Chapter 242 - Taking Down Zhennan Pass
Gaia first year, 10th month, 8th day
The people the Cui Chamber of Commerce had recruited finally reached Shanhai County.
This batch of talents totalled at 1,200 people, including 1,000 blacksmiths, carpenters, and tailors.
For them and their family, Ouyang Shuo had to pay 5,000 gold in teleportation costs.
Based on Ouyang Shuo's instructions, the artisans were all sent to the military workshops in the eastern district. As for scholars and officials, they were sent to the various departments, most importantly to form the organizational structure of Tianfeng County and the other affiliate territories.
The military personnel were sent to the various regiments to take up the roles of majors or lieutenants.
Out of the talents, Ouyang Shuo paid a lot of attention to two people. One was the civil servant Cui Shoushi and the other was General Sun Chuan Lin. Cui Shoushi was the cousin of Yingyu and was a scholar. Out of the whole family, he was one of two scholars. Before this, he worked in the court of Dali Region.
His arrival surprised Yingyu.
She didn't expect that her family would make such a huge decision. The Cui family were merchants, hence they placed a lot of importance on their children's education, hoping they became scholars and officials to provide them with political cover.
Cui Shoushi was the most successful example from the Cui family education.
Ouyang Shuo could roughly guess what the Cui Family was thinking, and without hesitating made him the city magistrate of Yishui County.
Name: Cui Shoushi (Gold Rank)
Identity: Yishui County County Magistrate
Occupation: Civil Servant (Scholar)
Specialty: Agriculture Persuasion (raise efficiency of agriculture industry growth by 20%)
Evaluation: Cui Family child, very knowledgeable, good foresight, good morals and hardworking.
Although Cui Shoushi was a gold rank talent, he only had one specialty; it seemed lacking. Luckily, his specialty was very compatible with Yishui Town, whose main goal was agriculture.
If one said that the Cui Family had planned for Cui Shoushi to come over, then Sun Chuan Lin was an unexpected surprise.
Name: Sun Chuan Lin (Gold Rank)
Identity: Shanhai County Resident
Occupation: Intermediate General
Specialty: Projection (increase range of archers by 5%), Strong Shooting (Increase archer combat power by 10%)
Cultivation Method: Youji Archery Technique
Equipment: Luoyan Bow
Evaluation: He was a lieutenant in the army but was replaced by his disciple because he wasn't pleased by military rewards. He exposed the dirty behaviors and acts in the military and got his rewards, but in turn was treated coldly. As he was demoralized, he decided to quit.
The special thing about Sun Chuan Lin was that he was the only general who specialized in archery. This made him think of the territory bow and crossbow cavalry squadron when the territory was at its village stage.
Ouyang Shuo didn't hesitate and appointed him the colonel of the 5th regiment, and also the vice head of the city’s eastern camp in charge of building a bow and crossbow cavalry regiment.
With that, Shanhai County's 1st division was completed with 5 normal regiments and 1 Guards regiment, its total strength reaching 15 thousand people. It was in charge of guarding the 4 directions.
As the organization of the military got into place, Ouyang Shuo started to look to the north of the Lianzhou Basin.
After the Battle of Muye ended, Mulan Town had upgraded to a grade 1 city. One and a half months had passed, and Mulan County had reached the upper limit, successfully upgrading to a grade 2 city.
Mu Guiying felt that the time had come for them to take down Zhennan Pass.
Mulan County had just formed their city protection regiment, which included 2 sword-shield soldier units, 1 cavalry unit, and 2 archer units. With their strength, to take over the Zhennan Pass might not be enough, and it would probably result in heavy casualties.
Hence, they needed the help of Shanhai County.
If Ouyang Shuo sent all his troops, this was naturally a straightforward victory. The problem being that it was expensive to do so. With an army of 5000 as an example, the teleportation costs would run up to 10 thousand.
Ge Hongliang suggested to not teleport and directly go past the wild lands.
His suggestion also had many problems.
Firstly to launch a siege, the core would be infantry. They had slow movement speeds and even if they rushed, they needed to cross 400 kilometres of wild lands and would require over a week.
Apart from that, crossing the wildlands mean that they would definitely cross paths with tribes. As the wild lands was complicated, it was best not to disturb them at the moment.
Ouyang Shuo thought about it and decided that the best idea was to send an elite squad to help Mulan County. In the end, he decided to send the 2 trump card units: the 1st unit of the Guards regiment and the 1st unit of the 1st regiment of the 1st division. Apart from that, 5 sets of three-bow arcuballistas and 10 scaling ladders would be included.
As the military scale increased, war preparations couldn't be done quickly and took a long time.
The Feng bird of the Military Intelligence Division brought Ouyang Shuo's orders and flew to the city west camp. When they received the orders, they had to gather the troops and rush to the main camp, taking 2 days.
The city’s western camp was helping to destroy raider camps along the Tianhai Road construction area.
The money they gained would be given to the main camp and to Ouyang Shuo. To raise their motivation, Ouyang Shuo ruled that 10% of the gold will be given as rewards to the soldiers who participated.
The prisoners would either be sent to the Military Affairs Department and into the reserve force, or sent to Yongye Town or Guangshui Town to increase the population.
This batch of prisoners was pretty much also made to join the construction of Tianhai Road.
10th month, 11th day
Ouyang Shuo brought the 1000 elites, and the combat resources and teleported to Mulan County. As the scaling ladder was huge, even after dismantling it, Ouyang Shuo had to make several trips.
"Brother Wuyi, you are here!" Mu Lanyue waited for him at the teleportation formation.
Ouyang Shuo nodded and asked, "Are you all ready?"
"En, Sister Mu is waiting for you at the barracks." Mu Lanyue laughed.
In the barracks, the Mulan County city protection regiment had gathered up.
Before leaving, Mu Guiying called Ouyang Shuo and the others to the meeting hall to discuss.
Mu Guiying invited Ouyang Shuo to sit on the higher seat, but he refused. "General Mu, you are in charge of this battle. All my forces will listen to you." As he said this, he introduced Wang Feng and Shihu to her.
Mu Guiying had paid close attention to Zhennan Pass and had far more knowledge about it than Ouyang Shuo. She already had a well thought out plan on how to attack it.
Ouyang Shuo naturally wouldn't say too much as he was the guest.
Mu Guiying didn't refuse and said, "After a period of observation, we have found out much about Zhennan Pass. There are around 3,000 mountain bandits, and the leader is called Li Anbai. He was originally a swordsman, but he was schemed against and chased out of his sect, being forced to live in the wilderness and ending up a bandit. He has strong skills but also has a heart of righteousness. After conquering the pass, he told his men to not kill any innocent people.
"The problem was that he had internal injuries that didn't heal. Soon, he will be unable to control the men under him."
Ouyang Shuo nodded. No wonder Mu Guiying wanted to deal with them quickly. One could foresee that the moment he died, the one that would be badly affected would be Mulan County.
"Li Anbai has a daughter called Li Feixue. She's 28 years old and was given birth to after he became a bandit. He loved her and taught her everything he learned. This Miss Li, under her father's teachings, became very pure and righteous, not affected by the bandits. Because of that, Li Anbai is worried that once he dies, his daughter wouldn't be able to gain a footing in Zhennan Pass and even her purity would be taken away by those wolves."
Ouyang Shuo had never expected that there would be such a story.
"Because of that, Li Anbai had many sleepless nights. Coincidentally, a spy was spotted by him and he instead gained knowledge of Mulan County from the spy. After thinking about it, he was emotional and made the decision to give up Zhennan Pass to protect his daughter."
Ouyang Shuo was hit with a bolt of realization, no wonder she knew so much, even those secrets she was so clear about. What he didn't understand was that since Li Anbai was willing to give up Zhennan Pass, why would Mu Guiying need assistance from them?
"What was the change that occured?" Ouyang Shuo asked.
Mu Guiying sighed deeply. "Your guess is right, there was really something that happened. A few days ago, his plan was revealed and an uprising occurred in the pass. Although the bandits respected him, giving up the pass was something they couldn't accept. Added with some people fanning the flames, based on the last information by the spy, both of them were captured. The mountain bandits also spread word that they want to attack Mulan County as punishment."
Ouyang Shuo shook his head in amusement. "These bunch of mountain bandits are too arrogant, they should’ve just stayed in the pass; once they get out, how could they be a match for Mulan County? Such an impractical idea."