Chapter 106 - Ambushed
On April 6th, Feng Qiuhuang had finally acquired an additional 500 gold through the Currency Exchange Platform. Without further delay, she immediately mailed it to Ouyang Shuo, along with a letter of gratitude.
Upon receiving the gold coins and the letter, Ouyang Shuo called over Yingyu and the hall manager of Four Seas Bank, Yang Yun. He kept 500 golds as the emergency funds while all of the other gold was handed to the Four Seas Bank.
Ouyang Shuo looked at Yingyu and said, "The Finance Department will use this fund for 2 things. One: Establish bank branches in the 3 subsidiary towns, Beihai, Qiushui, and Friendship, so as to provide low-interest loans to the town residents. Two: Support and provide better policies to the shops, workshops, and handicraft industries. Encourage them to expand the scales of their businesses, hence ultimately boosting the territory"s economy.”
Yingyu nodded her head with a smile, "Rest assured, big brother, with this amount of funds, there will be no more restraints on the Finance Department anymore. There will be no need to hold back, and we can finally make something great this time. Actually a nearly perfected economic stimulus plan has long been completed, lead by the secretary of the Business Division, Elder Xu. However, due to the lack of necessary funds, the plan was held back indefinitely."
"Very well." Ouyang Shuo nodded approvingly, turned and looked at Yang Yun. "Your ability is indeed something I have confidence in. So now I will be adding an additional weight onto your responsibilities. Out of the three subsidiary territories, Beihai was the earliest of all, and in a short time, it will be upgraded to a grade 2 town. Hence, I intend to have you transferred to the Four Seas Bank branch in Beihai Town to take charge of it. So, are you confident about it?"
Yang Yun, upon receiving the news, was overjoyed and answered in excitement, "Thank you for having faith in me, I will not disappoint you, my lord!"
“Good, this is the confidence you will be needing." Ouyang Shuo praised her. After that he said to Yingyu, "As for the managers for Qiushui Town and Friendship Town"s bank branches, I will leave that matter to you. You have full authority on appointing the managers."
"Rest assured, brother!" Yingyu was a lady of iron as usual.
For the next 10 days, the military was focused on training, while actively storming the raiders’ and bandits’ camps within the territory"s borders to enhance the troops" battle experience.
After a few blood-soaked wars, the 8 captains class changed and rose to basic officers. As of now, the Shanhai military force"s squadron captains were all official. All of them had the word "temporary" removed from their titles. From the resources they had plundered, Ouyang Shuo only took 1,500 gold and distributed the rest to the Material Reserves Department and the Finance Department.
After the two major raiding operations, the land within a 1000 square kilometers of land was deserted of living beings. Not a single raider, bandit, or any wild animal existed. No presence of any living activities could be seen, as they were all slaughtered in cold blood by the military. However, with the threats and targets fully exterminated, it had also indicated the end of the Spring Assault operation.
While the military was providing pleasant news, the government too was giving out good news. In a month"s time, the territory had finally finished all of the infrastructure upgrades. The broad, wide road made of bluestone was paved throughout every street in town. The buildings were rebuilt using bluestone as the main support, and wore red coverings of roof tiles. Everything in and out, including the magnificent and mighty town square, was giving off one message: Shanhai Town"s prosperity.
Now that the advanced shipyard was upgraded, they had started right away in building Meng Chong warships. Till now, there were already 2 Meng Chong warships delivered to the navy unit, and on average the shipyard could deliver 1 warship per week. A Meng Chong warship"s unit capacity was a squadron of navy men. Therefore, 3 more warships were needed in order to meet the needs of the whole navy unit.
Other than that, his three subsidiary territories had also delivered good tidings. Beihai territory was now officially a grade 2 town, with a maximum population of 5,000 residents. For this, Ouyang Shuo had spent 1000 gold on the advanced port building blueprint, and had ordered the start of the Beihai Port project. As it was a massive construction project, even with Beihai Town going full thrust, it would still need at least a month"s time.
A port was like a dock and a ferry terminal. They were all classified as special buildings. Basic port building blueprints were priced at 10 gold, hence the price of an advanced port would be 1,000 gold, or twice the price of an advanced shipyard.
For Qiushui Town to be upgraded to grade 2, it would need to take another half a month.
The good thing was that the wild white tea plantation in Nanfeng Mountain was transformed into a 5,000-acre tea plantation under the name of Qiushui Town. Between the end of March and early April were the times to harvest the white teas. Surely Zhao Dexian wouldn"t let this opportunity slip away from his fingers. He had ordered the tea farmers to harvest them, and they had now already almost finished the harvests.
It wasn"t a surprise at all when the white tea was recognized as a territory-special local product by the system. As Ouyang Shuo had left the tea plantation under Qiushui Town, any profits made by the sales of white tea through the grocery shop would naturally be accredited to Qiushui Town. This, in turn, would be able to stimulate and speed up Qiushui Town"s economy.
Zhao Dexian proved himself to be a man of sense, as he had only secured the few white tea trees of the highest grade, labeling the teas as tribute teas. Tribute teas were the best of all; they were not available for sale and would only be specifically given as tribute to the manor, in particular, to Ouyang Shuo.
Switching to the latest affiliate town, Friendship Town, all necessary infrastructure was built. It was now focusing on building its moat, but due to the project being massive in size, there was still a long time before completion. As of now, Friendship Town was still unable to be self-sufficient, and constantly needed the main territory"s support and funds.
On April 15th, Langshan Mining Field sent urgent news:
The Jifeng tribe has ambushed the mining site. It has destroyed a few facilities and engaged with the garrison team. The clash ended with a number of injured, and casualties of more than 40 people.
2 PM, Shanhai Town Chamber
Ouyang Shuo summoned the Military Affairs Department and the 3 majors, and an emergency meeting was held. He glanced around the chamber, solemnly saying, "I believe the news has reached all of you. Langshan mining field was hit. This is clearly a blunt provocation to Shanhai, and I, the lord, will make them pay for their actions with their blood."
"My lord, please give the orders. We will stab them right in their hearts and storm their tribal camps!" General Shi, the tempered general was the first to ask for a battle assignment.
"That"s right, my lord! The city defense unit will act as the vanguard!" Zhao Sihu rose next.
Only Major Lin Yi said in a reluctant tone, "My lord, the cavalry unit will be your spear!"
Ouyang Shuo shook his head and answered Lin Yi. "This time, the expedition would be close to the mountain and deep in the woods. The terrain is not favorable to the horse-mounted cavalry. Stay. Guard and protect the territory. The cavalry unit will be taking over the city defense unit"s duty. We had been wiping out the raiders and bandits; the resentment between them and us can only be washed away with the last drop of blood, be it theirs or ours. I do not wish the territory to be plundered and seized by these scourges. Major Lin, a big responsibility lays upon you, please do not let your guard down."
"Yes, my lord!" Clearly, Lin Yi knew it would turn out like this, but he was just trying his luck to see if the cavalry could join the expedition.
Ouyang Shuo ignored the two war hawks, General Shi and Major Zhao. Instead, he turned to the Military Intelligence Division and said, "Did the Military Intelligence Division have any intelligence on Jifeng tribe?"
San Gouzi, oh… he now goes with the name of Song San. Song San stood up and answered. "Yes my lord, ever since they declined to cooperate with us, the Military Intelligence Division had started gathering information regarding the Jifeng tribe."
"Very well, we are all ears!" Ouyang Shuo praised the division for their performance.
Song San started his report. "Between the borders of Lianzhou and Lingnan were mostly mountain terrains, and barbaric tribes lived and spread across the area. They were divided into two, the northern tribes and southern tribes. Each was led by a leader tribe of 10,000 men. The ones we have met so far were all southern tribes.
"The southern tribes consisted of 40 tribes; they were slightly weaker than the northern tribes. The leader tribe was Tiangou tribe, followed by four 5,000-10,000 strong large tribes, ten 3,000-5,000 strong medium-sized tribes, and 25 less than 3,000 strong tribes. Therefore, as one of the 4 large tribes, it would be natural that Jifeng tribe was unwilling to listen to the Xuanniao tribe.
"Jifeng tribe has around 5,400 men, using "strong wind" as their tribe totem, and ‘Huan’ as their surname. Their leader is called Huan Tai. He became the tribe"s chief not long ago, and his age is less than 30 years old. The tribe"s combat force is the tribe hunters, numbering in the 800s. According to my speculation, they were the ones who hit the Langshan mining field."
Ouyang Shuo was really satisfied with the Military Intelligence Division, as they were able to see the bigger picture, and derived the reason behind the incident of the Langshan mining field. It was truly convincing.
"What is the geographical condition of the Jifeng tribe, and their tribe"s defense system?" Ge Hongliang was naturally more concerned about these questions.
Song San nodded his head and said, "Jifeng tribe is located 20 kilometers east of Xuaniao tribe. The tribe"s location is in a valley-like terrain. It has 3 walls of mountains, with only an entrance at the west side where Jifeng tribe has built a defensive wall. Hence, we will have to take it down in order to raid the tribe."
Ge Hongliang frowned instantly. Such a terrain, easy to defend and hard to attack, it really was troublesome. He wasn"t ready to give up, and he asked again. "How high are the mountains? Can we grapple and climb over them?"
Song San shook his head, saying for sure, "It is impossible. Although they are not as high as ours, they are still five, six hundred meters tall. In addition, the mountains are filled with bushes and trees, so they are hard for one to travel across, let alone climb over them."
"In that case, we only have one choice left: a direct attack. As long as we take down the defensive wall, the tribe will be like turtles in jars, our play dolls." Ouyang Shuo opened his mouth suddenly.
Ge Hongliang nodded his head and asked, "My lord, the expedition, who will be involved in it?" Immediately, every major glanced anxiously at Ouyang Shuo.
Ouyang Shuo did not disappoint them. He said aloud, "The expedition will be led by the infantry unit and the city defense unit, assisted by the Langshan garrison unit. Qiushui and Friendship Town’s garrison squads will stay put and protect the territories."
Shi Wanshui and Zhao Sihu were filled with immense excitement, while only Lin Yi was feeling lost.