Chapter 225: The Art of War
Having finished his training, Hui Yue went back to his room from the training fields. For once there had been no guards around for him to battle, but even if there had been some Hui Yue did not have the time to fight them today. What he needed to do was to write down something from his memories. He needed to write down the Art of War.
Sitting in his room he racked his mind trying to remember the contents of the book.
“Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.” The first sentence came to him easily, but as for the rest it was very vague. Gritting his teeth he almost felt like hitting himself hard. It had been many years since he lived his old life, and even then it had been years since he wrote the book report.
Without remembering the right words, Hui Yue wrote down what he could remember, and in front of him, words started to appear. Finally, after some time, the first chapter of the Art of War was almost entirely written down.
The first chapter was Laying Plans. It was about preparing for war, and this was the chapter he needed to write before the Lords of the Forest arrived in the capital. He needed to have this ready to show off.
“It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety, or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.”
“The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations. These five ways are to be used to calculate your strength and comparing them with the enemy to see who has the advantage in the war. These five constant factors are firstly the Moral Law, secondly the Heaven, third the Earth, fourth the Commander, and fifth the Method and discipline.”
“The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.” Thinking about this part, Hui Yue was satisfied. He had previously seen how the beasts were willing to die for Wan Qiao, however, whether or not the other lords had as much loyalty was something he needed to find out.
“Heavens signify night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.” These were indeed things he needed to take into consideration. Things which he could not determine until he talked with the other lords.
“Earth is the distances, great and small; danger and security: open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.”
“The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage, and strictness.”
“Methods and discipline are to be understood as the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.”
Remembering all five main parts, Hui Yue recalled the majority of the first chapter out of thirteen, and he heaved a heavy sigh of relief as the final letter was written onto the paper in front of him. If the many Lords of the Forest truly wished to wage war against the humans, then Hui Yue would stress the importance of ensuring that they followed the right preparations.
He knew that the lords had no way of knowing about the Art of War, just as he knew Wan Qiao was unaware of how to wage war.
What all this meant was that he needed to see which one of the monarchs were the most renowned? Which countries had benefits from the heavens and earth? Which side had the most rigorous discipline. Which army was the strongest? Which side had the best-trained officers?
While looking over these points, it should be possible for him to determine which side would be victorious; however, there was one last thing that he could not factor into his considerations, and that was An He. He was an unpredictable factor that would make all his planning useless when determining who would be the victor.
Sighing deeply, Hui Yue felt uncomfortable. It was as though this massive figure, An He was constantly looming above. To be honest, Hui Yue did not feel as though he truly needed to be using the Art of War as his side had many Saints and a whole army of beasts. Beasts were known to be stronger than humans of the same rank, and all the guards were King ranked or above. This army was an army any country on the continent would fear, and would dread having to face.
Suddenly a loud cheer could be heard outside, and Hui Yue stood up, curious about what it was. He left the room and walked until he reached the castle entrance were a group of guards were standing. All of whom bowed towards a small man who was small and fat. This man was at most a meter and a half; his waist was almost as much as his height. His face had a small white beard, and he was bald. This man at first made Hui Yue stare with an open mouth because of his odd appearance; however, he soon understood that this man was not to be underestimated.
Around this man were multiple guards. Some of these guards were the ones Hui Yue was used to seeing. These were guards belonging to Wan Qiao and the capital while other guards were dressed in blue suits. All of them were quiet and stood respectfully behind the small bald man.
Energy ripples left the elderly man with each move he made, and his body was filled with strength. Looking at this man, Hui Yue finally understood that he had seen the very first Lord of the Forest apart from Lan Feng. This man seemed to really enjoy food, but his eyes were filled with intelligence. The man lifted his head and gazed straight at Hui Yue as he ignored the guards around him, both the ones which belonged to the capital and the ones belonging to himself.
“You there,” He said, his clear and commanding voice rang throughout the castle courtyard, and his eyes were locked on Hui Yue.
“I have never seen you around here. Is it you who made Wan Qiao summon us all? What is going on. Don’t tell me you have been giving her ideas about this so called war.” He continued, his face was slightly sour, and his voice filled with strength. Being on the opposing side of this man, Hui Yue felt strong pulsating energies crashing towards him which were clearly not friendly.
Had Hui Yue been alone, then he would have been crushed under the pressure from this man; however, he was not alone and as soon as the strong man appeared he and Lan Feng switched. The two men were now two Saint ranked experts facing off against one another, small explosions could be heard as their auras collided in mid-air.
“You are not bad, kid,” The bald man finally said as he retracted his aura. As soon as he did Lan Feng handed control of the body back to Hui Yue. The moment the two switched an eyebrow rose on the face of the bald man, a knowing smirk appeared on his lips.
“So younggun, why don’t you take me to see that beauty, Wan Qiao?” He asked, suddenly friendly towards the young man. His face sprouting a large smile and his attitude completely changed. Seeing the difference, Hui Yue was somewhat unnerved, but he still nodded politely and bowed deeply towards the man. “This way please,” He said politely and led the small man towards the private chambers of Wan Qiao.
Hui Yue knew that the woman liked to spend her time in her private chambers rather than at the office, due to this Hui Yue led the man straight to her chambers, wondering whether or not this was a good thing. However, he was not in the mood to fight against a Saint he did not know. All the drama could be dealt with by Wan Qiao. It was her idea which caused all of these Saints to make their way to her city.
Arriving at the door, Hui Yue knocked gently and soon after a voice called out, “Enter,” it said, clearly preoccupied, something which made Hui Yue curious.
As he opened the door, he waited for the expert to enter in first. He then followed behind, only to see that Wan Qiao was reading some papers which seemed incredibly familiar. Staring agape, he soon found that the papers she was reading were the documents he had finished moments before he heard the sound of the guards in the courtyard.
As for how they had managed to enter Wan Qiao’s private room, Hui Yue had no idea. He could not help but feel astonished by seeing his documents there, and at the same time, a shiver ran through his body. Was Wan Qiao keeping him under surveillance?
Wan Qiao looked at him with a beaming smile, seemingly not finding it odd that she had his work within her hands, instead, she waved them. The smile on her face was growing larger.
“Hui Yue this is amazing!” She said, her face filled with a smile and her eyes looking at him as though he was a genius. “Who would have know that you were such a specialist when it came to warfare. And you even say that there are thirteen chapters. This Master Sun is very skilled! How come I never heard about it before?” Wan Qiao was filled with excitement, and her demeanor towards Hui Yue changed tremendously as though she no longer looked at him as a subject but instead an equal.
Hui Yue was not certain that he enjoyed this newfound position because he soon realized that Wan Qiao was nothing like what he expected. She was actually not a steady and elegant woman who had matured over the years she lived, but her mind was really that of a youngster who enjoyed life. Although she had gained much intelligence throughout the years and was a master of cultivation, her way of thinking was very simple and often based on her sudden ideas.
It was not before now that Hui Yue truly understood this whole idea of a war was likely just something she had dreamt about for a long time, but knowing her ability to plan and prepare, it had stayed a dream. Speaking with Hui Yue, she found out that this young man had exactly what she was missing. Hearing what she said, Hui Yue started to wonder just exactly how the rest of the Shenyuan lords looked upon this woman.
From the few sentences they shared, Hui Yue understood that Wan Qiao, since long ago, had ideas which did not fit with the other lords, but now Hui Yue unknowingly made it easier for her to act out the ideas she had thought of for who knew how long.
Realizing this, Hui Yue bowed towards the two lords in front of him and excused himself while he rushed away from the room. He headed back to his room where he needed to consider what to do.
Just as he left the room, a thunderous crash could be heard followed by a thudding sound which made Hui Yue wince in pain, remembered the slap he had gotten the first time he visited Wan Qiao. It seemed as though he was not the only one who was greeted by a slap from the Queen of Shenyuan. Just like Hui Yue, it seemed that the bald expert was too slow to avoid it and was sent flying by a slap he only too clearly remembered. As for what this bald expert said to reward him the welcoming slap, Hui Yue was unsure, and he did not stay to find out. He instantly started to walk away with larger strides, heading towards his room where he wished to stay until the entire group of experts had arrived. His job was to enter the council and explain the Art of War that he had given Wan Qiao. Hopefully, things would become much more manageable after the lords were present.