Chapter 224: Are You Serious?
“Wan Qiao,” Hui Yue called her name. His voice sour and his eyes stern, “Are you telling me that you are going to wage war against humans, but none of you know where you are going to war at, or against whom you will fight? The only thing you know is that you will fight for freedom?” He asked completely taken aback about the laid back attitude the One-Horned Jasmine Eagle had about the whole affair.
“Actually, I have not talked with anyone yet about this war,” Wan Qiao admitted, “You are the first one I spoke with because I feel like you were sent from the heavens. You are both beast and human; you are the living proof that humans and beasts can live in perfect harmony, something that I know the beasts from within Shenyuan have missed for the last many millennia.” Saying this her face was sad, but Hui Yue was flabbergasted from what she said.
“War is not such a simple thing,” He said unaware of how this woman who had lived for so many years considered war something that they could plan together with just the two of them like they could sit down and talk about it over a cup of tea.
“We will need infantry. We will need cavalry. We will need warriors and cultivators ready to die for the sake of the nobles. Or I guess in Shenyuan it would be for the sake of the Lords of the Forest.”
“Do you even have an army?” He asked, all the energy within him was being drained from this conversation. Having studied history in his old life, Hui Yue was very well versed when it came to war. He had written a paper about the famous Chinese book called The Art of War. Something which allowed him to truly understand some truths about war.
“To win a war we will need to know ourselves and our enemies. It is not enough to create an army and march into a random country, expecting victory. By doing so, we will end up losing a lot more men than we have to. The first thing you need to do is figure out what the goal of this war is. What is it you want? I know you said freedom, but in which way? Do you wish to take over a Kingdom? An Empire? Do you wish to attack both places simultaneously? Do you want Shenyuan to grow and envelop one of the other kingdoms, or is your intent to coexist with the humans?”
Sighing deeply, Hui Yue felt a headache coming. Wan Qiao looked at him with dazzling eyes and her lips curved upwards in a grateful smile.
“I knew you would be much better at this than I am,” She said laughingly, “So what do we need to do first?” She asked, completely opposite to what Hui Yue expected. It seemed as though she had been playing around with the thought of starting a war for a long time. However, she was, after all, a magical beast. She was not used to planning and preparing everything beforehand.
Sighing deeply, Hui Yue decided that he might as well help this woman. By assisting her he would have some power to protect the people he knew in the Taiyang Kingdom, and at the same time give the beasts the freedom they truly wished to have.
“First, gather all the Lords of the Forest,” Hui Yue said with a sigh, “We need to have a meeting and as soon as possible. First off, we need to find out if they are even interested in participating in a war. Secondly, we need to know about their fiefdoms. I need to know how many guards and soldiers they each have. I need to know what possibilities they have for provisions, where their fiefdoms are located and how far a journey they will need before they can meet up with the main army; which I assume would be your guards and soldiers here in the capital.”
“We also need to know what exactly these lords wish for when they talk about freedom. Do they want to expand Shenyuan? Do they want to cohabit in the world with the humans? I really don’t know what they want, and all I can do is speak with them.”
Hearing the many words flooding from Hui Yue’s mouth, Wan Qiao was ecstatic. She had long since decided on the idea of starting a war, but in her world, the only way she had planned on waging war was by bringing the many saints and crushing the other three kingdom’s Saints. This would leave them barred of their strength and allow for the beasts to take over everything. This could in some way work; however, it was highly unlikely that it would help the lower ranked beasts who were to enter the countries ruled by humans. These humans could easily kidnap and force the human-beasts into beast contracts as the lords were incapable of being everywhere at the same time.
Sighing once more, Hui Yue shook his head as he wondered what would be the most beneficial solution. “Wan Qiao, I’ll expect you to invite all the Lords of the Forest, and get them to arrive as soon as possible,” He said as he slowly rose to his legs. “Until they arrive I will be focused on my training. Please try not to give me any more major shocks, or I am afraid I won’t be able to handle it,” He sighed as he slightly bowed and slowly left the room. After Hui Yue left Wan Qiao excitedly ran around preparing to send for the Lords of the Forest, summoning them to her castle.
While Wan Qiao was filled with energy and gratefulness for the words she heard Hui Yue say, alongside the happiness from seeing the young man participating in the war preparations. This was exactly as she had hoped. As a magical beast scheming was not her forte, nor was she any good at the practical parts of war. For her, strength was the only thing which mattered. If she had strength, she had everything she needed which in situations like these, proved to be flawed.
Hui Yue, on the other hand, was not feeling energetic about the whole situation; instead, he was feeling shocked and uncertain about to how to proceed. He had multiple military strategies floating around within his mind, but for him to find the best he needed to know exactly what it was that these beasts were looking for.
Having been in Shenyuan for quite some time, Hui Yue found that he still did not understand the world of the beasts. He had not noticed that these beasts were hungering for freedom. While thinking about it, he realized that there were not any ordinary beasts in Shenyuan, which in turn was the reason why the magical beasts had to turn on each other for food.
For Hui Yue, there was nothing unusual about this. When he lived in Riluo City and went to the magical forest where his parents lived, many magical beasts prayed on one another, especially on beasts of low intelligence such as hogs, rabbits, birds, and deer. For him, it was natural for magical beasts to hunt other magical beasts, but from what he heard Wan Qiao say, it was not usual. Now it was so bad that the intelligent beasts hunted other intelligent beasts something that caused the One-Horned Jasmine Eagle great pain.
Hui Yue could somewhat understand the dilemma the eagle was in and he did wish to assist, however, he was not certain how he could help. Deciding not to think anymore about the war right now, Hui Yue returned to his room where he sat down and started to cultivate. He never once missed his nights of cultivating and refining the essence of the heavens and the earth. His eyes closed and his soul was once more tranquil as it absorbed the essence, and slowly allowed for it to be refined to the purest Qi. Afterwords it was refined further into spiritual energy.
The night went by and the following day Hui Yue awoke early in the morning. Without paying any heed to the war situation, he went to the training grounds where he started his training schedule that Wan Qiao made for him. Every day he could feel his body gaining strength, and while his body gained strength, it also managed to handle the internal energies much better. The spiritual energy acted much swifter than it had before, and more of it could be used at a time. It was truly shocking how much of a difference it made to train his body as well as his mind.
At first, Hui Yue noticed nothing different. He was running in the fields as he had been doing daily, but suddenly he saw that things were not how they usually were. Usually, many guards would be on the field when he arrived. After finishing his training, Hui Yue would request help from some of these guards to spar with them. This helped him refining his battle prowess;, however, today no guards were visible on the field. It was as though they had all been called away. Seeing this, Hui Yue could not help but frown, and wonder whether or not this had something to do with the conversation the two had the day before.
It turned out that this was the case. Wan Qiao had sent many of her guards out as delegations to call in the sixty-four Lords of the Forest. Each and every one of these lords were of great importance to Shenyuan, and they all deserved respect. This was why the delegations needed to be numerous and bring gifts to show Wan Qiao’s goodwill. Although she was rumored to be the strongest within the forest, even she would not be capable of fighting the other sixty-four lords on her own.
Hearing the way Wan Qiao decided to deal with it, Hui Yue could only nod in approval. Although he had found that the One-Horned Jasmine Eagle was very bad at planning ahead, she at least understood the right way of inviting people to her capital.
Although many guards were sent out for the delegations, there were still many guards left within the capital; however, Hui Yue had not seen them because Wan Qiao ordered them to patrol the city and the surrounding grounds.
When the lords arrived, they would, without a doubt, bring their personal guards with them. It was Wan Qiao’s responsibility that none of these guards caused trouble within her territory.
These Lords of the Forest were all high profile experts. Experts every citizen within Shenyuan looked up to, and this was the first time in millennia where someone called for a meeting of all these experts. Having all these Saints coming together at one place was a prestigious and risky idea. Despite the risks, Wan Qiao instantly sent her guards to invite these experts as soon as Hui Yue suggested it. Her action showed not even the slightest hesitation.
Sighing deeply, the young man knew that there was no longer any turning back. The only thing he could do was use the knowledge he had acquired during his previous lifetime, and keep the Taiyang Kingdom safe; thus keeping his friends and their families far from this war of beasts and humans.
Thinking this, Hui Yue renewed his determination, and while training he started to remember the thirteen chapters from the Art of War amongst other Roman and Greek war tactics that could be of use for the war he was about to start.
Hissing slightly as he knew that there was no turning back, the young man who never prayed for once started to pray. He prayed to whichever god was overseeing him, that this man, An He, had no interest in keeping the world clear of magical beasts. If he was waiting for the war and decided to participate, then Hui Yue feared that no matter what he did his small books of warfare alongside his previous knowledge would be worth nothing. In the face ultimate power, tactics were useless.