Chapter 202: The Battle of Muye (4)
Translator: Team TWO
After he obtained the king’s approval, Ouyang Shuo detailed his plans.
“Winning a war is nothing more than strengthening ourselves while weakening the enemy.”
“Can you elaborate?”
“Just as General E’lai said, most of the slaves cannot be trusted. Therefore, the king can choose the best 100 thousand slaves and free them from the chains that restrict them. Feed them food and promise that if the battle is won, they can have their freedom. Equip them with crossbows and provide some minor training. This way, they will be fresh troops. While their war chariots are the greatest strength of Zhou, we can have the other 600 thousand slaves dig deep trenches scattered around the battlefield to counter it.”
Ouyang Shuo was describing the elite strategy commonly used in the modern society. Rather than sending a sea of 700 thousand slaves to war and risk defection, why not just abandon directly them and refrained them to the battlefield? Additionally, crossbows were the easiest weapon to grasp, so it only requires two to three days.
Di Xin trembled. Joy filled his face, but it quickly faded. He frowned, “It is well-planned, but the imperial court does not have such a large quantity of crossbows.”
Ouyang Shuo smiled, “Are there any hard bows?”
“Naturally there are.”
“The hardest part of crafting crossbow is the crossbow parts that contain the mechanism. I can solve this problem for the king. The king only needs to gather the craftsmen in the city and manufacture as many crossbow bodies as possible and assemble it together with the mechanism and hard bow. This way, 100 thousand crossbows can be produced.”
“Good! If we win this war, you will be the hero of Shang, and I will reward you greatly.”
Ouyang Shuo was happy in his heart, and he quickly said, “If the battle is won, I only wish for a man.”
“Oh? Who is it?” Di Xin was curious to know.
Ouyang Shuo turned and looked at E’lai. He smiled and said, “It is General E’lai.”
Even before Di Xin could answer, E’lai had already given replied, “If you can defeat the Zhou armies, I will follow you.”
“System notice: Congratulations to player Qiyue Wuyi for receiving the subdue mission for the Emperor-level Historical figure, E’lai. Mission task: Assist Shang dynasty and defeat the Zhou armies. Mission deadline: Before the end of the Battle of Muye.”
Ouyang Shuo was overjoyed, “In that case, I have nothing else to wish for.”
Ouyang Shuo followed E’lai’s back, and they walked out of the palace to the weapons workshop in Zhaoge City.
After they reached the workshop, Ouyang Shuo removed the 100 thousand crossbow mechanism parts. The Bow and Crossbow Division crafted all of these parts. Now, they all finally came in handy. Ouyang Shuo had spent a huge fortune in order to win this war.
These 100 thousand crossbow mechanism parts cost Ouyang Shuo 10 thousand gold. Luckily, the territory self-excavated the iron ores, and the wages of the workers were fixed. Otherwise, Ouyang Shuo would have to spend even more.
The Shang dynasty would assemble the crossbows, while E’lai would be in charge of the 100 thousand troops. Ouyang Shuo was relieved of the two tasks that he had suggested.
Ouyang Shuo needed to gather the players and unite them all together now. Ouyang Shuo had no expectations that they could win the battle with only 100 thousand crossbowmen, as it would need more than that. Only coordination between the vanguard troops and the two wings could help them win this war.
It was already 5 PM when Ouyang Shuo returned to the military camp. Such a massive military camp still seemed a little small when it was crowded with the 42 thousand that made up the armies of the players.
In comparison to the Battle of Zhuolu, it was way easier when Bai Hua and Feng Qiuhuang were recruiting the other lord players. The lords knew that in the faction of Shang dynasty, more than 15% of the forces belonged to Shanhai Alliance, and they were also troops of elites. Therefore, if they would like to earn a decent quantity of merit points, joining forces with the Shanhai Alliance would be the best option. Acting alone would only make themselves into cannon fodders.
Other than a few stubborn players, most of them were willing to accept the Shanhai Alliance’s terms.
Ouyang Shuo’s arrangements were still the same. Zhang Liao was the lead cavalry general and Qin Qiong and Lin Yi were his right-hand men; Shi Wanshui was the commander of the sword-shield infantry, and Mu Guiying was the archers general.
As they were under the policy of ‘The World Online,’ players would remain logged in. Hence, when the night falls, everyone returned to their tents.
The following day, the official reorganization of the troops commenced.
After a morning of statistical analysis, excluding the 2,000 that obstinate lords led, there were 40,000 troops in total. Of these troops, 25,000 were infantry, 10,000 were cavalry and 5,000 were archers.
For the next few days, they would have joint training to improve their coordination so that during the final battle, they could be commanded effectively. On a traditional battlefield that involved soldiers of more than tens of thousands, commanding them was always the issue. This aspect could really test the ability of a general.
At the same time, the 600 thousand slaves that were not chosen were digging deep trenches outside of the city. With such large manpower, even the largest fields could be dug beyond recognition.
25-kilometers south of Zhaoge was Muye. It would take the slaves one to two days to move to the battlefield. Therefore, in order to prevent the slaves from running away, King Di Xin ordered 500 royal guards to watch over them.
The main military force of Shang was at the east, which was only composed of 10 thousand royal guards, 6,000 imperial guards, and a number of war elephants. At times like this, Di Xin still sent 500 royal guards to ensure the progression of the plan. The importance he placed on this plan was evident. He had to make sure it worked without fail.
In the skies above them, a little bird flew unnoticed behind the slaves, following them all along the way.
The 4th day, Zhou military main camp, Mengjin.
“Report!” the military spy rushed into the king’s tent, kneeled down and said, “Reporting to the king, intelligence from the front line.”
In the tent was King Wu of Zhou and prime minister Jiang Shang (Jiang Ziya).
“Quickly, tell me.” King Wu of Zhou, Ji Fa was impatient.
“Shang dynasty has made a weird move. They chased hundreds of thousands of slaves out of the city and forced them to dig trenches in Muye,” The spy did not dare to drag on and quickly answered the king.
Ji Fa was puzzled. He turned and looked at his minister, “Prime minister, what are their intentions?”
Jiang Shang stroked his beard. Then, he frowned and said, “Digging trenches, they are trying to stop our war chariots. It seems like there are talents helping them.”
“What? What should we do in response?” Ji Fa was shocked, the war chariots were their biggest trump card and the core of their battle plan. If the war chariots could not reach their enemies, the whole plan would completely fail.
“The only thing we can do now is to send soldiers and chase off the slaves, stopping them from digging the trenches.”
Ji Fa nodded, “In your opinion, who should we send?”
“This is where the problem comes in. Our forces are limited in numbers, so we cannot act recklessly to avoid getting ambushed.”
“Then why not launch the final attack and start the war?” Ji Fa suggested.
Jiang Shang shook his head and said, “We can’t. The others are not here yet, so it is still not the time to launch the final attack.”
Ji Fa was a little unsettled, “Then, what should we do?”
Just as he was getting unsettling, the guards outside the tent reported, “Player representative Chun Shenjun requests for permission to see the king.”
“Let him in,” King Wu of Zhou approved.
Chun Shenjun entered the tent. Then, he bowed and greeted, “Player representative Chun Shenjun greets the king and the prime minister.”
“Forego the formalities,” King Wu imposed his courtesy, “What do you have for me?”
“I am here to relieve the king’s concerns,” Chun Shenjun answered with great confidence.
“Oh?” The king was puzzled.
“I heard the news that the enemy is cunning and sly. They are digging trenches outside on Muye, trying to stop our mighty war chariots. As the representative, I am here to ask for the king’s permission to stop their plans.”
King Wu was overjoyed, “Good, I was just worrying about this matter.”
“Thank you my king!” after getting his approval, Chun Shenjun left.
“Wait,” Jiang Shang opened his mouth and said with great worry, “Chasing them out will do. Try not to hurt anyone.”
“Understood!” Although he answered this way with his mouth, Chun Shenjun did not take the words to heart.
After scouting, they discovered that only 500 soldiers followed the massive quantity of slaves. This was the best-gifted opportunity for them to slaughter the slaves and earn merit points, so how could they possibly miss it? That was why Chen Shenjun had hurried to the king’s tent and requested this task.
After Chun Shenjun left, Jiang Shang was still frowning. He was not at ease.
“Minister, is there anything wrong?” King Wu asked.
“My king. The slaves come from different tribes and states, so they are worth our time fighting for. I am worried that the players will slaughter them.” Jiang Shang explained.
“Did Chun Shenjun not promise you that he will not massacre the slaves? What more is there to worry about?” King Wu was even more puzzled.
Jiang Shang shook his head, “My king, the players’ origins are strange, and they are strong. They might not listen to us at all.”
“Minister, you must be overthinking things,” King Wu believed that he held great power and that his words were useful within the forces.
When Chun Shenjun returned to his tent, Di Chen, Zhan Lang, Feng Qingyang, Xiongba, Sha Pojun, and Wandering Magic were all waiting for him.
“How was it?” Xiongba asked. He and Chun Shenjun were close to each other now.
Chun Shenjun showed his joy on his face, “Done!”
“Good, let’s see how Qiyue Wuyi can still laugh now,” Sha Pojun clamored.
“Should we asked the other lords to join us together?” Zhan Lang asked.
Feng Qingyang was the first to disagree, “There are only 500 soldiers. Our troops of 4,000 are more than enough to handle them. Why should we split the merit points with the others?”
Zhan Lang shook his head, “The infantry walks too slow. Only the high mobility cavalry are more secure.”
“Then, we can invite the core allies and form a force of 3,000 cavalries,” Feng Qingyang took a step back and compromised.
“Brother Di Chen, why aren’t you saying a word?” Chun Shenjun seemed to intentionally ask this.
Di Chen locked his brows. He ignored Chun Shenjun’s self-pride and said, “I am thinking that Qiyue Wuyi most likely proposed the plan to dig trenches. Will there be some trickeries or conspiracies behind it?”
“Haha, brother Di Chen. Are you scared of Qiyue Wuyi now?” Feng Qingyang had voiced his disdain about Di Chen’s doubts.
Chun Shenjun also had a bantering look on his face, and he did not answer Di Chen’s question.
Although they were forced to reunite under the elders’ command, Chun Shenjun still would not allow Di Chen to chair the alliance. It was not a surprise that he had to suppress Di Chen and his fame.
However, Zhan Lang did not follow their childish acts, “What brother Di Chen said is possible, so we must be prepared.”
Chun Shenjun shook his head, “Brother Zhan Lang, you are thinking too much. According to the scout’s intelligence, there are no signs of any other military around Muye. We only need to send the cavalries and surprise them with an ambush. It will take a day for Qiyue Wuyi to receive the news and come forth. That is more than enough time for us to accomplish the task and leave.”
“That’s right. I don’t believe that Qiyue Wuyi is so strong and powerful,” Feng Qingyang was Chun Shenjun’s hardcore ally. Naturally, he would support Chun Shenjun.
Zhan Lang remained silent.