saw this scene from a distance, his eyes flashed a ray of light full of interest. Hey! Interesting! He had been following Duan Wang for a few days, and he had learned to some extent that this Duan Wang did not seem to be as foolish as rumors as stated of handling things without order or rule.
He rubbed his chin, thinking, but even then he didn’t know that there would be such a big difference in the rumors outside about Duan Wang. He had only thought of one sentence up to now, great intelligence may appear to be stupidity. With a few words of his, he can easily resolve the grievances of the people below, and even conquer the people’s hearts. The brilliance in it, he’s afraid that ordinary people wouldn’t be able to do it.
He squinted his eyes and concealed the look in his eyes. Everyone was fooled by Duan Wang. It seemed that he should inform General Xie of these things as soon as possible.
After solving the emotional disturbance in the troops, they already nearly reached Liangcheng. They were only a few tens of miles away. He could see a crowd of grand men and horses from a distance. The people who were sent out to inquire about the news quickly reported back that it was Liu Daren from the prefecture of Liangzhou and Great General Wei from the Liangzhou garrison who came to greet Duan Wang.
Ming Yu refused their special offer to escort them before, but now that Ming Yu and his party were about to arrive, whatever the case, they should come to greet them. Otherwise, if Duan Wang came to this territory, and they, the officials of this place, acted unconcerned and did not pay attention to it, if they were caught, it could be considered a crime for looking down on imperial power. This was a serious crime. It was possible to exterminate their entire family. Therefore, officials from all over Liangzhou came to greet him.
Ming Yu nodded at the military formation that presumably came to welcome him. His side couldn’t possibly lose in etiquette. No matter what, he still had to have the prince’s position. He immediately instructed his subordinates to reorganize the troops, unfold the banner, and assume the prince’s majestic presence. The spirit of the whole troop became different.
When the two parties met, the exchange of polite greetings was inevitable. Ming Yu handled it skillfully and easily. With a smile on his face, he gave people a sense of spring breeze. Of course, this also puzzled those people who have heard the rumors. His Highness Duan Wang’s appearance was so graceful, why was he slandered like that? Therefore, seeing is believing. Things one hears may be false. This was a living example.
Ming Yu switched his horse carriage and was surrounded by the Prefectural Magistrate Liu and Great General Wei. He came here for the first time and didn’t know anything. Having this opportunity, he naturally wanted to get closer to them and explore the situation in Liangcheng.
“Your Highness may not be aware, but there are frequent wars in the borderland, and most of the farmlands have long been left to return to the wild. The common people’s life is already difficult. Many people have no food to fill their stomachs. There is a little surplus grain, which is not even enough for the barbarians to come and loot.” Liu Daren started to talk.
This was the truth. It had been like this since he took office. Although he said that he tried hard to change the people’s livelihood, he was powerless, and he had already spent a lot of effort to maintain the current situation.
He spoke honestly at this time, also hoping that Duan Wang would understand the suffering of the common people. In the future, Liangcheng and the surrounding area of several hundred miles will also be Duan Wang’s territory. And the population production in this land will also be counted as Duan Wang’s. If His Highness Duan Wang could sympathize with the people’s circumstances, those common people could possibly make a living. But, if they came across a territory lord who was selfish and did not care for the common people’s life or death or exploit them instead, then, those common people would certainly be miserable. If they did not die, they would still lose layers of skin. These borderland people already suffered enough already, if it’s like this then there would be no way to live.
Ming Yu nodded. Barbarians looting like the autumn wind was indeed a headache. The tragedy they saw when they came was still as clear as yesterday. He turned his head to look at Great General Wei, “What methods does Great General Wei have against the invasion of the small groups of barbarians? For example, to prevent them from burning, killing, looting and so on?”
Upon hearing this, the two of them couldn’t help but sigh secretly. Sure enough, the imperial family’s members are not well versed in the world. Such a naive question, they’re afraid that no one else present would be able to ask it out loud. At least once one understood everything here, one would know it’s not a simple thing to prevent. If it wasn’t like this, this difficult problem wouldn’t be unsolved even after several generations.
Although Great General Wei sighed in his heart, he replied respectfully: “Your Highness, the danger of the barbarians has been here since the Great Yan Kingdom was founded. Throughout the past dynasties, there was no lack of people who were more capable than Chen to suppress them. However, the danger of being invaded by the barbarians couldn’t be solved all along. It’s not that Chen is incapable of accomplishing it, it’s because the situation is extremely helpless.”
Ming Yu listened very carefully, then signaled for Great General Wei to say his unfinished meaning in his speech. General Wei felt it unexpected and continued: “The people of Suixi Kingdom have no moral virtues of civility and morality, and the characteristics of their people are as tough as nails. Even their three-year-old children can already play on horseback, having grown up on horseback since birth. They are also adept at archery on horses and come and go like the wind. However, we mainly rely on infantry. Often in combat, they quickly withdraw at fast speeds as soon as they run into our great force. But, if they run into our small troop, then we’re of no match to them.”
“So, that’s why, it’s, indeed, really difficult.” Ming Yu thought for a while, then said: “A few days ago, Ben Wang had seen with my own eyes General Xie wiping out a group of small barbarians at Changlan Mountain. If barbarians came to invade, wouldn’t it be absolutely safe to wipe them out in one fell swoop? Yi! (surprise reaction) Having said that, why don’t I see General Xie’s people?”
When Ming Yu mentioned this, he remembered that there was no figure in red robe and silver armor among the officials who came to greet him, so he asked casually.
“General Xie was occupied with important tasks. It was really inconvenient to come today, thus, we request Your Highness not to blame him.” Great General Wei hurried to cover for Xie Yixiu, fearing that Ming Yu would blame him. Although it would not have much impact on Xie Yixiu, it would be better to avoid unnecessary trouble. It is always better to avoid something if it can be avoided. If there needs to be someone to be blamed, then it would be Xie Yixiu for his stinky temper. He wouldn’t come no matter how much he had told him, clearly showing his dislike for this newcomer prince.
“I won’t blame him, haha, Ben Wang just wanted to ask. Military affairs are critical, he shouldn’t delay because of Ben Wang, otherwise Ben Wang can die ten thousand times, but won’t be able to make up for it.” Ming Yu said jokingly. Speaking of it, this person had already offended himself by avoiding him before. He was not a narrow-minded man, and unlikely to blame him for this trivial matter. What’s more, even though he was a prince, it was impossible for him to have too much power over the officials appointed by the imperial court.
He clicked his tongue lightly, why is this person like that? The impression left on him was quite deep. From one side, this person’s indifference seemed to have been soaked in his bones. He only needed to stand there, and he could already freeze others beside him into ice sculptures. This kind of person really couldn’t get along well with other people. Therefore, it would be incredible if General Xie were to appear here.
Great General Wei shook his head with a bitter smile, then continued to answer Ming Yu’s questions, “General Xie’s Red Robe Army is indeed brave and unparalleled, but using General Xie’s 5,000 troops to deal with such a small group of barbarians is really overkill. And the most important thing is, after those small groups of barbarians enter the kingdom, their routes are usually really tricky and bizarre, incapable of predicting. More often than now, we usually dispatch a great amount of manpower to chase after them. Moreover, the troops of the Suixi Kingdom beyond the border also glare at us like a tiger watching its prey. They somewhat have misgivings with the Red Robe Army. Thus, if the Red Robe Army recklessly chased after those barbarians, I’m afraid that the plan would be to lure the tiger from its domain instead.”
The Red Robe Army was not the same as other armies. It was the elite among the elites in the entire frontier army. A good blade must be used at the crucial point. Whenever a war is at its most tense moment, dispatching the Red Robe Army was the key to victory.
If it weren’t for the arrival of Duan Wang and his entourage, the previous barbarians would not have been wiped out by the Red Robe Army. Although it took a little time and effort, the risks were within control.
Great General Wei saying this much, Ming Yu finally understood that the Red Robe Army was indeed well-known inside and outside. It seems that the Great Yan Kingdom only had the Red Robe Army at its disposal.
“Although the Red Robe Army is very strong, with only 5,000 troops, it is a bit small. Why not train more Red Robe Army troops, so that you won’t have to be afraid of that insignificant Suixi Kingdom?” Ming Yu asked a question that he didn’t understand. If there were fifty thousand Red Robe Army troops, they would have attacked the imperial court of the Suixi Kingdom already, where could they have this confrontation?
In the eyes of these big shots, Ming Yu’s question was very novice, but they had no choice but to explain, “Your Highness has made a mistake. Your Royal Highness must not know but the 5,000 soldiers of the Red Robe Army are more than three times the expenditure of the average infantry. Not to mention the extra military expenditures for each person, just the warhorses equipped for the Red Robe Army are the best of the best of precious horses. Your Highness must know that the Great Yan is not like a Suixi Kingdom and does not produce good precious horses, so, for us to be able to obtain all the horses to make the whole 5,000 is already considered to be quite difficult.”
Ming Yu finally understood. The existence of the Red Robe Army was the only cavalry that could protect the Great Yan. Although the Great Yan had a large army, it was mostly infantry, and this infantry when faced with the barbarians’ cavalry was like delivering the food away. When the cavalry ran into an assault, it was no harder than chopping melons and vegetables. Them protecting the Great Yan for so many years, their contributions don’t go unnoticed.
While they were talking, the group had already entered Liangcheng. Ming Yu looked all around. This ancient city had witnessed the long-standing war. Under the erosion of the years, it was already full of holes, and the destroyed city wall had gone through many years of mending to stand majestically. Inside the city wall, there were a few pedestrians carrying food. Many houses, because there were no people living in them, had become old and in a state of disrepair. Some had already collapsed. What remained were the walls reduced to rubble. There were only a few houses that could house people.
Dilapidated and desolated. These were the only words Ming Yu could think of. Thinking that this place will be his territory from now on, he had an urge to hold his forehead. He, indeed, didn’t think it would have these kinds of circumstances. He had once thought about Liangcheng’s situation, but at any rate it was still the largest city on the borderland. It could be also considered as a strategic location. No matter how the war was to be fought, the walls were high and the moat was deep. Even if the battle was to spread, it shouldn’t be a big hindrance. But, he didn’t expect it to be like this.
At that time, he chose this place because he had thought of wanting to stay far away from the disputes in the capital and didn’t want to be too eye-catching. This place was good. As a transit point on the Silk Road, it should be used as a territory and developed into a trading city in the future. Even if one sat down, one can still make money every day without losing money. Moreover, the Emperor had suffered too much from him choosing this place. He had also supplemented a lot from his own private storehouse. From the original three hundred guards who had been entrusted when he became conferred a Wang title to five hundred. He originally thought he had made a profit, but he was finally shocked by reality. He was the one who made a big loss!
It’s fine now, there was no way to retreat, he could only brace himself and move forward. It was what he chose, so he himself will have to swallow his own tears.
Liu Daren saw Ming Yu’s complexion, and understood his thoughts. He smiled and said soothingly: “Your Highness, Liangzhou City is also considered to be quite good, this is only the outer city. The inner city is quite prosperous compared to here, and there are also foreign female entertainers shops that sell wine, those would definitely have some foreign customs. These are what you can’t see in the capital, so you might as well go and take a look when the time comes.”
Foreign female entertainers? Foreigners?