Chapter 11 - Stratagem of Sowing Dissension
Chapter 11 - Stratagem of Sowing Dissension
A Horse carriage rapidly left the Song Capital!
Within the horse carriage, was the frightened and doubtful Royal Grandson, Song Zhengxi.
Song Zhengxi leaned on the window of the horse carriage, while feeling the jolts of the horse carriage, he recalled the conversation he had with the strange man.
“Gao Xianzhi? How could it be, he wanted to execute me, why would he save me?” Song Zhengxi opened his eyes wide and looked at Gu Hai.
Gu Hai laughed lightly and shook his head: “Your Royal Highness, are you still unaware of the situation? All of this was just an act, as the Royal Grandson, can't you see the circumstances?”
“How old is the King?”
“Eh? Royal Grandfather should be 82 this year? What is your meaning?” Song Zhengxi asked blankly.
“Are you familiar with the war between the Song and the Chen Kingdom?”
“The Chen Kingdom last bastion of defense is the Tiger Cage Pass, however, it has been commandeered by Gu Hai. It seems he’s very capable! Even Gao Xianzhi fears him to a degree, which is why he resorted to implementing extreme discipline?” Song Zhengzhi frowned.
Gu Hai smiled gently: “800 thousand elite soldiers against 100 thousand soldiers, it’s an irresistible force, how could anyone reverse this situation? Is just an insignificant old man sufficient? Isn’t that unbelievable? Gao Xianzhi is a Genius at leading the armies, no one could oppose him, even without him, even a monkey is sufficient to lead the troops to storm the enemy base. Is it that complex? What do you think?”
“Right, that’s right, I am aware that, Gao Xianzhi was very capable in the past, how could an old man obstruct him? Is there some secret hidden behind this?” Song Zhengxi started to get suspicious.
Gu Hai just smiled and didn’t explain further.
“What is going on? Tell me, what is happening?” Song Zhengxi still couldn’t understand.
Gu Hai didn’t answer him, instead, he looked in the direction of the Royal Palace and sighed: “The King is getting old!”
Song Zhengxi suddenly shuddered, even the Chief Magistrate was having cold sweats.
“You… Are you saying that my Royal Father is going to ascend the throne?” Song Zhengxi quivered.
This quivering was either due to alarm or excitement, As he gazed at Gu Hai.
“Gu Hai smiled and said: “I didn’t say anything...!”
“I understand now, 800 thousand soldiers? The reason my Royal Father departed for the frontlines was to seize control of the Royal Army? Conquering the Chen Kingdom is an easy matter which could be accomplished immediately, however, the reason, he chose to wait was to gain time, in order to ascend the throne? ”
Gu Hai looked at the Royal Grandson Song Zhengxi; although he may be young, his heart is dark and sinister? These dark thoughts may have been prompted by myself, however, he concluded the rest by himself?
“Gao Xianzhi may be the General, however, a wise man submits to circumstances, can you understand?” Gu hai asked.
“I understand, Royal Grandfather doesn’t have much time left, furthermore..., Gao Xianzhi only option is to follow Royal Father, hence the pandering towards Royal Father? Gao Xianzhi has long since submitted to Royal Father? I understand now, I understand everything!”
“But what was the reason behind Gao Xianzhi’s return and pressure towards his Royal Highness? To fabricate his death?” the Chief Magistrate at the side, after hearing all of this, was left with a single option.
Song Zhengxi glared at him: “You idiot, you can’t even understand this? Didn’t General Gao save me? He is helping me leave as when the army returns to the Capital, I would likely meet with misfortune, thus he sending me away early on, to protect me!”
Gu Hai watched Song Zhengzi from the side. Indeed, his heart is very dark and sinister.
“This mister, eh, let me ask you, what about Lin Chong and his group of people?” Song Zhengxi suddenly frowned.
Gu Hai revealed a cold smile: “Do you believe they would return alive?”
“Right, right! Hahaha, General Gao is really capable, to be able to find such an excuse!” Song Zhengxi immediately became happy.
“Your Royal Highness, since you are technically ‘dead’, you cannot appear in Song Capital, even the news that you are alive cannot be leaked.” Gu Hai said seriously.
“I understand, you are sending me out of the Capital, but where am I going to hide?”
“Nowhere is safe, you could be discovered anywhere, there is only a single safe haven!” Gu Hai said in a low voice.
“Gao Xianzhi’s barracks, by the side of the Royal Crown Prince! General Gao has already prepared a horse carriage, it would be best to depart immediately and head towards the barracks, alright?” Gu Hai stared at Song Zhengxi.
Song Zhengxi excitedly nodded his head: “Sure, Sure, I will listen to you!”
Outside the Song Capital on a small mountain, Gu Hai stood with his hands behind his back with Gu Han standing behind him as he watched the horse carriage carrying Song Zhengxi leave.
“Godfather, the arrangements have been made, there is going to be a good show at Tiger Cage Pass!” Gu Han smiled.
Gu Hai nodded his head.
Outside Tiger Cage pass!
800 Thousand Song soldiers surrounded the pass, in a majestic manner.
At this moment, the entire army was in high spirits. Although their mental state was shaken by Gu Hai’s earlier plots, everyone believed that the General would give them accounts.
So what if he was the royal grandson?
Recently, letters arrived detailing the situations at home, with everything being peaceful, without any incidents.
In the Commander’s tent, Crown Prince Song’s face was laced with frustration.
The army arrived at Tiger Cage Pass, and according to the schedule, Gao Xianzhi along with his group would be returning soon. Furthermore, Gao Xianzhi’s return would imply that....
Crown Prince Song pinched the brush in his hands, he couldn’t start writing. As he continuously took deep breaths, suppressing the frustrations in his heart. Was he helpless to do anything to stop the execution of his own son?
“Gu Hai!” Crown Prince Song’s eyes flickered with intense hatred.
“Your Royal Highness!” a respectful greeting came from the outside.
“Come in!” Crown Prince Song suppressed the fury in his heart and set the brush aside.
Soon afterward, an official entered the tent. The official’s face was full of joy, however, upon noticing the Crown Prince’s sullen face, his expression changed. Guessing that it was the pain of losing his son, it would be for the best to refrain expressing joy and happiness.
Your Royal Highness, it has been two days since our arrival at Tiger Cage Pass, during which we have received thirty-six defectors!” the official said while clasping his fists together.
“Oh? Gu Hai allowed them out?” Crown Prince Song asked with suspicion.
“Of course, Gu Hai wasn’t willing, these people took advantage of the night and used ropes to climb down the walls. It is my belief that this was just the first wave, with more to follow in the coming days. Hahaha! We haven’t even attacked, but there is already disorder within the Tiger Cage Pass! The Heavens are helping us!” the official couldn’t help but smile.
Crown Prince, on the other hand, was mourning, thus, couldn’t smile. When the official noticed the Crown Prince’s expression, his expression immediately changed and turned solemn once again.
“Already 36 people? Are they defecting? What news did they bring?” Crown Prince Song asked sullenly.
“Yes, this group of people is made up of nobles. Since the Chen Kingdom is about to be destroyed, they had nothing to lose, hence escaping was the only way out. Also, they didn’t hold anything back and revealed everything. The number of troops, the strength of the defenses, even the location of the Commander’s tent, they didn't hold back. Your Royal Highness, everything will be organized, and reported to your Royal Highness, however, how should we handle these defectors? ” that official asked.
“Lock them up for now and continue questioning them, especially information regarding Gu Hai, remember everything!” Crown Prince Song sullenly ordered.
“Yes!” the official replied.
The Crown Prince’s expression turned dark upon the exist of the official and began gazing in the direction of the Tiger Cage pass with blood filled eyes.
“Gu Hai? You forced my son to die, I will exterminate your entire family!” Crown Prince Song’s face turned cold as he muttered to himself.
In a large tent within the Tiger Cage Pass.
Gu Qin pretending to be Gu Hai sat at the main seat analyzing the information in front of him. Beside him, sat Chen Liangyi and Chen Tianshan; although the two of them had high statuses, they didn’t have any intention of disturbing Gu Qin nor would they pry his actions.
In front of them, stood a large group of civil and military officials. Currently, most of them were anxious.
But, when they witnessed the calm and composed expression of the white-haired ‘Gu Hai’, they managed to calm their anxious hearts.
“General, the Song Kingdom’s 800 thousand soldiers have already arrived outside the pass. We have been continuously recruiting soldiers, however, our numbers only reached 120 thousand!”
“Indeed, General, your reorganization of the troops seemed to improve their overall strength, however, our enemy has 800 thousand soldiers as compared to out 120 thousand!”
A few of the officials looked anxiously at Gu Qin.
Gu Qin set his work aside and gazed at the group of officials as he indifferently said: “What are you afraid of? In this Tiger Cage Pass, one man can hold out against ten thousand enemies. With 120 thousand soldiers guarding the wall, and the fact that this is a natural stronghold from all directions, what difference would their 800 thousand strong army make? Furthermore, even with 800 thousand soldiers, they can’t take us down! Back then, we even forced Gao Xianzhi to return in defeat, doesn’t that prove my point?”
“Ah? Yes!” everyone nodded their heads.
Although, they were still worried, however, witnessing ‘Gu Hai’ downplay the situation, many people relaxed.
“General, last night, thirty-six soldiers escaped, defecting to the other camp, 3 of whom were officers. They were aware of most of General’s arrangements, which would leak our military secrets ?” an official dressed in red robes revealed an anxious expression.
When the official in red robes said that, the other officials expressed looks of alarm.
A green-robed official rushed into the large tent, with a face full of anxiety: “General, General, it‘s bad, just now..., just now the Commanding Officer from left vanguard took 58 men and escaped from the Southwestern Wall. When this subordinate witnessed this, they were proceeding towards the Song Kingdom’s barracks!”
“Ah?” there was an uproar within the tent.
“We’re finished, we are finished, what should we do now?”
“The number of people defecting is increasing, this will be a devastating blow to the morale!”
“Following this, there will be more and more people defecting!”
The officials discussed spiritedly as everyone was anxious.
“Finished?” Chen Liangyi’s face was unsightly.
Chen Liangyi understood that this would cause a chain reaction, as long as a single person defected, then the morale would begin to fall. Now with dozens of soldiers defecting, this wasn’t an issue of morale anymore, however, a lack of ability to prevent defection. Following this, there would definitely be more and more cases involving defection. The battle hadn’t even begun, yet Tiger Cage Pass was already crumbling; how are we going to fight?
Chen Tianshan was also very anxious, as he looked at Gu Qin and asked: “General, what should we do? Didn’t you say that you were going to mobilize the troops? And quickly disperse this atmosphere?!”
Everyone was incomparably anxious, only Gu Qin was calm and composed, he poured a cup of tea and took a sip.
Chen Liangyi and Chen Tianshan almost burst out in anger.
At this moment, after sipping Gu Qin casually said something, which caused the entire tent to go quietly.
“Why the rush? They were sent by me!” Gu Qin said.
Everyone became speechless. They looked at Gu Qin in shock and eyes full of admiration.
Following that, the panicking officials, exhaled and started to laughed, as though they weren't anxious from the beginning.
Only a few officials, immediately constricted their pupils and stopped breathing.
The following day, within Crown Prince Song’s barracks.
Crown Prince Song had been feeling frustrated throughout this period of time, the pain of mourning hadn’t subsided yet when a sealed report was delivered in front of him.
When Crown Prince Song noticed the secret report, his pupils constricted.
In front, a crowd of his subordinates looked curiously at the Crown Prince.
“Your Royal Highness, what does the letter says?” asked one of his subordinates asked curiously.
“Hm!” Crown Prince Song’s frustrations seemed to have revealed.
Crown Prince Song slammed the secret report on the table.
“Your Royal Highness, last night, there was an additional batch of eighty-six defectors, all of which gathered outside, they even brought the latest news, should we...?” An official asked in a soft voice.
“Defecting? Hahahahaha, Gu Hai! Do you take me for a fool? Using this tactic against me? Hm! Men, tie those defectors and bring them outside of the Tiger Cage Pass, and execute them! Spies? What this Royal Prince DESPISES the most are spies, furthermore, Gu Hai’s spies! Hm!” Crown Prince Song coldly snorted.
Not far from Tiger Cage Pass.
“Don’t kill me, Please don’t kill me, Your Royal Highness, I am here to surrender!”
“I want to see General Gao, I have brought news from Tiger Cage Pass, General, please spare my life!”
“I beg you, please release me, I am here to surrender and even hold valuable information, please do not kill me!”
Outside Tiger Cage Pass, the sound of crying filled the surroundings.
A total of 186 men were tied up and brought towards Tiger Cage Pass, as though they were trying to display their might to Gu Hai.
Atop the city wall
Gu Qing held his hands behind his back, with Chen Tianshan, Chen Liangyi and a group of officials standing behind. All of them were staring at the nearby hill and revealed expressions of shock.
In the distance, 500 Song soldiers were suppressing the 186 men who had recently defected? What was this situation?
Gu Qin indifferently said: “If the soldier's wish to see, let them come up the city wall to watch!”
“Ah? Oh!” Chen Liangyi immediately nodded his head.
Within Tiger Cage Pass, countless soldiers were looking around as they rushed up the city wall upon receiving the orders. They stood at every corner of the city walls, looking into the distance.
“Ah? Aren’t they from the Left Vanguard? Ah, that’s Earl Wang! Ah, it’s Lord Zhang?”
“Look, yesterday they asked me to defect with them, and I just ignored them then, What is going on now?”
“These should be the defectors from the past few days?”
A large number of Chen soldiers revealed expressions of shock.
They saw, on a hill outside the City, a person dressed in a General’s attire, waved his hands.
186 heads flew off, separated from their respective bodies as they tumbled on the ground.
The defectors from the past two days were all executed by the Song army? Not even one spared?
In an instant, all the of soldiers atop the wall took a deep breath. Some of them were originally feeling restless and were thinking of defecting. However, their prior wishful thinking was obliterated.
Defecting? That was just sending themselves to death!
In the distance, 500 Song soldiers mounted their horses and quickly departed, leaving 186 headless corpses in a pool of blood. Leaving the entire pass was deathly silence.
“General, You sent them out, but...!” Chen Liangyi’s face turned unsightly.
At this moment, Gu Qin just smiled: “They were not sent by me, but now there shouldn’t any soldiers wanting to defect!”
“Eh?” Chen Liangyi was startled.
Two days later, Gao Xianzhi finally returned from the Song Capital.
“Your Royal Highness, you fell for their plots, that was Gu Hai’s ‘Stratagem of sowing dissension’ you…, you shouldn’t have killed them! Now the soldiers in Tiger Cage Pass will fight to the death!” Gao Xianzhi anxiously said, with a face laced with depression.
“Stratagem of sowing dissension?” Crown Prince Song’s complexion changed.
“Gu Hai once said, surround from the three sides and leave one side open, this is to give them an escape route, giving them hope, causing them the mess up. But you sealed this route, especially through surrounding that ‘one’. By killing those hundred odd defectors, you killed their hope, you are killing the hope of the Chen soldiers. Without the hope of escape and survival, all of them would fight to the death. Even elite soldier won’t be able to defeat a suicidal soldier! Unfortunately, I returned late by two days, just two days, hai...!” Gao Xianzhi’s face expressed bitterness.