B2C19: Stratagems (2)
In the study of the imperial palace in the capital,
“Ha-ha …” Grasping 2 letters in his hand, Xiang Guang cannot help laughing out loud.
“Zhen Xu really doesn’t disappoint me. 200,000 more troops in secret, with so many troops, their expenses alone amount to a huge number. If Qin De didn’t have it in mind to rebel, why would he play with so many more troops? Could it be he dislikes having a lot of money?” Xiang Guang laughs coldly.
Zhen Xu has been in charge of the intelligence service in the 3 Eastern region counties for only a half year but he has discovered the truths behind many things.
“Your Majesty, by now that Qin De has secretly recruited 200,000 more troops but the Black Water bandits have been keeping him at bay. He won’t dare to mobilize his entire army. Otherwise, the Black Water bandits will plunge his den into chaos. So, basically we don’t have to be worried about anything,” says the hook-nosed man from a dark corner behind him.
Xiang Guang puts the letter in his hand down and says: “What do you know? Even though the Black Water bandits’ leadership has been rendered ineffectual by unruly subordinates, they are after all merely bandits. He only needs to give them some benefits and they won’t cause any trouble. That Qin De can still declare war on the Xiang clan with 800,000 troops.”
“Your Majesty is brilliant.” The hook-nosed man bows and says.
“Zhen Xu has found out the evidence that in the 3 Eastern region counties army provisions, materials and so on have all been prepared to a certain extent. Add to that 200,000 more troops have been enlisted and, moreover, they have been enlisted for over 5 years and have become crack troops, everything shows clearly that Qin De really wants to rebel!” Xiang Guang’s eyes immediately radiate cold rays of light.
The hook-nosed man does not dare to make a sound.
“Very well, this is rebellion.” Xiang Guang unexpectedly has a hint of satisfaction on his face. “Remember, immediately send someone to negotiate with the Black Water bandits, offering them gold, jewels, or treasures and so on and telling them to plunge Qin De’s den into chaos when war breaks out!”
The hook-nosed man thinks for a while and says: “What if those bandits are too greedy?”
“Idiot!” Xiang Guang suddenly turns around and stares at the hook-nosed man. “No matter the price, you must make them agree. You can even promise to give them a county after the war.”
“Offer a county?” The hook-nosed man is startled. Then he also understands. “Your subordinate already understands. Even if we give it to them, they won’t have the luck to enjoy it.” Having been following Xiang Guang for so many years, he knows very well about Xiang Guang’s character.
Xiang Guang nods in satisfaction: “You’re clever. After Qin De has been removed, they’ll be no more than a gang of insignificant Black Water bandits. I only need to give an order and they’ll be wiped out, only that I can make use of them at the moment.”
“Your Majesty is brilliant. Now I already know what to do.” The hook-nosed man responds.
Xiang Guang reads the other letter and says: “Uncle Shangguan’s letter has also confirmed everything Zhen Xu has found out.”
The hook-nosed man moves his eyes in a circle then suddenly says: “There is an alternative, Your Majesty. To catch the rebels we had best catch the leader first. We can secretly send someone to assassinate Qin De. In this way, they will be a group without a leader, so if we send our army out next, we can surely destroy the Qin clan easily.”
“Stupid!” Xiang Guang says with a cold laugh.
The hook-nosed man’s body immediately trembles.
“If we sent an assassin now, needless to say we wouldn’t even sure he would succeed, even if he succeeded, the Qin clan could change its head immediately. According to what I know, among his 3 sons, except for the 3rd son, who isn’t up to much, the other 2 sons both are really outstanding. Moreover, when the assassination happened, the Qin clan would go mad and attack. Its 800,000 strong army is really no joke,” says Xiang Guang with a cold laugh.
“Moreover, if we assassinated him, the Qin clan would definitely suspect that Shangguan Hong has sold them down the river so we would lose more than we gain. Do you understand?” Xiang Guang stares at the hook-nosed man and says.
“I have been an imbecile!” The hook-nosed man hurriedly says.
A hint of complacency appears on Xiang Guang’s face: “We won’t assassinate him. We’ll let the Qin clan rebel and let the Shangguan clan help them. After the Qin clan has totally put their guard down, the Shangguan clan will suddenly switch sides at a crucial moment during the war and stab the Qin clan hard in the back. Humph, let’s see if that Qin clan will still be able to avoid destruction!”
The hook-nosed man’s eyes brighten at once. He says hurriedly: “Your Majesty is brilliant. If we give them a stab in the back at a crucial moment during the war then attack with our armored cavalry we will be able to destroy the Qin clan easily.”
Xiang Guang is very satisfied with his own stratagem. He nods and says indifferently: “All right, you should go do your work now. Try every means to pull in the Black Water mountain range’s bandits. Gold, jewels, beautiful women, treasures and so on, anything can be used. You must make them agree to wreak havoc on the Qin clan’s den during the war. As for the Qin clan and the Shangguan clan, we’ll just pretend we know nothing.”
“I understand. I take my leave.” The hook-nosed man bows and says. Then his body disappears like a flash.
After a while, the hook-nosed man appears in a manor.
“You have returned, darling.” A beautiful married woman walks to him.
“Daddy,” a lovely boy also runs to him. The hook-nosed man lifts his son up in a hug. He also hugs his wife and says: “Honey, let’s go back to our room. It’s cold out here.” Every servant in the manor is very respectful to him.
After entering the room, the beautiful married woman quietly asks: “Hasn’t the Emperor asked you to do something, darling? When can you decline to do what you’re told? It’s always like this and I always feel anxious.”
The hook-nosed man tenderly embraces the beautiful married woman to his bosom and says: “Don’t worry, honey. How can’t I know that this work is dangerous? But I know too much about the Emperor’s secrets so I absolutely can’t refuse to do what I’m told. Don’t worry. Given that Xiang Guang has so little wisdom, I’m still certain I can deal with him.”
The hook-nosed man suddenly frowns and ponders: “Judging by Xiang Guang’s character, when he knew that Qin De would rebel for real, he would’ve sent someone to assassinate Qin De early. How come this time he unexpectedly calmed down and even pretends not to know anything to let the Shangguan clan eventually switch sides?”
As the chief of Xiang Guang’s secret service, how can the hook-nosed man really be such an idiot?
Everything he did in the imperial study was just an act. If he wants to be trusted by Xiang Guang, he has to let Xiang Guang detect his weaknesses. However, how can he really let the Emperor detect his own weaknesses? Therefore, it is best to deliberately pretend that he has some weaknesses.
The hook-nosed man’s guess is correct. There is actually still someone behind Xiang Guang. If Xiang Guang was really this intelligent, he would not have done that idiotic thing in the past.
In the previous courtyard, Qin De is looking into the sky with his hands folded behind his back.
“Given Xiang Guang’s character, perhaps he’ll try to kill me directly.” Qin De gives a smile. In his mind, Xiang Guang is absolutely not worthy of attention. Even though Xiang Guang is not a fool, in terms of strategy, he is still very far from being considered an expert.
Xu Yuan on one side says: “Your Highness, even if that Xiang Guang sends an assassin, we still can’t tell if the Shangguan clan is unreliable. Because that Zhen Xu can find out some information, Xiang Guang can also conclude from what Zhen Xu finds out that we want to rebel and sends someone to assassinate Your Highness.”
Even if there is an assassination attempt, it will still be impossible to say that the Shangguan clan has betrayed them.
“Do we need to know for sure if the Shangguan clan will betray us?” Qin De says with a smile.
Xu Yuan also bursts out laughing.
Yes, do they have to know clearly about that?
The goal of this negotiation is not to pull in the Shangguan clan but to create some diversions. It only needs to produce the effects desired by the Qin clan.
Xu Yuan nods and says: “Indeed, we came to this negotiation only to cause some diversions. It doesn’t matter if the Shangguan clan will betray us or not because this clan’s ending has been decided. We aren’t going to give the Shangguan clan any chance to stab us in the back during the war.”
It does not matter what happens, the Qin clan does not tolerate mistakes. It is not going to take a chance on the Shangguan clan.
“In my estimation, Xiang Guang will offer the Black Water bandits some materials and so on,’ says Qin De with a laugh.
Xu Yuan also laughs.
“There is a secret letter from the princely mansion, Your Highness.” A man runs into the courtyard and hands over a secret letter. Xu Yuan immediately receives it then passes it to Qin De.
“What’s happened in the mansion again?” Qin De opens the secret letter and glances at it. His eyes immediately brighten: “Ha-ha, Heaven has helped me. This time Yu’er has done me a great service. I’ve always been worried by the Xiang clan’s 2 Shangxian. Now, having such a priceless treasure, I’m assured. Ha-ha, this is really wonderful.”
At this moment, Qin De’s excitement is simply indescribable.
“Has something very exulting happened?” Xu Yuan on one side is very curious. Qin De immediately gives him the letter to read. As soon as Xu Yuan reads it, he is very happy. He says at once: “Congratulations Your Highness. Congratulations Your Highness.”
Qin De laughs out loud and says: “This time Yu’er has done me such a great service. When I return I’ll definitely reward him very nicely. Well, Xu Yuan, quickly dispatch people. We’re returning to the princely mansion at once.”
“Yes!” Xu Yuan immediately bows and says. Qin De cannot help laughing. He never thought that his 3rd son would give him such a great pleasant surprise. At first he thought it was only a chunk of a high Xian-grade ore but now it turns out to be a treasure which can be forged into holy weapons.
Holy weapons, no less!
Xu Yuan on one side totally understands how important this chunk of In-rock Flaming iron is to Qin De. In terms of importance, it is even equal to 200,000 troops, so how can Qin De not get excited like crazy?
End of b2c19.