Chapter 49 – Greed and Schemes
"According to my intel, Yuan family has betrayed the Zhang family . Wen Chou and his men retreated back to Nan Pi a few days ago . " Xin Ping continued his report .
"What!? I thought they were allies . Why did they betray them?"
"It's the Zhang family's business that caught their eyes, my lord . "
"Yes, it's a very lucrative business that can make a profit of over 200,000 in a few months . "
Pan Feng's eyes opened wide in shock . His salary was only a hundred gold a month . He couldn't imagine how much of 200,000 would be .
"There is more . It appears that Zhang family has just created a new product that can potentially make a profit surpassing the business I mentioned earlier . So that greedy Feng Ji of the branch family changes his attitude towards the Zhang and withheld their reinforcement . "
Pan Feng touched in chin and sunk into deep thought . Afterwards, he was baffled . If that was the case then they should have more reasons to protect Zhang family and escort them to Nan Pi . Why were they abandoning them?
"I'm sorry that I've forgotten to mention . Zhang Jiao who is Zhang Tong's father is being held as a hostage in Nan Pi . "
Pan Feng gazed at Xin Ping for a minute . Afterwards, he gloomed again .
"Those bastards want Zhang Tong to lose, right? So Zhang Tong and his family will have no choice but to seek asylum with Yuan family and hand over their business to them . "
"You are correct, my lord . "
"So we were played by the Yuan and we've come here for nothing?"
"Not exactly, my lord . "
Pan Feng raised his eyebrows up . He was still confused .
"Please do not forget that the Zhang family still possess massive amount of gold from their last deal . And they are also currently in control the business . "
"We can negotiate with the Zhang family to extort their gold and their business secrets in exchange for our help . "
Pan Feng's eyes lit up, but then his face lost color . He remembered that he had killed Zhang Tong's messenger and attempted to provoke him earlier today .
Pan Feng narrated what happened earlier today to Xin Ping, which caused him to glare at Pan Feng in disgust .
'Muscle brain idiot! There's an unspoken law that you can't kill a messenger! There is no permanent enemy and forever ally in this world . Hasn't he learnt about that?'
Xin Ping cursed Pan Feng in his mind . This general was incompetent . The only good thing about him was his strength and his army management skill . As for the rest, he was utterly useless .
"A mistake has been made so you should remember it and do not repeat it again in the future . In the mean times, we should send a messenger to Zhang Tong and ask for a temporary truce . "
Pan Feng nodded . Then he ordered his men to send messenger to Tong Army .
In front of the south gate of the fortress . A messenger of Pan Feng waved his white flag, which was a sign that he was a messenger .
"Should I kill him?" Hua Shi who was standing beside Tong asked him .
"Keep your head cool and let's hear what he has to say first . " Tong replied .
Tong asked Bo Cai and Zhou Cang to go down the wall and meet the messenger at the front gate . Both of them went down to meet the messenger, after which they received a letter from Pan Feng .
Tong received the letter from the two and read it . Afterwards, he tossed it to Hua Shi .
"They want to meet up and discuss for a truce . However, they demand us to pay them 50,000 gold for killing their soldiers . "
Tong summarized the content of the letter which caused everyone to fume in anger .
"WTF!? Those people are shameless! They are the one that attacked us first, then they want us to compensate for that!?" Hua Shi cursed out loud .
"Politicians and generals are all shameless . We, too, are shameless . Anyone that was too shy from committing any bold action has no right to stand up in this turbulence time . "
"And what are you going to do?"
"Draft me a letter . Ask them for a condition that they have to repel Guo Dian Army for us . Once Guo Dian have retreated then we will give them gold . "
Hua Shi stared at Tong in disbelief . Was he going to bow down to their demand?
"Don't misunderstand . I have no intention to give them anything but my middle finger . "
Tong smiled as he clarified Hua Shi, causing her to laugh . All officers including Zhang Bao and Zhang Liang looked at the Tong in astonishment .
Zhang Bao patted Zhang Liang and shook his head . Their nephew took over their roles and he was doing well . It was his time to shine so the two sibling stepped back and watched over them .
3PM of the same day .
A message arrow shot by Hua Shi arrived in Pan Feng's hands . He read the letter and passed it to Xin Ping .
"What do you think of this?" Pan Feng asked .
"Zhang Tong is cunning . He wants to borrow our force to expel Guo Dian for 50,000 gold . "
"Should we do as they ask?"
"No . We don't need to do anything . I've heard that Guo Dian asked Liu Yan for help and they will be here in a few days . So all we have to do is to surround their fortress and let Guo Dian clean up the mess for us . "
"Don't do anything? Then won't Guo Dian take all the plunders and profits?"
Xin Ping smiled as he continued .
"Guo Dian will not be able to take down that fortress formation, and he is not so stupid to not realize that after what had happened to us . At best, he will just probe it with a squad of trebuchets or long range attacks . If he is fail, then he will stop attacking and just simply surround them . Just like us . "
"Then how can we defeat Zhang Tong . If he turtles for years, won't our supply runs out first?"
"No . The last intel reported that Zhang Tong only have less than 100 tons of grain in his current granaries . "
Pan Feng frowned as he thought of the news that Tong had bought over 100,000 tons of potatoes . Then why did he only have 200 tons of grain?
"I know what you are thinking . Our spies were baffled too . I've confirmed this thrice with them already and they confirmed it . "
"When was the last update intel then?"
"It was updated two weeks ago . Zhang Tong seemed to hide all his potatoes somewhere but they were not in that fort, so we can rest assure . With my calculation, their supply will run out in a month and a half at the latest . "
Pan Feng's eyes brightened up . If Zhang Tong could only supply his troops for less than two months, then he could use a prolonged warfare to starve Zhang Tong and his men . Afterwards, they would have no choice but to comply with their demand without a chance of fighting back .
Or in a scenario where Zhang Tong marched out to battle them outside the camp, then they would have the number advantage and could win with ease in a direct battle .
"Alright, I'll do as you said . But manage our supplies carefully . I don't want our grain to run out before they do . "
"Please do not worry . I've prepared enough provisions for half a year, so this fight will be easy . "
6PM . Zhang Tong Fortress .
Hua Shi was pacing on the wall, waiting for Pan Feng messenger . However, they never replied Tong's message letter .
Realizing that they would not agree to their demand, Hua Shi got frustrated and returned to her tent . Meanwhile, Tong fell into deep thought, abandoning his emotions and his bias feeling, trying to think of a battle plan for tomorrow and recollected what happened today .
'Today, I was rash . '
'I wasted half a clip of bullets for morals of the troops instead of sniping their officers . '
Tong counted his 5 . 56x45mm bullets . There were 87 left . As for the 9mm pistol bullets, he still had a humble amount of 280 . If he used them carefully, he could take out the important officers with it . Then it would be possible to force the invaders into retreat without fighting .
'Let's see here . Their main army was roughly 800m away from the nearest wall . '
'But M16A4 effective range is 550m or less . '
'A pity that this thing is an assault rifle . '
'If it's a proper sniper rifle, then I can snipe their generals from the wall . '
'Should I take a role as an assassin again?'
'Approach them in secret, and hunt their generals?'
'This sounds like a game from the previous world . '
'If my life was a game, what it should be called?'
'A new game in E3 2020 from the U**soft! Assassin C****, Tong in the Three Kingdoms!'
'No, I should be in a H**man franchise instead, I have a gun . '
'But I'm not agent forty-seven . '
' . . . '
' . . . Fudge! Stop! WTF brain!? Stop fantasizing!'
'Concentrate! . . . where am I?'
Tong spent the rest of the day half-fantasizing and half-planning . In the end, he came up with a rough draft of a new plan for himself tomorrow .
At the same time, Tong noticed a group of 500 flashing yellow dots in his mini map which were 8km away from his fort to the north-east . The front dot of this group were marked as "Wen Chou" .