298. Recruit the Enemy
At first, Li Chengkun chose not to fight because he intended to stabilize the residences in the capital city, nor did he want to waste money on warfare. However, now that commoners were saying that he was incompetent, which was not simply a matter of wasting money.
He had to do something. Otherwise people could drown him with a mouthful of spittle.
Li Chengkun didn’t take the state preceptor’s opinion for the first time. Instead, he told the commoner, “Debuty Qin, what you said makes sense. I also think that we can recruit Yan Ziyan and let him guard the Heihe city. Just in case, we need to mobilize troops from wherever it is possible to support them and prevent the Heihe city from the Northern Qing Army.”
The courtiers were surprised by what Li Chengkun said.
Li Chengkun didn’t follow the state preceptor anymore. Did he have independent thoughts?
The state preceptor was also surprised. But after all, this country was controlled by the Li family. Since Li Chengkun had said so, he had no right to refute.
However, he still suggested to Li Chengkun, “Your Majesty, Yan Ziyan and the rest are all crooks. It is not appropriate to give them such a major responsibility. Furthermore, I heard that they were refugees back then and were forced to revolt. If he still hates Your Majesty, I’m afraid that after he can command the army, he will make the wrong decision.”
Li Chengkun was deeply troubled by this. He knew how serious it could be, but he replied firmly, “Let’s see if we can successfully recruit them first. Also, transfer some excellent local generals to the capical city, such as General Qian Qi in the west in case of emergencies.”
The Imperial court sent an official into the mountains.
This official, named Qin Yilun, was the civil servant who put forward the advice of recruiting.
He was also a good official in the court.
However, the further he went in the mountain, the more sweats he had. The mountain road was not easy to walk, and it was dangerous everywhere. Sometimes, poisonous snakes would appear on the ground, which scared him to death.
It was hard to be a good officer. Giving advice was not enough, he had to make a trip in person.
However, as soon as he thought about the chaos which would happen again if the war was on once more, which would made the northerners suffer.
He had no choice but to bite the bullet, leading the two guards into the mountain.
Unfortunately, he fell into a wild boar pit and almost broke his leg.
Qin Yilun and his followers were not being rescued from the pig pit until next day. It was Yan Ziyan’s subordinates who saved them.
He reported his identity lamely and these people took him into the village with doubts.
When Qin Yilun saw the village clearly, he could not be more shocked.
Some houses were almost built in halfway of the mountain, others were close totrees. Under such condition, it was a miracle that these houses could have two floors: people lived in the upper floor, chicken were raised in the lower one.
Since they had done lots of robberies over the past six months, there were tons of resources stocked up. The time when they had to share food together had passed. Now each family was independent, raising some chicks and ducks to support themselves.
There was also a place to train soldiers in the mountains, where the heroes of the Greenwood trained, making shocking sound of killing.
Qin Yilun couldn’t help but tear up. It had been a long time since he had heard such a high-spirited shout. This morale did not belong to the soldiers in the capital, but from the mountains.
Yan Ziyan didn’t take the official from imperial court seriously. He met Qin Yilun only asked, “What are you doing here?”
Qin Yilun explained his intention but was rejected by Yan Ziyan.
Yan Ziyan said, “With so many people in imperial court and so much food in the national treasury, you can’t even raise an army that can fight. While you count on we local villains to against enemy. We won’t take such risks. If you want to fight, you will fight yourself. We won’t fight for imperial court.”
The others seconded. Back then, they once wanted to enter the city and join the official army, how did imperial court treat them?
The court would rather starve them to death than open the city gates. Now that they had recovered, there was no way for them to fight and die for the court.
No matter how hard Qin Yilun tried, he failed to convince Yan Ziyan. He had to leave in dismay.
Qin Yilun disappointedly returned.
The next day, when he went up to the court, he was mocked by the state preceptor, “I told you that you can not expect a group of crooks to have any ethnic righteousness. We are willing to recruit them, but they choose to stand aside. I said, we have to gather our own troops to fight. After we finish dealing with Beiqing, we will kill these crooks together. They will cause big trouble sooner or later.”
Qin Yilun was also depressed.
However, just as they thought there was nothing they could do with the recruiting plan, Yan Ziyan had someone send a letter the next day. There were two requirements written on it. If both of them were satisfied, they could accept the former proposal.
So there was someone called Wang Meng on Yan’s side.
Wang Meng used to be a small general. Lack of reliance, he had surrendered to Yan Ziyan.
Hearing that imperial court came to recruit, Wang Meng did not express his opinion at first. After Qin Yilun left, he suggested to Yan Ziyan with a plan: it is okay to recruit, but the imperial court must meet their conditions.
First, it was possible to block Beqing only when there were 50,000 soldiers for back-up and sufficient food and horse feeds.
Secondly, after the mission was completed, Heihe Village and Linglong County woule be guarded by them.
Wang Meng also said, “As long as we control two territories, Heihe Village and Linglong County, it is equivalent to a duke who occupies one side. You will fell like a local emperor. Why not?”
Hearing this, Yan Ziyan couldn’t help but feel excitement.
The subordinates seconded Wang Meng’s suggestion.
These were all unwanted people in the imperial court, and they also wanted to wash off the label of being a ‘villain’ so that they could raise their eyebrows and let their colleagues who looked down on them in the past treat them with well respect.
Therefore, Yan Ziyan accepted Wang Meng’s suggestion and asked someone to send a letter to Qin Yilun.
When Qin Yilun saw this letter, he thought these two requests were excessive, but he still handed the letter to the Emperor nervously.
Li Chengkun didn’t express his thoughts after reading the letter, only asked for the officials’ opinions.
The courtier didn’t dare to express their opinions as well.
Yan Ziyan required reinforcements and military power, which showed his ambition obviously: he wanted to occupy these two places and become a local general.
However, what surprised everyone again was that state preceptor stood up at this time, indicatinging that the Emperor could promise Yan Ziyan.
At the same time, the state preceptor gave Li Chengshen signals, implying that he could discuss the specific plan after retreating.
After retreating, Li Chengshen summoned the state preceptor and Qin Yilun to the rear hall to ask for their opinions.
Qin Yilun said, “In my opinion, if Yan Ziyan is really capable, then it will not be a bad thing to make him the general of the north. Yan Ziyan is a citizen of our Great Qi Dynasty, and he enjoys prestige among the citizens. He can treat refugees well and citizens, then he will definitely keep safety in the north. Your Majesty might as will… promise him.”
Li Chengshen looked at the state preceptor.
Although the state preceptor shared the same purpose as Qin Yilun, his starting point was different. He said, “Yan Ziyan is a henchman. Now that he grows ambition, he will continue to be ambitious in the future. Today he requires two cities while I’m afraid he will be crowned king tomorrow. My opinion is to let him send troops to block Beqing first. When he chases the Beiqing Army away, we will deal with him then.”
Qin Yilun took a deep breath. “The state preceptor, this… I’m afraid it’s not good, right? If he can repel the Beiqing Army, then he will be the contributor of the imperial court. During then, without awarding, we punish him instead. This will make people disbelieve in the imperial court.”
The state preceptor snorted coldly, “I didn’t say that we had to kill him. The mert can compensate for the faults. Isn’t he a crook before? That is not allowed in our dynasty. Should this not be punished?”
“…” Qin Yilun scilenced and talked to himself, “The state preceptor is so deceitful that no one can match.”
Li Chengshen didn’t say who was right or who was wrong. There was no expression on his face, which had stayed the same for ten thousand years.
After listening, he only said to Qin Yilun, “Debuty Qin, I am afraid you have pay another visit to Ziyan Village and tell Yan Ziyan I promise his two requests, hoping that he can help me to guard Heihe city and Linglong County.”
Qin Yilun replied, “Yes, Your Majesty!”
Qin Yilun rushed to Ziyan mountain overnight.
It was the morning of the next day when he reached Ziyan mountain. This time, Yan Ziyan sent people to wait at the foot of the mountain, so Qin Yilun didn’t have to fall into the pig’s pit again. He entered the village with no trouble and saw Yan Ziyan.
Qin Yilun passed the decree to Yan Ziyan. They were overjoyed.
Yan Ziyan laughed and immediately ordered his subordinates to kill chickens and pigs. They were about to celebrate in advance, regardless of whether they could defeat Beiqing Army or not, they would drink today.
Qin Yilun thought what the state preceptor said and remembered that the Emperor usually follows the state preceptor’s will. If Yan Ziyan really succeeded, the state preceptor would still deal with Yan Ziyan.
As for the Emperor, although he didn’t say anything. Maybe he was thinking the same thing as the state preceptor.
There were several times Qin Yilun wanted to remind Yan Ziyan. But he swallowed the words in the end.
It was not appropriate to discuss this right now. The urgent need at hand was to send Yan Ziyan and his subordinates to the battlefield to defend the Heihe Village.
Yan Ziyan and his subordinates were granted, paid, and they became the military of imperial court. Their official position was not big, but still at the general level.
They were satisfied with the treatment and soon arrived at Heihe Village.
As for Beqing’s side, they were infuriated when they heard that Da Qi did not accept their request, which made them decided to fight.
Yan Ziyan and his subordinates swore to guard the village.
Thus, the northern war broke out again.
Li Chengyi received a letter from the imperial court, telling him to send Qian Qi back to the capital.
Qian Qi found Xiao Baoshan, the two of them discussed in yurt for a long time.
Ye Xiaoxian knew Qian Qi had arrived, and she heard that Qian Qi had come in a hurry. It was as though he had something important to do. She made milk tea and heated some snacks to give them.
Qian Qi and Xiao Baoshan were both soldiers and they tended to speak very loudly. When Ye Xiaoxian reached the yurt, she heard the voices inside.
Qian Qi said, “I don’t think the court called us back to defend against Northern Qing Kingdom. I am afraid that the state preceptor has another conspiracies.”