Zhao Junyong was not a commoner. He had a very good background. He used to be a mid-rank official of Nanjing in the Yuan Dynasty. When Fang Guozhen accepted the court’s recruitment, the official position given to him by the court was about the same and it was only this year he was promoted to the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces to participate in politics. So Zhao Junyong’s starting point was very high. He was different from the generals who rose to power as a commoner during troubled times. He was a talent in both civil and military skills. Such talents were very few in any era.
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“How is it?” Lin Yuan was sitting in a makeshift camp, with food in front of him——steamed bun with ham. This ham was made from pork legs, not modern processed ham, so it tasted delicious and eating it was convenient. It was just that it was a bit hard and chewing it led to sore cheeks.
However, only Lin Yuan, Song Shizhao and the others were supplied with meat wedged in steamed buns as rations. After all, there were only so many people raising pigs.
Luo Ben asked as he ate the meat steamed bun, “Why do you say this is a meat wedged bun? Isn’t this a steamed bun wedged with meat?”
Lin Yuan took a bite, drank a sip of water and swallowed it. He said, “Meat wedged inside a steamed bun.”
Luo Ben was taken aback for a moment, and then chuckled: “It turns out that it’s such a bun.”
The battle report never came. Lin Yuan was a little anxious, but his anxiety was subtle. He would not pace back and forth, nor would he show worry on his face. On the contrary, the more anxious he was, the more calm he appeared.
Luo Ben thought it was because Lin Yuan was already sure of victory, so he could calmly wait for the news of victory.
“Zhao Junyong…..” Luo Ben said suddenly, “I’ve heard of this person. He was originally an official of the dog court. Later, he joined Guo Zixing’s army with another person. This person has a long-term vision, unlike Fang Guozhen who is ever fearful and nervous.”
Lin Yuan thought for a while, and suddenly said: “Sometimes people who are ever fearful and nervous live a long time.”
Fang Guozhen lived to the end, and most of the people who lived to the end in history were not heroes, but villains.
Luo Ben was taken aback for a moment, and he didn’t know how to continue the conversation.
At this moment, the battle report finally came.
Generally, there were only three options at this point, they either won or lost at this time, or in need of reinforcements.
The soldier was covered in mud and blood, as if he had just crawled out of a sea of corpses. He rode his horse and was led in front of Lin Yuan. He knelt on his knees and quickly reported the battle report.
As Lin Yuan had guessed, they won. Zhao Junyong’s head was cut off by Chen Baisong and hung on a long pole. The confidants who resisted with him wanted to continue to break through, but were all beheaded by Zhu Yuanzhang and Li Congrong.
Now they were counting the number of people killed and the number of prisoners of war.
But there were not many left. Some soldiers climbed up the mountain when they saw that the situation was not right. People who want to live and have quick minds could always find a way, and Chen Baisong and the others would also not go up the mountain to search for escapees. It consumed too much manpower and did not have much significance.
The prisoners of war were surrounded. Most of them didn’t actually have armor, or any breastplates. As for helmets, some had and some didn’t. But this was already considered pretty good. After all, the military required money everywhere and money was not inexhaustible. Sun Deya was not a person with a huge amount of money in his hands. Even if there were merchants who supported him, it was still not enough to equip all his soldiers with expensive equipment.
Except for Lin Yuan’s, most of today’s armed forces were like this.
Lin Yuan spent practically all the money he could use on military supplies. The salt mines in Xinghua provided him with financial assistance, and the grain and grass rations were sponsored by the merchants, so his biggest expenditure was on weapons and equipment.
This time the troops were dispatched, the grain and grass rations were basically given to him by Shen Fu free of charge, and Shen Fu’s youngest son, Shen Rong, followed them all the way as well. He had to learn how to follow the army and arrange the follow-up delivery of grain which could only be done after he knew the route.
Lin Yuan felt that it was impossible for these merchants to not make money. They were practically desperadoes. They could even put themselves in danger for the sake of money.
It was impossible to send these prisoners of war to Ru Ning. The journey was too long and there were so many people, he couldn’t dispatch enough people to escort them over.
Take them with them on the expedition? When the sound of battle started they would flee together, which would mess up the military’s spirit and order.
And it would consume more food.
Lin Yuan remembered Bai Qi, but he couldn’t copy Bai Qi, slaughtering so many people. Not only was it a violation of heaven and harmony, but he had always remembered why he had come this far, which was to prevent young children from crying day and night. So that people did not have to worry about whether they could see the sunrise tomorrow or not. And so that they could rely on their hands to make a better life. (TN: Bai Qi=military general of the Qin state in the Warring States period of China)
He didn’t want to let himself become a devil who regarded human life as nothing.
Even if he knew that copying Bai Qi might be the best way, it was not the only way.
“Guanzhong, these prisoners of war…..” Lin Yuan sought Luo Ben’s advice. He couldn’t think of a countermeasure for the time being, and this was an urgent matter.
Luo Ben glanced at Lin Yuan. He already understood what Lin Yuan meant. Lin Yuan didn’t want to kill these prisoners of war, but it would also be a burden and a possible threat to keep them. Luo Ben thought for a while and said in a deep voice, “Why don’t you let them find a way of survival on their own? “
Lin Yuan said lowly: “Let them go?”
Luo Ben nodded: “This place is not close to Haozhou. Even if they head back, it will take a while, moreover not everyone can walk all the way back.”
There would be many people who would die on the road, due to hunger, disease, and accidental food poisoning.
Lin Yuan understood, this was the last choice he could make.
He called over a small soldier and gave him a secret letter. Both Chen Baisong and Zhu Yuanzhang knew his handwriting. One must have unique tokens on the battlefield to execute orders. Li Congrong——he was illiterate even now, so his military strategist was picked for him by Lin Yuan and the degree of loyalty he had towards Lin Yuan was beyond doubt.
This military strategist was also Song Shizhao’s proud disciple——Yang Shaowei. This person was young but had a talent for scheming. He had inherited Song Shizhao’s skills for conspiracy and tricks, or resourcefulness, and had also inherited Song Shizhao’s pettiness. This pair of master and disciple when added together, accumulated enough vinegar it could drown people. (TN: vinegar=jealousy)
But he was indeed very loyal to Lin Yuan. Song Shizhao had brainwashed him to this effect. Lin Yuan even felt that Yang Shaowei could die without hesitation if he gave the order.
This was also the reason why he could rest assured in putting Yang Shaowei next to Li Congrong.
After all, Li Congrong was really not a reassuring person. He was an outgoing person and said whatever thought came to his mind. He was simply not a man of shrewdness. But he also had many good traits. He was upright, generous and never speculated about the meaning of others with dark thoughts. He was like a little sun, and no one around him would develop feelings of dislike towards him.
Sometimes Lin Yuan felt that only by living like Li Congrong could people live long and happy, as well as positively affect the people around them.
It was a pity that he couldn’t become that kind of person. Even if it was possible before, when he chose this path, it already destined what kind of person he would become in the future.
But he would not regret the choice he made.
After reading the letter written in his handwriting, Chen Baisong and Zhu Yuanzhang released the prisoners of war.
The weapons of the prisoners of war were all confiscated, and those who had armor and helmets were also stripped of them. Of course, it was impossible to leave such things behind for them.
The prisoners of war were at a loss. They knew that they had been released, but this did not bring them the slightest joy. They felt only confusion.
Some of them had entered the barracks because they were homeless, some were forcibly recruited, and some willingly joined the army to have a constant meal.
The general led them on a march for a long time, and sometimes they had to travel day and night, forgetting even how long they had been walking.
Then…..they met the enemy, and then they lost, the general died, and they thought they would also die.
But now the other party says they can live?
How would they survive, walk back to Haozhou with their two legs? But they had rations when they came, and nothing when they left.
Some of them who thought less were very happy that they could go home and didn’t have to lose their lives.
And some others had troubled looks, how could they go back? Drinking northwest wind the whole way back, and then living in hiding after arriving back, otherwise? They were captured as prisoners of war, and then let back? People would just think they were deserters.
The cheering group of people was the fastest to go. They were eager to go back home. Although there was nothing back home, they still had hope in their hearts.
Another group did not leave. These people had no family and relatives in Haozhou. They became soldiers for a bite of food. In their opinion, no matter where they served as soldiers, they were soldiers who put their lives on the line. In any case, it was just to find a place that provided meals so they wanted to stay.
“Theh want to stay?” Zhu Yuanzhang was also a little surprised.
Li Congrong was chewing the meat wedged steam buns and said, “Then let them stay and fight, anyway we are also going to fight battles.”
Fighting battles were costly, and some of their soldiers had died in this battle. It was a good thing to be able to replenish them.
Chen Baisong frowned.
Li Congrong: “Why do you look at me like this? You don’t want to let them stay?”
Chen Baisong had a bad tone: “Where did your meat wedged bun come from?”
Li Congrong looked innocent: “I saw your personal guard busy outside just now, and found that he was going to bring this to you. So I told him to give it to me, and I will bring it to you instead.”
Chen Baisong: “…..And you ate it.”
Li Congrong had a blissful expression on his face: “It tastes good, and chewing it is also a pleasant experience. I didn’t see it, old Chen, but you sure know how to live the good life, don’t tell me you got yourself a woman? I married a wife, but she never cares what I eat.”
Chen Baisong had no expression on his face: “I don’t care what you eat either.”
That was something Lin Yuan had someone prepare specifically for him. Neither Zhu Yuanzhang or Li Congrong got a share, only he did.
But no matter how angry, he could only swallow his anger, and secretly hope that Li Congrong would choke to death on it.
Zhu Yuanzhang didn’t know the inside story, and said on the side: “More than 20,000 people want to stay.”
Chen Baisong said: “It’s still too much.”
If there were only 10,000 people, they could be absorbed.
Zhu Yuanzhang also sighed helplessly.
They had to drive 10,000 people away.
Li Congrong: “At this time of the year, a group of people traveling together won’t die. They can pick bark to eat, and the wild beasts also don’t pass by places with too many people. Tell them and see how many people will leave.”
Zhu Yuanzhang nodded, and Chen Baisong had no objection.
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After finishing his last bite, Li Congrong sucked a few fingers and said blissfully: “Next time you eat this, remember to call me. I just ate three and still haven’t eaten enough, so don’t be too stingy.”
Chen Baisong did not speak.
The personal guards outside the tent trembled.
What General Li just took away were the last three meat wedged steamed buns.
TN: lmao brother Dao to bring humor as always🤣
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