EIF - Book 04 Chapter 022: Soldiers Reach Chaoge City
Prince Shenwu’s study, Southern Suppression City:
Prince Shenwu looked at the report before him with narrowed eyes.
“It is as Gao Xianzhi expected. Aside from the Yuan Nation soldiers in Ying Province, the entire Northern Expedition Army is chasing him around. With only seven hundred thousand soldiers, he has led the enemy by the nose for some time already,” Sima Changkong marveled.
“Gao Xianzhi!” Prince Shenwu’s expression turned increasingly sullen.
Prince Shenwu greatly desired Gao Xianzhi, taking extra care of him. However, Gao Xianzhi continued to head for Chaoge City. Clearly, his heart still lay with the Han Nation.
All of Prince Shenwu’s efforts to recruit Gao Xianzhi had failed.
“A five-million-strong army? He will eventually join forces with Chaoge City? Chaoge City? Can they defend against a five-million-strong army?” one of the advisers said with a frown.
“Supreme Commander, Gao Xianzhi previously requested reinforcements in his report. Should we go?” Sima Changkong reminded.
Prince Shenwu looked at Sima Changkong and said, “Mister Sima, what do you think?”
“We previously received information that the Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s Grand Duke First Class Chang Sheng headed to the capital with official correspondence. It has been some time since then. They should arrive at a conclusion soon. The war will not continue for much longer. Perhaps it would be good for us to extend a helping hand to establish friendly relationships?” Sima Changkong said.
However, Prince Shenwu narrowed his eyes slightly. “But if Gu Hai does not die, this prince will never get Gao Xianzhi.”
Sima Changkong frowned slightly. The advisers in the study also fell silent.
Just at this moment, a female voice suddenly rang out. “Haha! Long Shenwu, I’m back!”
Few dared to address Prince Shenwu by name. The faces of all the advisers promptly sank at this woman’s cry. However, when they recognized this woman’s voice, they immediately gaped.
Before anyone could even turn their head, someone kicked open the study’s door.
Prince Shenwu: “…”
This is my study! No one dares to barge in without my permission. Yet, someone dares to kick my door open? Are the guards outside all useless?
Long Wanyu rushed into the study.
“Greetings, Princess Wanyu!” The advisers immediately bowed respectfully.
However, Prince Shenwu and Sima Changkong showed bitter smiles.
Long Wanyu? She was the only person who dared to kick the door to Prince Shenwu’s study open. Furthermore, he had to accept it. Given certain circumstances, she would even dare to kick down the door to the Qian Heavenly Emperor’s study.
This was all thanks to the Qian Heavenly Emperor doting on her too much, to the point where even Prince Shenwu, one of the three crown princes, could not do anything about her.
“Wanyu, didn’t you return to the capital? Why are you back?” Prince Shenwu frowned.
Behind her, Venerable Liu Nian showed an aggrieved expression.
“Supreme Commander, please forgive us. Everyone, please forgive us,” Venerable Liu Nian said with a bitter smile.
All the people in the study immediately shook their heads. They smiled back bitterly, indicating that everything was fine. Forgive? This was not the first time Long Wanyu kicked the door open.
“Quickly, bring me to meet my brother-in-law. The old fogey already agreed. He wants you to send me to Brother-in-Law,” Long Wanyu said excitedly.
“Huh?” Prince Shenwu gave Long Wanyu a suspicious look.
“Princess Wanyu, previously, you could not leave because of His Holy Eminence’s edict. You returned to the capital to seek out His Holy Eminence for a new edict regarding that. How could His Holy Eminence have agreed? We are currently at war with the Yuan Nation,” Sima Changkong said in shock.
The Qian Heavenly Emperor treasured Long Wanyu greatly. How could he allow her to take risks on the battlefield? Furthermore, with the previous close shave, he should be even stricter.
“What war? The old fogey already declared the war over!” Long Wanyu immediately countered.
“Oh?” Prince Shenwu’s expression changed. Then, he looked at Venerable Liu Nian.
Venerable Liu Nian nodded and said, “That’s right. His Holy Eminence already came to an agreement with the Yuan Nation’s envoy. When we left, they were ironing out the details. I think Grand Duke Chang Sheng should be bringing an edict to Northern Expedition City by now. Furthermore, His Holy Eminence’s edict for you should be arriving soon.”
“The old fogey said that the war was ending and permitted me to go out. Quickly, quickly. Bring me to see Brother-in-Law. The old fogey even issued an edict for Brother-in-Law and said that you are to escort me over,” Long Wanyu said.
Prince Shenwu’s expression changed.
“Supreme Commander, the five-million-strong Northern Expedition Army should not be far from Chaoge City by now,” Sima Changkong said, frowning.
“Gather the entire army. We will depart in six hours and head for Chaoge City,” Prince Shenwu immediately ordered.
Two days later, at Northern Expedition City:
A group of flying ships carried Grand Duke Chang Sheng to Northern Expedition City.
“Lord Chang, you have returned from the Qian Heavenly Dynasty?” An official excitedly welcomed Chang Sheng.
“Yes, I have returned. The talks are settled; the war is over. Hahahaha! Where is the supreme commander?” Chang Sheng laughed.
“The supreme commander? The supreme commander led five million soldiers to march on Chaoge City. It seems he wants to kill Gu Hai and level the Han Nation,” that young officer said with a smile.
“What? Kill Gu Hai?” Chang Sheng’s expression changed.
“Indeed. Your clan’s young master, Chang Ming, is currently missing because of that Gu Hai. Supreme Commander will get justice for Lord Chang there.” That young officer continued smiling.
“Kill Gu Hai? Oh no! Men, hurry! Use the flying ships and quickly head to Chaoge City!” Chang Sheng ordered in a fluster.
Black energy spread out in a valley at the border between the Han Royal Dynasty and the Yuan Imperial Dynasty, and many crimson bats flew about.
A loud report rang out as the boundless black energy exploded. This leveled the surrounding mountains. The countless bats suddenly withdrew, flying into the body of a black-robed man and vanishing in the blink of an eye.
“Hahahaha! My divine technique is completed. Gu Hai, you vile person, I will erase all my past humiliation! Hahaha!”
Chang Ming charged into the air, a pair of bat wings bursting out of his back.
The huge bat wings flapped hard, and Chang Ming shot towards Chaoge City as a beam of light.
Far away, near Chaoge City:
Gao Xianzhi rode on a flying ship. A large number of soldiers followed after him, rushing forward.
“Soldiers, Chaoge City is right in front. Once we reach Chaoge City, we will be safe!” Gao Xianzhi shouted.
“Yes!” the surrounding soldiers answered.
After days of intense battles, only three hundred thousand soldiers remained of the initial seven hundred thousand. Morale was now much lower, but the soldiers did not feel fatigued as long as Gao Xianzhi was around.
Not far away, another flying ship flew over. It was Baili Zhan bringing a group of soldiers to meet up with Gao Xianzhi.
“Have you sent the injured soldiers to the nearby cities?” Gao Xianzhi looked at Baili Zhan.
“Yes, General. I have already sent all of them over. However, these five million Yuan Nation soldiers are very ferocious,” Baili Zhan said bitterly.
“There’s no need to worry. Chaoge City is right before us. Everything will be fine once we get to Chaoge City,” Gao Xianzhi consoled.
“However, General, the supreme commander still has not sent word back. Will the supreme commander send soldiers to reinforce us?” Baili Zhan asked worriedly.
Gao Xianzhi was using the troops to protect the Han Nation, but he asked Prince Shenwu to reinforce him. If it were Baili Zhan, Baili Zhan would not agree to this.
However, if Prince Shenwu did not bring soldiers over, the remaining three hundred thousand soldiers would be in grave danger.
The Northern Expedition Army had five million soldiers. During this time, they had surrounded the area. Even if Gao Xianzhi’s group managed to run, they could not escape.
“Don’t worry. Everything will be fine once we reach Chaoge City,” Gao Xianzhi repeated.
“Yes!” All the soldiers suppressed the worries in their hearts.
Gao Xianzhi continued leading the soldiers towards Chaoge City.
Naturally, the Northern Expedition Army gave relentless chase. They would arrive in Chaoge City soon. Everything would end once they conquered Chaoge City.
The Northern Expedition Supreme Commander sat on a throne on the deck of a flying ship. As he looked into the distance, he revealed a faint smile. “Speed up. Rush to Chaoge City within a day.”
“Yes!” the surrounding soldiers answered and quickly left to carry out their orders.
Battle reports continuously came from all directions.
All the civil and military officials felt worried. They waited outside Huangfu Palace Hall, seeking an audience with the emperor and waiting for the emperor to make a decision.
At this moment, Gu Hai sat in Huangfu Palace Hall, in no rush to summon the anxious officials outside. Instead, he read through an extremely long essay submitted to him. Shangguan Hen, Bing Ji, Tang Chu, and others stood before him.
“Han Royal Emperor, as I do not understand these twenty-four cities well, I had to take some time to gain a comprehensive understanding before preparing this essay on appeasing the citizens. Please give me your pointers,” Bing Ji said, confidence flashing in her eyes.
Gu Hai gave the essay painstaking attention. As he read it, he used red ink to make marks on the essay.
Bing Ji frowned slightly but waited patiently.
After a while, Gu Hai returned the essay to Bing Ji.
“Overall, it is pretty good. There are a few points worth discussing,” Gu Hai said with a smile.
How was it just pretty good? This essay could be considered excellent. Bing Ji had not lied; she possessed extraordinary capabilities in government affairs and politics. Gu Hai felt like he had found a treasure. Of course, as a sovereign, he naturally could not show intense appreciation openly. Hence, he recalled a few similar theories from Earth and made some amendments.
“That’s impossible. My essay can already be considered perfect!” Bing Ji received the essay back, feeling skeptical, then carefully read through the remarks.
After a while, Bing Ji said in shock, “A tax system? You are exempting the lowest level of citizens from taxes? Although such citizens pay little tax, there are many of them. This is a huge source of income, and you are abandoning it? Wait, that’s not right. You added a tax on goods?”
“Categorize the various goods and designate some to be taxed. This is a more reasonable and effective way of collecting taxes. Furthermore, we can collect even more,” Gu Hai explained.
“Oh! It…it can be done this way? Paying taxes when one buys something, but no one notices it? Given that, it benefits the citizens of the lowest level? The citizens would be more willing to accept your policies?” Bing Ji looked at the amendments in shock.
Bing Ji had considered her plans already perfect. However, when she compared them to Gu Hai’s, everything she had written seemed stiff and inflexible. She blushed.
“Overall, it’s pretty good. As for the Third Corps commander position, you—” Gu Hai was about to announce something.
However, before Gu Hai could finish, a guard rushed into the palace hall.
“Your Majesty, Gao Xianzhi’s army arrived outside the city. However, the Yuan Nation army is in pursuit, placing them in a difficult position,” that guard reported.
“Oh?” Gu Hai narrowed his eyes. “He is finally here?”
Gu Hai suddenly stood up, flung his sleeves, and slowly walked out of Huangfu Palace Hall.
Bing Ji looked at the essay that Gu Hai had annotated. Then, she followed Shangguan Hen and the others out of the palace hall while biting her lips.
“Your Majesty, you finally come out!” A large group of anxious officials waited outside the palace hall.
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