Chapter 187: The Darkness Behind the First Battle (Part Three)
Hearing the mentioning of Shang being conquered, Da Quan’s face changed color. However, he was drinking liquor with his head lowered, so no one noticed the change. He peeked at others when he chugged the liquor, and he heaved a sigh of relief after realizing that no one paid attention to him.
“So tragic?” Fang Jie instantly recalled the 500 elite infantrymen who chased after him when he just left Fangu, but he realized that Li Yuanshan probably didn’t send out those soldiers to the first battle.
Those soldiers would be used at the last moment. It wouldn’t be a good thing for the enemies to realize the true strength of Great Sui’s military.
“Li Xiaozong led the first battle,” Luo Weiran said as he looked at Fang Jie.
Fang Jie smiled and didn’t seem to be bothered by this name. He said, “His Majesty is wise. Li Xiaozong stayed in Fangu for three years, and no one knows more about the people of Mongo-Yuan on the other side of the mountain range than him. I guessed that he led the soldiers; that was why I got surprised by the result.”
Luo Weiran said, “I heard that Mandu Lang, the general guarding Nirvana City, gathered more than 10,000 civilians to defend the city. With those 2,000 elite cavalrymen and these civilians, this result seems to be within reason. Although this battle wasn’t pretty, it didn’t bring shame to Great Sui.”
Fang Jie wanted to say that something was off, but he forced himself not to say it. Although everyone in the room was trustworthy, some words shouldn’t be said casually.
“This first battle was tragic, so it shouldn’t be over in a few hours. What about the reinforcements?” Fang Jie thought. Others might not know, but he knew that Li Yuanshan had a heavy cavalry battalion in Right Valiant Guard! It would take no more than four hours to get to the other side of Wolf Breast Mountain Range; why didn’t the reinforcements get there?
“How come the first battle that should be planned well happened so quickly?”
“How come no one powerful was on the frontline?”
Fang Jie was startled by his own thoughts.
The Emperor sent Yang Kai, the King of Xu State, to manage the war, and Mou Liangbi, the Head of the Ministry of War, to manage the logistics.
It seemed like Yang Kai could command everyone with his identity as a member of the Royal Clan, but those great generals were all arrogant characters. Plus, the governors-general of the three circuits in the northwest were involved.
The complex relationships and links were hard to manage!
The King of Xu State rarely got involved in the central government, and he hadn’t led the military for a long time. His reputation wasn’t that high.
Mou Liangbi only got promoted by the Emperor before the war, and he was imprisoned before that. His reputation was even lower.
These two people seemed prestigious with one being the king of a state and the other being the head of a ministry, but they couldn’t command those influential great generals and governors-general!
Li Xiaozong and Li Yuanshan would be punished for the tragic battle, but the Emperor’s fury would land on the King of Xu State the most!
“This is a trap!” Fang Jie’s heart lurched, and anger appeared in his mind.
About 5,000 soldiers died for this trap. If Yang Kai and Mou Liangbi didn’t compromise, such losses would occur more and more. Some people were trying to lose on purpose!
The King of Xu State would be severely punished by the Emperor if consecutive defeats occurred.
These great generals and governors-general all had secret relationships and dealings. How could they let two new officials dictate the direction of the war?
“The Emperor trusts his officials too much! He didn’t consider the hidden conflicts of interest. If the war is victorious, Yang Kai would get most of the credit. If there are defeats, Yang Kai would also get the blame!” Fang Jie became more startled as he thought, “No! Perhaps someone is behind all these great generals and governors-general!”
Seeing Fang Jie’s expression, Luo Weiran smiled and said, “I mentioned this to you so that you can think. His Majesty will ask you about your opinion on the war. Remember, be smart when you need to and be dumb when it is necessary. Say the things that you should, and don’t mention a word about the things that you shouldn’t.”