Chapter 263 “three birds with one stone” (Part one)
Poor Hamuye. It’s been two days since his arrival and Du Wei’s done nothing but toss him around left and right. Indeed he was angry at first over his poor treatment, but as an experienced bureaucrat, he quickly subdued his anger. Also, he strictly forbade his men from making trouble in the Duke’s residence. Otherwise, his young subordinates would have been fed up with everything and started a brawl with the guards.
Though Hamuye and his people are behaving well these days, it’s no secret to everyone that he’s being intentionally snubbed by Du Wei. As an envoy from another state, Hamuye was forced to go procure his own food from the local restaurants. This has to be the first case of its kind in the history of the Roland Empire
“They sure have been quiet these two days.” Hiding next to the window atop of the castle tower, Du Wei peers down at the tents. As a routine procedure, Hamuye would always ask Marde everyday whether the Duke was ready to begin the talks.
Likewise, Marde would reply with “the Duke will naturally come meet his guests when he’s finished with his magic experiments”.
Who knows if it was intentionally or unintentional, Marde would sometimes follow up with another sentence: “Duke said sir should give the draft from before a good lookover. If there are any questions or objections, sir should bring it up in the meeting to avoid wasting both party’s time.”
The meaning was simple: we will keep asking for an over the top price and all you can do is pay on the spot. However, the offers must be said from your mouth to work.
That may be the plan, but it seems Hamuye wasn’t in any hurry either and was determined to drag it out with Du Wei.
“It seems irritating him won’t be effective.” Du Wei sighs and glances over to Philip on the side: “Do you have any other plan?”
Philip thought for a moment before smiling: “My Lord, we are merely testing their limit. The results we got from these two days are very good already.”
Du Wei rubbed his nose and nodded: “You’re right. If the people from the grassland intended to take an aggressive stance, they would have already lost it and quit playing games with us.”
“It’s true, they likely don’t want to fight. It’s just that they are in the wrong this time by sending their army into our land so they are stuck in a predicament. They don’t want to fight but they also don’t want to compensate us, that’s the problem.”
“Then… … Why don’t we become even more aggressive?” Du Wei pinches his chin and smiles slyly.
“I feel it’s about time.” Philip reacted somewhat anxious: “We after all don’t really have the power to wage war. If we accidentally push them too far……”
“No matter what we must get some kind of benefit or compensation.” Du Wei shakes his head.
Other than this delaying tactic, Philip didn’t have any better idea either at this point. After all, they didn’t want to fight, and the other side didn’t want to fight either. For Du Wei to take such an aggressive stance by throwing out those “harsh” conditions, neither the pro-war or anti-war faction can question him for he has done nothing damaging thus far.
It’s not like Du Wei doesn’t understand the meaning behind the phrase “three stooges is better than one Zhuge Liang”. Although Philip’s been growing at a dramatic pace, his decision making was still hindered by the traditional thought patterns ingrained into his body. Therefore, Philip wasn’t skilled in taking the off road when it came to these matters.
(Zhuge Liang is a famous strategist in the three kingdom period of china.)
Left with no choice, Du Wei simply sought out his generals to discuss their next course of action.
Longbottom, Dadaneier, the heroic mini 250 from the battle at Anglia City (now promoted to Longbottom’s deputy), uncle Alpha, Old Smoke, and others…..
“I called everyone here today to discuss our next course of action in dealing with this Hamuye.” Du Wei asks his generals laid out before him: “I know you guys aren’t used to these type of things, but who knows, maybe we can come up with some extraordinary idea by combining our minds.”
Hurting their brains in the process, the one to speak up first turns out to be Guptad- the mini 250.
Full of killing intent, this man lowers his voice: “Duke, are they not sending people into the town everyday? We can send our men to disguise themselves as thieves and teach them a lesson by beating them up. I would like to see them keep this up after we kill one or two of them!”
Du Wei simply sighed at this mini 250 after giving him one look. Picking up a pen, he hands it over to Guptad and said: “My dearest General Guptad, hold this pen. Over there is the wall. You can crouch down and draw circles to pass your time…..”
Du Wei then turns to Longbottom: “Dear General, do you have any good suggestions?”
“If not, we can have someone pose as an assassin and kill this Hamuye. Use poison or whatever….. We don’t really have to kill him, just enough to seriously injure him. Once that’s done, the prairie will have to send another person. Maybe the second one will be easier to deal with.”
Staring at Longbottom for a second, Du Wei passes a pen to this bigger fool and points to the corner: “Dear general, why don’t you go accompany Guptad over there and draw some circles…..”
By the time Du Wei looks over to Old Smoke, this intelligent man took the initiative and said: “My lord…. Please give me a pen too.”
Dadaneier on the other hand was more useful. After thinking for a moment, he suddenly spoke up:
“Perhaps… … I have a solution. But I’m afraid I will need General Longbottom to coordinate with me.”
“Oh?” Du Wei’s eye broughtened up.
Dadaneier then brought out a weird idea: “Hamuye is currently firmly refusing to open his mouth so both sides are testing each other’s patience. Your Dukehip is correct in keeping him hanging, but Hamuye is no fool. The chips in our hand aren’t enough and he knows full well the Empire doesn’t wish to go war either. Therefore, even if we keep him hanging like we are doing now, he won’t need to care. My lord, forgive me for being blunt. In this negotiation, since both sides don’t want to fight, we have one point in common. If that’s the case, there are only two problems on our hand. Firstly is that we cannot offend the anti-war faction in the capital. Asking for peace is a must, but it must not come from our mouths first. Otherwise, this incident will give the pro-war faction in the capital an excuse to reprimand you as weak will and sold the empire out. Once that happens, your career will have a blemish and it will be difficult to gain support in the future. Ideally, we need Hamuye to make the proposal first so we can have an excuse to follow along.”
A glint of happiness flashed across Du Wei’s eye as he looked at Dadaneier: “Keep going.”
Dadaneier coughed once to clear his throat and went on: “That was the first, now’s the second….. Ughh, this second problem is the benefits! Looking at it from a logical perspective, it is their side in the wrong. If we are to make peace, they must make some compensation. The more they pay the more prestige your lordship will get as the lead negotiator. Here’s where the problem lies because all indication points to them not wanting to compensate at all. They are like us right now, delay and delay for they know they cannot afford to fight. As such, it doesn’t matter if we put up an even stronger stance, it won’t change anything to them. I speculate this Hamuye intends to drag it out and not compensate at all after letting this incident slide over. We mustn’t let that happen!”
Du Wei’s laugh became even more outlandish: “Hmm, in the end, the two problems you mentioned is but the same thing: figuring out how to make the prairie people make peace and pay for the damage.”
Dadaneier smiles strangely and scratched his head: “That’s pretty much it, but…… There is always loss when there is gain. If we simply asked for compensation, they will most certainly refuse. Then…… Why not we make an exchange?! Make a deal with them. As long as the deal is to our advantage and we gained some tangible benefits then that’s good!”
Du Wei nods and looked Dadaneier in the eye: “You don’t have to hide it, just point it out. What do you have in mind?”
“Did your lordship forget? There’s still a cavalry division consisting of 20,000 men stationed inside the prairie! Although this force isn’t huge, it’s not small either. Every year the empire has to waste an enormous amount of supplies to maintain this group. Aside from being an eyesore to the people of the grassland, I really don’t see any significance to their existence! If that is so…. It’s better off removing this force!”
Just when his words stopped at this part, Longbottom suddenly called out and glared at Dadaneier: “What did you say! Remove!? You’ve got to be kidding me! If not for this army of 20,000, those guys on the prairie will become even more outrageous!”
Dadaneier smiled in return and unhurriedly explains:
“General, if it was still the same division back when you were in command then the people of the grassland may consider twice before acting…. But now, according to my sources, the effect of this army of 20,000 is seriously limited. After you left, your successor was simply too incompetent. In addition to being a complete eyesore to the people of the grassland, I really don’t see their use other than to consume vast amounts resource every year! Think about it, don’t you think it’s funny to keep such a force that holds no real value? If it was the same army back when you were in command then yes, it’s worth it. But now, it’s simply not worth it!”
Longbottom was silent for a while. Although he didn’t want to admit it, but what Dadaneier said was true.
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