The September of the seventeenth year of Yuan Shun.
Lin Yuan went out with the army. This was his first attack against an armed force aside from the imperial court. This was also a war of great significance for Lin Yuan. A total of three generals, including Chen Baisong, led the expedition.
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Chen Baisong, Zhu Yuanzhang and Li Congrong.
Each of them led an army of 100,000, and this time a total of 300,000 soldiers went on the expedition.
Lin Yuan sat in a carriage——his thighs have not yet grown calluses and riding a horse would only make his thighs become bloody. So Lin Yuan chose the latter between “the dignity of a man” and “to not walk like a duck”.
Fortunately, according to his status now, no one would laugh at him.
The three generals must lead soldiers in front, and must ride horses. Song Shizhao and Luo Ben also sat in Lin Yuan’s carriage.
The dirt road was not smooth. Although the roads in the territories under Lin Yuan’s rule were all undergoing road construction, the road they were passing through had clearly yet to be included in the road plan as the manpower was still too limited.
Lin Yuan still remembered the propaganda “Many people meant great power”, so people desperately had children, and added to the fact that there was a traditional belief that more children was a sign of prosperity, the population began to explode. Because at that time there was a shortage of labor and many technical talents, but this also brought along a huge problem.
The problem was in fact these people who were born in the same era. Once they entered old age, society would passively enter an aging society.
The employment outlets for young people would decrease, and the pressures of life for the elderly would increase.
Therefore, encouraging population growth was a double-edged sword.
Lin Yuan sighed.
He had not found a solution yet.
“I wonder what’s the situation in Hanyang now.” Song Shizhao looked at the news that the spies passed back, saying that Ni Wenjun had rebelled, but what was specifically happening between Xu Shouhui and Ni Wenjun now was not clear to them.
Song Shizhao said: “Ni Wenjun should be able to get what he wants. Xu Shouhui does not have many people he can use, and he is not an outstanding emperor in any case.”
Luo Ben said at this time: “Although Xu Shouhui is not capable, he still has four great heavenly kings under his command, Taishi Zou Pusheng, and generals besides Ni Wenjun such as Zhao Pusheng and Fu Youde. These three are not idiots. Ni Wenjun rebelled openly so naturally these three people will fight back desperately, and it is not yet known who will win in the end.”
Lin Yuan smiled and said: “Guanzhong’s statement makes sense.”
As Lin Yuan had spoken, Song Shizhao could only say obediently: “I am ill-informed and narrow-minded.”
Lin Yuan comforted him: “It cannot be blamed on Mister, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, if you can know the world, then you are not a mortal, but a god.”
Song Shizhao lowered his head, looking very ashamed.
After leaving Lin Yuan’s territory, the roadside scenery quickly changed.
All over was desolate land with no life to be seen. The people seemed to have never returned after abandoning their homes. There were still corpses dragged out by wild dogs laying on the roadside, and some even have only skeletons left.
Nowadays the world is like this. The big cities might fare better, at least there were armed soldiers in the city, and the big households would not let the bandits enter the city. In any case, they would be united at the time and the common people could also benefit from this.
But rural farmers did not have such conditions, no one would protect them, and the bandits paid the least price when attacking them, so they were more likely to be harmed.
Lin Yuan thought of the secret letter Jiang Guang sent to him, and knew that Jiang Guang had not tampered with food at this time. Therefore, Ni Wenjun was now strong in military power, and his spirit was at its best. If they go now to attack them, it was very possible Lin Yuan would be facing a situation of being attacked by the enemy on both the front and rear sides.
The best situation would be when they arrived in Hanyang, the soldiers and horses of Xu Shouhui and Ni Wenjun were already in the most exhausted state.
At that time, if they join in the fight, their own consumption would be reduced to a minimum.
They have been on the road for nearly two months.
In ancient times when there were no cars and highways, the cavalry had horses but more soldiers were infantry. They could only advance on their two legs. In addition to the infantry, there were logistics soldiers who had to transport food and grass rations, and behind them were the army doctors and nurses.
Being a nurse was a new occupation, but there were not many women who were willing to become nurses and receive training.
Because nurses meant that when there was war, they must be called up and go to the battlefield. Although they were in the rear, if their side lost, then they definitely won’t be able to escape. But if they could go back alive, they would be promoted and have their monthly salary increase.
Therefore, women who generally chose to become nurses were mostly alone or from extremely poor families.
Logistic troops were made up of more physically strong men. If they lacked troops on the battlefield, they would also pick up arms and step onto the battlefield.
The soldiers were all very tired. They had to march every day while wearing helmets made of heavy iron. Although it protected their vital points, it also brought more burdens to the soldiers. It was September, and the autumn sun was strong, especially at noon, so during the noon period, Lin Yuan was worried that the soldiers would become dehydrated. As a result, every time they stopped to set up camp, he would first send someone to find a source of water.
Lin Yuan jumped out of the carriage as soon as the carriage stopped. Once halted marching, the temperature inside the carriage was higher than that outside. After all, there was still some breeze to be had outside.
But Song Shizhao was reluctant to come down, saying that he was old and he was not afraid of heat.
Lin Yuan didn’t force the issue either. Sometimes he didn’t know what Song Shizhao was thinking.
Luo Ben told him: “He just sweated a lot, and the reason he doesn’t want to come down is probably that we will be able to smell it when the wind blows.”
Lin Yuan: “…..Wouldn’t the smell of sweat be stronger in the carriage?”
Luo Ben: “When people get older, sometimes they are a little bit…..”
Lin Yuan pondered for a while, and he suspected that Song Shizhao might get Alzheimer’s when he got even older.
It seemed that in the future, he should find more work for Song Shizhao to do. Perhaps maintaining frequent mental activities might be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease?
A soldier brought two wicker stools over for Lin Yuan and Luo Ben, and they could be sat on directly after being put down on the open space. The principle was similar to the portable stool carried around during fishing. The soldier looked at Lin Yuan with reverence and some fanaticism, but Lin Yuan could now take these looks in stride.
Luo Ben went out for a while and brought back two cups of tea. Lin Yuan also looked around. The soldiers all took off their helmets one after another and looked for a shaded area to rest in. There were some who had better energy and sat together to chat and drink and eat something. They were all assigned dried meat rations when they set off on the expedition which was very chewy, and the more they chewed, the more fragrant the meat became. Although it was not flavored with any spices, the taste of the meat was enough to conquer their stomachs.
As for Chen Baisong and the others, they rested in a position further ahead. The soldiers they led were cavalry and a small section of infantry with better physique. They had to distinguish the directions along the way, find an open space suitable for camping, and patrol the vicinity of the camps to check whether there were any common people or bandits around.
This was supposed to be the work of the scout, but this time because Lin Yuan personally went out on the expedition, their reaction was a little big.
Lin Yuan also persuaded them, but they insisted, so Lin Yuan didn’t waste his breath on this anymore.
Both Luo Ben and Lin Yuan sat on the wicker stools, and because the ground was uneven, it was a little shaky when they sat down.
Lin Yuan felt like he was sitting on a rocking chair. He said to Luo Ben: “Who do you think will win, Xu Shouhui or Ni Wenjun?”
Luo Ben replied seriously: “Xu Shouhui.”
Lin Yuan smiled and asked, “Why?”
Luo Ben: “Ni Wenjun’s rebellion is not righteous, even the soldiers he has under his command might not obey him sincerely. In contrast, Xu Shouhui is the emperor and has righteousness on his side. Moreover, he has not committed any large mistakes since ascending the throne. Ni Wenjun is also not the only general underneath him. With Ni Wenjun gone, the others will be able to climb up the ladder. What’s more, the conceited troops will lose, while the troops burning with righteous indignation will win.”
It looked like Xu Shouhui was at a disadvantage. Ni Wenjun was strong with military power, and he also understood the distribution of forces in Xu Shouhui’s hands. He seemed to have a better chance of winning than Xu Shouhui.
Lin Yuan looked in the direction of Hanyang, and seemed to see Hanyang through numerous obstacles and the long distance.
He was already thinking about what to do after he captured Hanyang.
Just like what he did in Gaoyou and Taizhou, he first broke up the original political system, disrupted the official cliques and planted his own people.
What he was going to do next was even simpler.
Lin Yuan smiled and shook his head, he also felt like he had become a little conceited.
Luo Ben also saw Lin Yuan’s smile and said strangely: “My Lord, this is…..”
Lin Yuan: “I’m just thinking, maybe one day, I will become a person you can’t make sense of.”
Luo Ben: “Why does my Lord say this?”
Lin Yuan laughed self-deprecatingly: “It’s nothing.”
Sometimes he feels that he thinks too much. If he thought less, he would be more relaxed.
The soldiers lay on the ground with limbs sprawled, but even so, they all kept a hold of their weapons in their hands. This was a habit left to them by countless battles. Their sleep would not be very deep and if they felt a threat, even the eyes would not necessarily have to open, and instead just directly pierce their enemy with their weapons.
“Killing in a dream” was very possible on the battlefield. People’s minds were in a state of high tension especially when their consciousness was not awake enough. Instinct would take over the nerve response, and the survival instinct would control their behavior.
“There is a horse ahead!”
“There is a flag! It is our own soldier!”
A black horse was carrying a short man, and the man was holding a small flag to avoid accidental injury.
He jumped off his horse and ran to Lin Yuan in large strides: “Reporting to the South Bodhisattva! We have encountered a large army that is also heading to Hanyang! South Bodhisattva, please make a decision!”
Lin Yuan pursed his lips: “Whose army?”
Man: “The name Sun is written on the flag, it should be Sun Deya’s army.”
Lin Yuan: “How many soldiers?”
Man: “Roughly speaking, it should be 100,000.”
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Nowadays Sun Deya had already replaced Guo Zixing and took over Guo Zixing’s power. His personality was completely different from Guo Zixing’s, so him coveting Hanyang was actually not all that surprising. He was a greedy person, and greedy people would never complain of the land and power in their hands having increased.
Lin Yuan: “Tell them to use Sun Deya’s soldiers for a training session, and reinforcements will be there soon so they must defeat them for me.”
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