Chapter 175: The Talk with Ning Yan (Part Two)
Ning Yan said, “Given this background, the tough citizens of Mongo-Yuan aren’t civilians; they are all soldiers when they picked up sabers. Even their women could bite Great Sui’s soldiers to death. Kindness during a war wouldn’t result in victory, so His Majesty didn’t plan on being kind. It is the same thing on the side of Mongo-Yuan. If their iron cavalrymen charge into Great Sui, our people would suffer the same way. Instead of kindness, fear is the only way to subdue a tough nation. Kindness can happen after the war but not during the war.”
After a pause, he continued, “Like what you said, Great Sui and Mongo-Yuan are both proud and wouldn’t want to be defeated. This war is going to be tragic from the very beginning. Once our soldiers get onto the grassland, they wouldn’t be able to control themselves. Like demons, they would kill the enemies manically. Since such things couldn’t be stopped, even military disciplines would be fragile before human nature. Therefore, His Majesty decided to go with the flow.”
Then, he smiled and said, “Years ago, Great General Luo Yao and I talked about this topic. He asked me how Great Sui could subdue the people of Mongo-Yuan and control the vast territory of Mongo-Yuan if the military of Great Sui ventured onto the grassland and obtained the victory.”
“What did you say?” Fang Jie asked.
Ning Yan replied calmly, “My answer was that… once the people have surrendered, the territory would be stable and wouldn’t need excess control. The easiest way to subdue people is to kill the ones who wouldn’t surrender. After wiping out close to half of the population, others would be fearful and admit defeat.”
“Wipe out half…” Fang Jie murmured and felt cold inside.
Ning Yan said with a smile, “The people of Yangtze-South are now proud of being a part of Great Sui. About 100 years ago, Great General Li Xiao wiped out about 30 percent of the population in Yangtze-South before being kind. The people who survived obtained benefits and were glad that they were still alive. They only remember the good things after about 100 years. The people of Yong State are now wearing the clothes of Great Sui and using the money of Great Sui. Kids younger than 14 years old are all in school, and seniors above the age of 60 receive money from the government. They have already gotten used to this after only 20 years.”
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Prison could always change people.
Although Fang Jie’s treatment in this prison was special, his mind was gradually altered. That was why he understood what Ning Yan had said.
If it were before, he would argue with Ning Yan and say that only being kind to people could result in a good ending. However, he wouldn’t say such things now.
The rulers who controlled giant territories had to worry about more things compared to the average people, and it was hard to say if their actions were good or bad since the grey zone was so big.
People could have their own opinions, but they couldn’t easily determine if a ruler was a tyrant.
Fang Jie and Ning Yan didn’t talk about this topic for long. After all, it wasn’t good to discuss the military secrets in private; they could be reported for disrespecting the Emperor.
In this imperial world, many people had died because of this.
All kinds of books were on the ground, a map on a wall had many marks on it, a stone weight was inside a wall, and Ning Yan’s war journal was on the stone bed. This was a messy place.