Fang Guozhen’s secret letter came. The letter said he knew that Chen Youliang was Lin Yuan’s enemy, so he would first help keep a watch on Chen Youliang. If Lin Yuan wanted to make a move, he would be able to cooperate with Lin Yuan on the inside.
“Half true and half false.” Yang Shaowei said, “Fang Guozhen has always liked to benefit from both sides, does not act before he is sure of the benefits to him, and prefers sitting on the fence.”
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Lin Yuan nodded: “We don’t need to believe it fully.”
Chen Youliang defected to Fang Guozhen, so either he submitted to the Yuan Dynasty, which was obviously impossible.
Or, he managed to persuade Fang Guozhen to rebel again.
One should not make the same action or mistake more than three times, Fang Guozhen naturally understood this.
“Don’t worry about them for now.” Lin Yuan took a sip of tea, “I asked you to watch the movement of the court, have you seen anything?”
Yang Shaowei nodded: “The imperial court is rallying its troops, and I imagine it will come to attack in the near future.”
Lin Yuan raised his hand: “Has the general been decided?”
Yang Shaowei: “The general decided is Chaghan Temur’s foster son, who is also his nephew, Wang Baobao.”
Wang Baobao’s original name was Köke Temür, his father was a Hanlin scholar, and his mother was Chaghan Temur’s sister. As early as when the peasant rebels first appeared, he followed his uncle in putting down the rebellions. Two years ago, Chaghan Temur was assassinated and killed, so he became in charge. Later, he was involved in party disputes within the court, and he was now named the Prince of Henan and Left Chancellor of the Palace Secretariat.
Lin Yuan remembered him.
He remembered that in history, he was hailed by Zhu Yuanzhang as “a man of extraordinary talent.”
It was conceivable that Wang Baobao was not a useless person.
Lin Yuan did not expect that the news revealed using Yu Bi would reel in such a big fish.
The Yuan court now had few generals who could command armies well.
Toqto’a was now in his hands, specializing in water conservancy.
Chaghan Temur was assassinated.
Many more died either in internal fighting or on the battlefield.
It was already at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, and the only ace left now was Wang Baobao.
Lin Yuan sighed.
He could not recruit this person. Wang Baobao was different from Toqto’a. Toqto’a was abandoned and rejected by the Yuan court. So Toqto’a still had a chance to be drawn over by him. But Wang Baobao had always been in an important position, and the court did not wrong him. He also had his own aspirations.
Since he could not be recruited, he could only be killed.
Lin Yuan felt it was a pity.
Yang Shaowei said: “I believe that at the end of the month, Wang Baobao will lead a strong army to attack the city. There will be a fierce battle. My Lord should take care of your safety first.”
Lin Yuan understood what Yang Shaowei meant. He shook his head and said, “This battle will not be lost.”
Chen Half-Immortal and the others had developed a new type of weapon. The previous weapon was only loud and did not possess much killing power , its greater effect was just to scare people and disrupt the enemy’s military spirit. Now, the newly developed weapon, while incomparable to that of the modern times, in terms of the simple defensive measures of this era, this weapon was practically invincible.
In addition to this, there was also an improved crossbow, which had a higher accuracy.
Although it was still difficult to hit a moving target, it was much better than traditional bows and arrows and unimproved crossbows.
Not to mention that they were standing in Hanyang now, with a city wall in front of them, enough food and grass rations, and a ready-made lookout tower.
In addition, the news Yu Bi spread was false news.
If this battle could still not be won, then Lin Yuan could only think that heaven wanted to kill him.
When Wang Baobao received the imperial decree, he couldn’t believe it.
It was not that he didn’t dare to fight, nor was he afraid of death, but that there was no certainty that this battle would be won!
Someone in the court confided in him. The reason why the emperor asked him to attack Hanyang was because Hama said that his spy was now the concubine of the Southern King, and there was no secret on the bed.
Wang Baobao took the imperial decree and sat at the table with his staff of advisors.
The advisors gritted their teeth and said: “That Hama…..he thinks everyone will…..”
Just because Hama successfully used beauties to deceive the emperor, did he think that all men in the world would be blinded by beauty? If it was a trap, if they really stepped in it, it would not just be them who would die, but the entire Great Yuan Dynasty which was on its last breath.
Wang Baobao smiled bitterly: “The imperial edict has been issued, what can I do? This battle must be fought no matter what.”
Advisor: “We should still think about a retreat route. If you really fall into the trap of the Southern King, you must guarantee the safety of the troops. Only with troops can you have a chance to make a comeback.”
Another advisor gritted his teeth and said, “Why didn’t Tughlugh Timur kill him back then?”
After Ha Ma secretly framed Toqto’a, he became the Left Chancellor of the Palace Secretariat, which was the current position of Wang Baobao. His younger brother Xuexue was the Chief Imperial Censor and the two brothers controlled the court. In the 16th year of the current reign, he wanted to expel his brother-in-law, Tughlugh Timur, Tughlugh Timur wanted to tell the emperor first, but was stopped by Hama and beheaded outside the imperial city.
Today’s Hama was already the Head of the Palace Secretariat.
The Yuan official system, with the exception of the three Councillors of State: Taishi, Taifu, and Taibao, the following most powerful was the Head of the Palace Secretariat, which led the hundred officials, and decided general affairs.
The Head of the Palace Secretariat had existed since ancient times, particularly the Western Han Dynasty. This position regained authority in the Yuan Dynasty. After Kublai’s entry into the Central Plains, Yelü Chucai served as Head of the Palace Secretariat, and Kublai resumed the authority of this position, its power extending to all provinces.
Later, the emperor of the Yuan Dynasty generally conferred this position to the crown prince or a member of the imperial family.
It was not that there were no clever emperors of the Yuan Dynasty. The rules of the ancestors could not be changed, but in order for the emperor’s power to not be divided, it was better to use a nephew or his own son in this position.
This position was too important.
No one thought that Hama would be able to climb a step up from the Left Chancellor of the Palace Secretariat.
But if he continued to climb, only the three Councillors of State remained.
Wang Baobao: “What’s the point of saying this now? Save yourself a bit of energy and put your mind in the right place. How should Hanyang be fought?”
It was not that they didn’t know that the Southern King relied on Hanyang not being well-staffed with troops when capturing Hanyang.
But today’s Hanyang was in the hands of the Southern King, and it was no longer the Hanyang that belonged to Xu Shouhui.
Attacking it now was as difficult as climbing the skies.
What was more, they had to march through mountains and rivers, and the consumption of grain and grass, weapons and soldiers could not be counted.
The Southern King only needed to use Hanyang as backing, and he would have sufficient food and grass, as well as soldiers. If their troops were not enough they could recruit on the spot, but could their side do the same?
Guarding outside the city wall?
Soldiers would be consumed, how to add more?
The advisors bowed their heads and pursed their lips without saying a word.
They must come up with a solution as soon as possible.
This was the worst thing in the world. Everyone knew that the emperor was incapable, obsessed with enjoying wine and women, had no ambitions, and lived off his ancestor’s past gains. Most importantly, he also favored traitorous officials and entrusted them with heavy responsibility, whoever suited his wishes was a good official and whoever went against his wishes were corrupt officials. He did not even need to say anything, just one look and someone would below come up with all kinds of crimes to frame and pull down the people he hated.
It was a compulsory course for traitorous officials to speculate on the thoughts of the emperor.
Wang Baobao said to his staff: “We haven’t fought yet, we might be able to win. Who do you want to show your crying face to? Me?”
“Chancellor.” The advisor sighed, “It would be great if you weren’t sent this time, if you win, it will be throwing a sprat to catch a herring. If you lose, it will be because of lack of manpower and insufficient food supply. So the defeat will not be an ugly one.”
“But sending you this time, you can only win, you can’t lose, if you lose, you…..even if you win, Hama will see you as a thorn in his side.”
Left Chancellor of the Palace Secretariat, if he also had outstanding military merits, how could Hama not panic?
Besides, it was not uncommon since ancient times for a general’s great achievements to threaten the ruler. If Hama incited disharmony and displeasure in the heart of the emperor, even if he won, it would be a dangerous road ahead.
Wang Baobao smiled and said: “The Han people say that since officials and subjects receive the emperor’s remuneration they must share in the worries of the emperor. Let’s talk about it again when that day really comes.”
“What we must think about right now is how to capture Hanyang.”
“It is said that Hanyang has only 30,000 troops now, and another 200,000 troops have suffered heavy losses when chasing Chen Youliang. All in all, Hanyang has only 100,000 available soldiers, many of whom are old, weak, sick and disabled. Moreover, Hanyang has changed hands for less than half a year, and the hearts of the people have not fully been won. If we attack now, the chances of winning are not small at all.” An advisor said, “Although Hanyang is a big city, it is not able to infinitely provide reinforcements.”
Wang Baobao: “Siege? This method is too time-consuming. Without at least two years it won’t work. The situation in the court is changing rapidly. I don’t know what it will be like next month, let alone two years from now.”
The advisor could not help saying: “If we can pull Hama down before the expedition…..”
Another person: “How is it so easy? After Chaghan’s assasination, he now takes personal guards wherever he goes, and it is practically impossible to get close to him. Besides, in the imperial city, who would dare to touch the Head of the Palace Secretariat?”
The proposer gritted his teeth: “If I have good martial arts skills, I will definitely kill him!”
But Hama being alive was too much of a threat to them.
Wang Baobao said: “Let him remain rampant for a while longer.”
On the other side, Hama was accompanying the emperor in reading memorials. He was now the Head of the Palace Secretariat, and reading memorials fell within his duty. What memorials the emperor could and could not see now was all up to him. Now in the palace, the palace maids and eunuchs all acted very diligent and devoted to him, treating him even better than their own fathers.
All of them were filial chidren and grandchildren.
The officials outside were not as sensible as these slaves, and there were some who were against him.
But he couldn’t make a move on them yet.
If he really did make a move, the reputation of the traitorous official would not be able to be washed away any longer.
When that time came, the emperor would have to execute him even if he didn’t want to execute him.
Hama said softly: “Your Majesty is tired? Why not rest earlier? There is no end to these memorials, after today there will be tomorrow. Your Majesty is diligent, but you have to cherish your health as well.”
The emperor glanced at Hama and nodded.
He was willing to favor Hama because Hama was the only official in the imperial court who regarded his happiness as his own happiness.
He might not be unaware of what Hama wanted, but Hama could make him happy, could find him beautiful women, so why couldn’t he favor Hama?
How many of those officials whose words were full of the common people could do the same?
He was the Son of Heaven, not a cattle or work horse for the common people. If he worked away his health, could these officials make it up for him?
They complain that he favored Hama, but if other officials showed the same care for him that Hama did, he wouldn’t just fabor only Hama.
The emperor was helped to bed by the eunuch. After all, in the study room he could only take a brief break.
The emperor asked him: “Extending this expedition, if it is won then that is the best, but what if it is lost?”
Hama was full of confidence: “Your Majesty, my foster daughter is the most clever girl, that Southern King is so bespelled by her that he can’t keep any secrets from her.”
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The emperor closed his eyes and listened to Hama’s repeated assurances, and finally said: “Then that’s good.”
AN: Historically, Hama died because Tughlugh Timur managed to find Emperor Yuan Shun in advance and sue him.
His brother Xuexue also died with him.
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