Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Ming Yu lifted a finger, pointing to a segment on the map, saying: "This is our Crescent City, situated in an important point in trading routes. Previously, your tactic of a year of tax exemption was truly an inspired one. However, we can add an addendum to that… the tax exemption should only be for original citizens of the Crescent City, and the merchant traffic that comes in and out constantly should still be taxed. These traders are all extremely rich; if we do not shave some off of them, then it would be a major disadvantage, even a disservice, to ourselves."
"Weiqing, have a look there. To our east and west flanks, there lies a city each not far from us. The distance from those two cities to our Crescent City is about a hundred and fifty li to two hundred li, and their sizes are actually not too different from the Crescent City. Within the area controlled by these three cities, there are a total of two hundred and sixty three villages, and the overall population of the cities and villages added together is actually shockingly high if we add them all up. This has a historical reason, after all this is close to the Fei Li Empire borders, and the safety and prosperity of the Fei Li Empire is naturally more attractive; thus almost two thirds of the original Heavenly Bow Empire citizens are actually at the north. As long as we take control of those two cities, not only will we be able to greatly increase our income and resources, we can also gain much influence. More importantly, we will have the manpower to begin proper recruitment. We can also seize the chance to spread the word about our great victory over the Kalise Empire, and hopefully draw the attention of the Heavenly Bow Empire army whose remnants are scattered all over the lands."
By occupying all three cities, that means we will form a line of control that is easy to guard, and it also means we will truly have our backs to the Fei Li Empire. If the Kalise Empire chooses to defend and are not urgent about attacking us, it is even better for us. For now, gathering our strength is the most important. With the full might of the Peerless Regiment as our ace, when the time comes, even if the enemies send two Legions, we do not need to be afraid. Furthermore, if the Bai Da Empire really sends a major troop against us, that will give us the perfect opportunity to request for aid from the Fei Li Empire. They will not condone having such a huge army from their enemies so near their borders, and by fighting in our lands with us as a barrier, it is far more attractive than having the Bai Da Empire invade them instead… so they will most likely agree. Once our army strength is sufficient and with proper training, it will be easier to do anything we plan from there."
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: "Bro Ming, your thoughts truly coincide naturally with mine, we are indeed perfectly in harmony. Taking the north of our original Heavenly Bow Empire territory, recruitment, stocking up of supplies… growing our strength to wait for a good opportunity. Very good, now I can feel easy in passing you the direct command of my army."
"The greatest benefit of a lateral expansion like that is that it will be less likely to cross the baseline tolerance of the enemy. We can stay silent and unmoving while building up, and once we act, it has to be a swift and crushing movement that has great effect, so slice through our enemies like splitting bamboo1. Not only do I want to revive our Heavenly Bow Empire, but I also want to wipe out the Kalise Empire from the map. They have given us such pain and suffering, and I will definitely return it ten times, a hundred times!"
As he spoke up to that point, Zhou Weiqing’s fists were gripped tightly, a cold light in his eyes.
Zhou Weiqing had a relatively simple style of judgement towards things. He believed in the old saying ‘Words are but wind , but seeing is believing’. In the Fei Li Empire, although Ming Yu and his personal guards had lost to his Peerless Regiment, Ming Yu had also shown him his strength and skill in commanding his troops.
In that respect, Zhou Weiqing held great respect for Ming Yu. He had been able to command and wield his thousand men as if they were part of his body, an extension of his will. Such an ability, it was not something any ordinary commander could do.
It was also due to this respect for Ming Yu that he actually felt a stronger good will towards the Heavenly Demon Sect. One of Zhou Weiqing’s strongest points was that he had a good judge on his own abilities, knowing where his own strength and weaknesses lay.
In terms of pure fighting and combat prowess, even five of Ming Yu added together was no match for Zhou Weiqing. But… in terms of commanding an army, perhaps ten Zhou Weiqings could barely catch up with the Fei Li God General!
As such, although Ming Yu had just joined them, Zhou Weiqing instantly declared his absolute trust in him. Zhou Weiqing was extremely clear that the type of human being Ming Yu was… they were often proud and aloof. If he presented himself as wary and on guard against him, perhaps this Fei Li God General would leave… after all the Fei Li Empire was a good example.
What Zhou Weiqing wanted was to allow Ming Yu to use all his talents to their maximum. He could understand why Ming Yu had come… the Heavenly Demon Sect aside, perhaps it was more that he truly wanted to have a chance to command the Peerless Regiment of his.
For someone like Ming Yu, even though his cultivation level was not higher, but his rank and status in the Heavenly Demon Sect was perhaps even higher than his father Ming Wu. If he was not willing to do so, even the Heavenly Demon Sect would not be able to force him to go aid Zhou Weiqing.
The Peerless Regiment had been built from ground up by Zhou Weiqing, after so many trials and tribulations. He knew how much effort and resources he had poured in the Peerless Regiment. Even if one ignored the massive amounts of gold and resources, just in terms of the spirit, vigor and thought he had invested, without Shangguan Fei’er and the Heaven’s Expanse Palace’s precious medicines, without Long Shiya’s Heavenly Cores to create those medicines, and without so many skilled Consolidating Equipment Masters painstakingly creating so many Consolidating Equipment Scrolls… how could the Peerless Regiment be at its current state? Even now, the entire Peerless Regiment had not been fully outfitted. To have lost forty nine of his elite warriors and brothers, Zhou Weiqing’s heart truly ached deeply.
Of course, it wasn’t that Zhou Weiqing’s heart did not ache when he passed the command of his precious Peerless Regiment to Ming Yu. However, he was clear that only an outstanding commander like Ming Yu could truly make full use of the Peerless Regiments entirety, to flourish their true power and strength. He did not want to see another time like the fight in the Crescent City. Despite the fact that they had achieved final victory, and Ming Yu did not speak of anything, but Zhou Weiqing knew that their losses were because of his own mistakes in command. If he had been able to hold back longer, waiting a month before he actually attacked the Crescent City, they would never have suffered such losses. He might have the talent at military command, but it was definitely extremely undeveloped and immature. Zhou Weiqing did not want to see the force he had painstakingly built up wasted away due to his own commands.
It was because of all these factors and considerations that he did not hesitate to pass command to Ming Yu, while he remained at the background overseeing everything. Of course, that did not mean that his existence was useless. On the contrary, just like what Ming Yu had said, he was the spiritual leader of the Peerless Regiment, the soul and backbone of the entire Regiment. It would not be easy for Ming Yu to even attempt to take over his position. Furthermore, Zhou Weiqing would still be the decider in matters of the big picture. In terms of direct military command, perhaps Zhou Weiqing was still lacking, but in terms of big picture strategy and the entire political structural layout of the world, he was no lesser than Ming Yu. Perhaps in terms of level, he was at an even higher state than Ming Yu.
Only Zhou Weiqing himself knew clearly what connection he had with the Heaven’s Expanse Palace and Heavenly Snow Mountain, and how to make use of that connection.
Furthermore, the Peerless Regiment was created by Zhou Weiqing and his companions. Even if Ming Yu had the command of the Regiment, he did not need to worry. After all, no matter what, Ming Yu would never be able to take away the Peerless Regiment.
This bloody battle in the Crescent City could be said to have taught Zhou Weiqing a massive, painful lesson, but it was valuable experience nonetheless. Towards any future battles and wars, Zhou Weiqing was beginning to have a clearer picture and understanding.
Ming Yu laughed heartily and said: "Very good, I shall not be too courteous then. I hope that you are truly letting me have full command, and absolute control in that sense."
Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: "Your every order is to be executed without fail. If anyone disobeys, they will be punished with martial law."
Ming Yu said: "Very good. Next, what we shall do first is to build up our campaign. Our losses this time are extremely high, and the citizens in the Crescent City will not be able to recover from the pain so quickly. As such, recruiting should not be our top priority any time soon. After all, our Peerless Regiment main force should be arriving soon. Of course, my dear Commander Zhou, I have to say that if the rest of your Peerless Regiment are just flowers in a mirror and the moon’s reflection in water 2, and not as you promised, don’t blame me if I just walk away! As a commander and general, it is your Peerless Regiment that drew me here, and I would be extremely honoured to be able to command an elite regiment like that. Otherwise, I might as well remain in the Fei Li Empire and continue scheming along with them."
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: "You will definitely be satisfied. Without question, this First Main Company that I have brought are the finest of the entire Peerless Regiment, the cream of the crop. However, the rest of the troops are not to be dismissed easily. Especially so for the Peerless Heavy Cavalry… they definitely have equivalent strength, or perhaps even stronger."
Ming Yu nodded and said: "Let the Peerless Regiment brothers rest and heal up. I will send my personal guard out to begin spreading news and propaganda, to let the brilliant results we have achieved spread through the north. We must let the citizens in the north know that our Heavenly Bow Empire armies have returned. Next, we just need to continue moving step by step and it should be without any problems. After all, the most difficult and important fight is now over.
Zhou Weiqing began to introduce Ming Yu to the various structure and formations of the Peerless Regiment in detail, their powers and strengths. After which, this Commander once again passed the reins of power totally to Ming Yu. By leaving halfway, firstly it was to show full support for Ming Yu, and secondly was also because his heart was now with Tian’er and his precious one in her stomach.
After a few days of sorrow, the Crescent City slowly regained a sense of normalcy. The four gates opened wide, and normal operations resumed bit by bit.
Ming Yu was definitely the sort who carried out his tasks with speed and vigor, with the force of thunder and speed of lightning. Within these few days, he had already familiarized himself with all of the Peerless Regiment, all the various formations within and their strengths and weaknesses. After some discussion with Zhou Weiqing, he had also added his personal guard to the Peerless Regiment, splitting them into two ‘Main Companies’ to suit the Peerless Regiment’s formations. As such, the total strength of the Peerless Regiment was actually now that of an actual Regiment.
Unexpectedly, in just four days, the main force of the Peerless Regiment had passed through the Fei Li Empire borders and reached the Crescent City. When Zhou Weiqing caught sight of the familiar sight of his closest armies arriving, tears almost threatened to fall! The arrival of the Peerless Regiment meant that they could finally hold steady in the north of the Heavenly Bow Empire, no longer needing to worry about enemy attacks.
Currently, the entire Heavenly Bow Empire armies were fully ready to begin the revival of their empire, their various departments deployed out, especially in terms of their proper formations.
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