Shiyang, Hanyang, Wuling, Jingling. These cities either fell easily or without a single fight. Yangzhou had already obtained the Jiangxia region and half of Nanjun. If they included Nanyang, it would be about three regions. This was almost half of Jingzhou’s territory.
Everything seemed like it was going well but Lu Xun was the only one who knew of the difficulties.
“General Lu, what’s wrong? Have you not acclimatized?” Huo Jun asked. When he and the others entered Jingling, Jingling surrendered. Yangzhou had also given them advance notice so there were no incidents in Jingling. Lu Xun now used the original governor’s residence to discuss matters and was looking at the map with a frown.
The problem of not acclimatizing was not exactly a small problem nor was it a major problem. Huo Jun was worried as most high ranking officers died in battle after suffering from this.
“Haha. I have lived at Jingchu for so long. If this was the case, I would have died long ago.” Lu Xun shook his head. He would only experience this problem if he went North instead.
“Then what is the problem?” Huo Jun was puzzled because of Lu Xun’s unsightly appearance.
“Oh? This is because I didn’t sleep last night.” Lu Xun replied. He took a look in a mirror to see how unsightly he looked.
“General. You haven’t slept?”
“Yes.” Lu Xun nodded. “Zhongmiao. Come and see this!” Lu Xun said as he pointed at the map.
“Jiangling?” Huo Jun looked at the place Lu Xun was pointing at.
“That’s right. It is Jiangling.” Lu Xun nodded. “Why do you think we abandoned Jiangdong to attack Jingzhou?”
“That is to concentrate our forces and defeat Jingzhou.” Huo Jun replied. Yangzhou only had forty thousand men. If they were to split up, they would only have twenty thousand men. So it was better to concentrate their forces.
“You are half right!” Lu Xun replied. “We concentrate our forces on one side because we do not have enough troops. However, we chose to attack Jingzhou instead of Jiangdong because Jingzhou is rich.”
“Aren’t we progressing really well right now? We already captured Shiyang, Hanyang and Wuling.” Huo Jun could not understand.
“Hahaha. Ten of Shiyang and Hanyang cannot even compare to a city.” Lu Xun said as he pointed at Jiangling.
“Our army is more powerful right now but Jingzhou is rich. If we give them time, they would be able to quickly form another navy.”
“So what if they formed another one? They would still lose to us!” One nearby officer commented. Many other officers agreed with his words. Yangzhou’s new ships were far more powerful than the towered ships. Huo Jun and the others were also envious of it.
“Haha. We can say that but we would still need Jingzhou to attack first. What if they were to withdraw and hide at their ports?” If that were to happen, Yangzhou’s new ships would not able of much use since it needed to fight opponents directly. It would become a problem if it turned into a war of attrition. Though Yangzhou was more powerful, it was still not powerful enough to completely defeat Jingzhou. Even if they could, it would become a phyrric victory.
“Right now, we need to strike at Jingzhou to ensure that they could not raise a new army! We cannot allow them any time to spare. To do this, we need to attack Jiangling, their most flourishing area at Nanjun, and their second capital. Not counting their population, their reserves alone is enough to raise an army of hundred thousand and supply them for two years.”
“He can raise an army of hundred thousand and can even supply them for two years?” Huo Jun took a deep breath. He knew that Liu Biao was wealthy but he did not expect Liu Biao to be this wealthy. Jiangling was only the second capital and it could already do this much. If this is the case, what about Xiangyang?
“We must capture Jiangling to strengthen our army. On top of that, we would be able to destroy Jingzhou’s foundation, making them unable to form a huge fleet even after three years of recuperation. If we can do this, Jingzhou would no longer be a threat.
“Then let us head straight for Jiangling! What is the point of staying anxious here?” Huo Jun said. He was normally a calm person who does things step by step. However, Lu Xun’s words made him excited enough to want to take Jiangling immediately.
“Jiangling is easy to conquer but the route is hard to travel through.” Lu Xun shook his head helplessly. If things were easy, he wouldn’t have needed Huo Jun to tell him to attack. Unfortunately the route was problematic. It was a famous place called the Huarong Road. It was a huge swamp that could swallow up a person. If no one guided the way, one could die in it.
Even the guides that have lived nearby for years only know a few paths there. The others don’t know the place at all.
Without getting through Huarong Road, they would not be able to attack Jiangling at all. This was what Lu Xun was worried about.
“The swamp? Allow me to take a look!” Huo Jun wanted to go and take a look at the Huarong Road and quickly took a few hundred men with him. He returned in half a day looking battered and exhausted with only a few dozen people. The rest were lost in the swamp. Huo Jun himself almost sunk into the swamp. He managed to escape because his reaction was good.
“General. I am ashamed.” Huo Jun’s face was red in shame from his failure.
“Sigh. I cannot blame Zhongmiao for this.” Lu Xun shook his head helplessly. Were they really unable to get pass Huarong Road?
“General! A white clothed scholar is outside requesting an audience.”