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Huo Qubing suppressed the annoyance he felt and looked around at all the merchants. Then he slowly said, "I'm only in charge of military matters and do not have the power to answer your question. As for compensation, you need to communicate with the Prefect that is about to be appointed."
When Zhu Jing heard this reply, he knew that the man in front of him was not easy to deal with. He immediately smiled and changed the topic. That night, although their goals were not achieved, they still held an extremely lively feast.
As the songs and show ended, Huo Qubing was still clear-headed and gathered the generals for a meeting that night.
Tonight was the deadline that the Monarch had given Swordsman City to return the prisoners and the 800 thousand gold. Obviously, Swordsman City was not planning to fulfill the conditions.
Since that was the case, Shanhai City could only resort to violence.
After returning to the camp, the various generals immediately felt more at home. They regained their senses, and their eyes all shone sharply.
Huo Qubing sat at the head of the room, "Tomorrow morning, we will lead our troops into the Shu Lands. Before this, I will need the military affairs officer to give us a description of the Shu Lands." As he said these words, he signaled toward a young man who was sitting below.
Based on how Shanhai City organized and formed its army, the Military Affairs Bureau's Military Intelligence Division had its headquarters in Shanhai City, and the four legion corps all had military intelligence personnel that was under the leaders.h.i.+p of both the legion corps marshal and the Military Intelligence Division.
The young man nodded and unfurled a map; this was the map of the Shu Lands that the Military Intelligence Division had worked together with the Shanhai Guards to draw up.
"The entirety of the Shu Lands is mainly a mountain range region; it is split into the west highlands and the east flat plains. The west highlands have many mountains and hills, and between the hills are wide canyons. There are many swamps and the average land height is four thousand meters above sea level. Here, it is mainly the Qiang ethnic group that is located all around the mountains, known as Qiang Prefecture. West of the western highlands will be the mysterious Tibet."
"The eastern flat plains are part of a huge basin formed from the connecting mountain ranges and are the main region of the Shu Lands. The population here is dense and closely packed with cities; it is a place filled with natural resources. The Shu Lands have five prefectures. Apart from Qiang Prefecture, the rest are located in the eastern plains. The four Prefectures have the Chengdu Imperial City's Chengdu Prefecture as its center. To the north is Hanzhong Prefecture, east is Badong Prefecture, and south is Jiangyang Prefecture."
"Amongst the four Prefectures, Hanzhong Prefecture is occupied by three Lords; together, these parties form the Hanzhong Alliance. Chengdu is under the rule of the Shu Han regime and the remaining two Prefectures belong to Swordsman City."
"Chengdu Prefecture and Dadong Prefecture are both located in the central region of the basin; the land area there is flat with thousands of miles of fertile land. This is where the essence of the Shu Lands is located. Hanzhong and Jiangyang Prefectures are located at the north and south ends of the basin, where there are many hills, plains, and hills intersected. These geographical features make the area hard to attack but easy to defend. These two Prefectures can be seen as the north and south gates of Chengdu."
As they heard this report, a general asked, "Does this mean that as long as we take down Jiangyang, this south side gate, the entire Shu Lands will be revealed to us, and we will have no further obstacle?"
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's quickly attack!"
The Military Intelligence Division chief shook his head and said, "It's not that simple. Knowing that Jiangyang is an important strategic area, Swordsman City has placed their main city at the north-most point of it, making itself the last barrier to the south. The pa.s.s where it is located at has been built to be comparable to the Sword Pa.s.s in the north connecting Hanzhong and Chengdu."
"Next, Swordsman City invested heavily last year to build 40 large and small pa.s.ses. Between each territory, there are pa.s.ses dividing them with many troops defending."
All the generals took in deep breaths; such an arrangement was simply terrifying. The only thing that could probably threaten these pa.s.ses was the P1 Type Cannon.
The only problem was that the Shu Lands was a mountainous region and some parts did not even have roads. One could only pa.s.s through the mountains and the ravines. Moving the cannons that weighed tons to their specific locations was extremely difficult.
For this reason, Feng Qingyang had little to fear.
Shu Lands were famous for being hard to attack exactly because of this.
Huo Qubing said, "Continue!"
"Yes!" The division chief nodded and continued his introduction, "The nearest city to Jiangyang Prefecture is known as Black Iron City. It got its name from producing large quant.i.ties of iron ore. Between us and them, there is a canyon path that we can use, and both sides are really high mountain peaks. Recently, a pa.s.s was built near Black Iron City; it is known as Protruding Dragon Pa.s.s. The 40 thousand Swordsman City troops that were housed in Dongchuan Prefecture have retreated to defend this pa.s.s."
"Apart from these 40 thousand troops, Black Iron City also has a City Protection Division. Apart from that, there is a 30 thousand men army on the way, and they will reach the city soon."
"What is the total strength of Swordsman City?" Huo Qubing suddenly asked.
"Apart from the Guards Division and the City Protection Division, they still have two War Fighting Legions. One is housed in Badong Prefecture, the other in Jiangyang Prefecture."
Normally, a Prefecture in the wilderness will only have one War Fighting Legion. Adding in the city protection troops and the guards, it would basically max out.
With Shanhai City as an example, before the Battle of Yunnan Started, Shanhai City had a total of 13 Prefectures. In the army, considering the City Protection Legions and the Guards Legion Corps, they had exactly 13 legions.
Of course, Shanhai City's situation was special and its foundation was more solid than the other territories. Its main city had also reached Grade 3 Prefecture level. As a result, apart from the army, they could build a large-scale navy.
Even so, it was still a ma.s.sive burden on the finances of Shanhai City.
The five squadrons of the Nanyang Navy would not be expanded in the near future. If anything changes, it would be the remodeling of the five squadrons as well as the renewal of the wars.h.i.+ps and weapons.
Apart from Lords who prioritized military, there were very few Lords who had crossed this red line. On the contrary, a province in the wilderness could at most support a legion corps with five full legions.
The only special existence would be the imperial cities. The China region had nine imperial cities and with just one Prefecture, they could feed a million troops. If it were not for Gaia, this would be totally unimaginable.
The number of players living in the imperial cities was a similar situation.
It was unimaginable in ancient times for an imperial city to hold tens of millions of people and not fall. Without the special settings of Gaia, how would it be possible?
Out of all the players, the highest ranked Shanhai City was still working towards the two million people upper limit.
For Swordsman City to build two War Fighting Legions on the base of the Guards Division and the City Protection Division was already a remarkable achievement. After all, they were not famous for city management.
When Huo Qubing heard this news, his brows rose, "Which means that Swordsman City is ready to throw in all the soldiers in Jiangyang Prefecture to go all out against us?"
"That seems to be it."
"They are really too arrogant. Do they think they can stop us with just one legion?" Ma Chao said unhappily.
Huo Qubing shook his head, "The enemy has the geographical advantage and is also mainly defending, so we cannot be overconfident and look down on them."
The Guards Legion Corps was mainly composed of cavalry and were not good at mountainous and siege battles. The only group good at that were the two Heavy Armored infantry Mountain Barbarian Divisions.
It was not going to be easy to take down Black Iron City.
What was crucial was still time.
When in Consonance City, the Monarch had told them that if Swordsman City did not yield, they were to end the war before the Chinese New Year's Eve. They could not let this war drag on until the Chinese New Year.
Considering the time, they had less than half a month to complete the task.
As such, this battle had to be highly efficient, and they must hit Swordsman City at all the right spots.
The Monarch was giving the Guards Legion Corps a really tough task.
No matter how tough it was, Huo Qubing needed to complete it beautifully as this concerned the glory of the Guards Legion Corps.
"Apart from the mountain paths, are there other ways in?" Huo Qubing asked the Military Intelligence Division chief.
He nodded, "Yes. 80 miles east of Yongren City there is a river known as Jinsha River. If we go up the river, we could directly reach Black Iron City. Coincidentally, it is the low tide season so the water flows really slowly, which benefits us."
"Are there any difficulties?" Huo Qubing asked.
"Yes. When leaving Dongchuan Prefecture, Swordsman City destroyed all the large s.h.i.+ps in the Prefecture. If we want to use the water routes to transport troops, it would be hard to do so in a short amount of time."
Huo Qubing stayed silent for a while. Now, he started to think about the territory navy. However, the five squadrons were located around the oceans and none of them were active within the land areas.
Even if they asked for help now, help would not be able to reach them in time.
"Can we gather small private boats?" someone suggested.
Huo Qubing shook his head. Not only did small boats have limited capacity, but it was really unsafe. If they were not careful, the boats would be destroyed and many lives would be lost. Furthermore, how many boats would be needed to send hundreds of thousands of men? They would basically need to clog up Jinsha River.
Apart from transporting troops, they still needed to send grain, which made matters even more difficult.
The only way would be the use the water routes to send thousands of troops. The Guards Legion Corps was equipped with military grain pills, so it was possible for the several thousand troops to last for many days.
"Do we have any spies and moles in Black Iron City?" Huo Qubing asked.
"Yes, we are confident about opening the city gates when our troops arrive."
During the Battle of Yongren, the failure of the three intel organizations caused the Monarch to scold them profusely. From them on, the shame pushed them even harder since they wanted to redeem themselves.
All three intel organizations increased their infiltration of the Shu Lands. Naturally, Black Iron City was within these plans. Furthermore, Black Iron City was mainly mining, so the population was rather messy and hard to manage, making it all the easier to infiltrate.
Huo Qubing's eyes lit up, and he turned to s.h.i.+hu and said, "I will give you five thousand elites, are you confident about sneak attacking Black Iron City?" If they headed through the navy route, infantry troops were better as war horses were hard to transport.
s.h.i.+hu did not even hesitate and stood up, "No problem."
To the mountain barbarians, this chance was an exceptional honor.
Huo Qubing nodded his head and started to craft a specific battle plan. If they wanted this sneak attack to succeed, they needed to create a series of coordinated plans.
Only at the dead of night did the various generals go their own way.