Chapter 21: Circumstances Pt. 2
“Young master Ye, speak to the point!” Wen Yuanbo said coldly.
Ye Yin chuckled. “You have many misgivings, but most importantly are the four surrounding countries that eye Zhi nation covetously.”
“The other countries? Is young master Ye perhaps joking? The dispute has not been a matter of days and in the past ten years, the have been countless emperors and countless wars, but never once did another country intervene. Are you saying when I* appear, they will intervene?”
*Wen Yuanbo always uses the royal referral to self. It’s not the common royal “We”, but it’s like “I, the king,”
Ye Yin smirked. “Your highness is too greedy. You do not want East Zhi or West Zhi, but both. Your highness is also of royal blood, so your identity is a threat to the other countries, able to unite and strengthen Zhi nation. The reason they have not made any moves in the last decade is not because they do not want to, but they too were apprehensive! Only after resolving their own problems can they divide up Zhi nation, but if Zhi nation were to regain its former glory, how could they divide up Zhi nation?”
“Little Qi, you mean to say they will invade Zhi nation?”
“What do you think?” Ye Yin stood up and walked up to the map of the terrain in the middle of the room. “To the northern border is Beiqi, to the south, Nanrong, to the east, Dongling, and to the west, Xili. Zhi nation has the most fertile land; conquering its land has clear benefits. But why have they not invaded?”
*Fun fact. Bei means north, Nan means south, Dong means east, and Xi means west
“But they have not made any moves in the last decade!”
“Ten years ago during the coup d’état, the other countries each had their own internal conflicts, how could they afford to invade another country? To them, partitioning a weak country after resolving their own conflicts is not too late. However, this relies on one condition: if Zhi nation does not unify!”
“In truth, there is one more important reason. In a way, the countries are restricting each other. Beiqi is reliant on Dongling, so it can be disregarded. Nanrong’s main military power is the navy. They are not familiar with battle on land. Furthermore, Nanrong has a slight connection with Zhi nation, so it too can be disregarded. Therefore, the biggest threats to Zhi nation are Dongling and Xili. Dongling prefers peace, believing that the pen is mightier than the sword, so their military power is weak, but it has ample amount of resources, with fine warhorses from Beiqi. On the other hand, Xili emphasizes on its military might, but no matter how powerful an army is, an army needs to eat. Xili has an ever-present shortage of food. If Xili wants to fight, it needs to have enough food in the first place. In summary, Xili and Dongling are pretty much even, neither one holding an advantage over the other.”
“Zhi nation’s geographical location is somewhat special, longed after by the surrounding four countries, but also acting as a balance of power. If any one of the four other countries touches Zhi nation, it will inevitably lead to war involving all five countries, so invading Zhi country is a very sensitive subject. Disregarding Nanrong and Beiqi, if either Dongling or Xili makes a move, the other country will inevitably react. No one cares for internal conflict in Zhi nation, but so long as two countries interfere, a never ending war shall begin, so they must mull over many factors. First, how long will the war last? Humans are greedy and Zhi nation is superior in every aspect, so both will try to take over Zhi nation completely, neither giving into the other, so this war was undoubtedly become a prolonged war of attrition, but as time passes, will Dongling’s soldier first lose their ground against Xili or will Xili run out of food first? Secondly, although Beiqi and Nanrong are far inferior to Dongling and Xili, every human is greedy; will they seize the chance when the two countries are weakened? No one can say. Xili and Dongling have wise rulers. There is no way they will not consider these factors, so they will not act rashly.”
*Random friend: Heartland Theory?!!
Ye Yin paused for a moment, then continued, “Furthermore, once the war drags on, internal domestic conflicts are a possibility. For example, Although with the assistance of prime minister Ren Fengyao emperor Dongfang Chao has sat stably on the throne, there are still hidden powers eyeing the throne covetously. But the emperor is not easy to deal with; he has constantly been purging those rebellious elements and focused his attention on strengthening the army. Once he finishes dealing with these internal conflicts, don’t you think Dongling will start to eye Zhi nation?”
Not giving Hua Jinali and Wen Yuanbo the chance to reply, Ye Yin continued. “As for Xili, the emperor is old and sickly. Each prince is vying for favor, each wanting glory, but none wanting to lead the army lest they lose their chance to seize the throne by the time they get back, so they cannot try to invade Zhi country just yet. But all of the princes are ambitious; once a new emperor ascends, they will start with Zhi nation.”
Now Ye Yin was finished. He took a small sip of tea quietly, glancing furtively at the frowning Wen Yuanbo and the stunned Hua Jianli.
Hua Jianli and Wen Yuanbo had indeed discussed these factors before, but just not this in depth. After a while, Hua Jianli finally came back to his senses. “In other words, isn’t Zhi nation on the verge of being invaded?”
“Correct. Zhi nation is merely hanging by a thread. Xili and Dongling wish for Zhi nation to remain in upheaval, the more chaotic, the better, the more easily they can seize it. As for how Xili and Dongling with partition the land, that will be a later matter! I predict in less than five years, Dongling and Xili will invade!” Ye Yin gazed at Huan Jianli and Wen Yuanbo seriously. “You must already be aware, isn’t that so?”
“Yes, we are aware Dongling and Xili will not let Zhi nation go, which is why I* have been so urgently working to reunite Zhi nation. At the very least, if Zhi nation is strengthened, Dongling and Xili will be more apprehensive and not make their move rashly!”
“As I said before, Zhi nation acts as a balance of power because Xili and Dongling are like fire and water and Zhi nation acts as a buffer. So long as East Zhi and West Zhi unite, there is no way they will join hands to invade Zhi nation. On the contrary, if one of them wants to invade Zhi nation, they will have to be wary of if Zhi nation will ally with the other country and destroy them instead.”
“So reuniting is a pressing matter. As young master Ye says, I* only have five years.”
Ye Yin shook his head. “No, you do not have five years. Once your highness announces your intent of reuniting the country, Dongling and Xili will immediately intervene. Why would they let such a good opportunity to seize Zhi nation go?”
“I know. This is why I* have been working secretly,” Wen Yuanbo said bitterly. “Zhi nation must reunite as soon as possible and strengthen itself, but I* cannot openly try to reunite the nation. There is no way to resolve this crisis.”
“Who said there’s no way?”
Hua Jianli’s eyes brightened. “Little Qi, you have a way?” he asked hurriedly.
Ye Yin set down his tea and stood up, facing the map. “As long as East and West Zhi do not reunite, Dongling and Xili will not do anything. They will wait until the time is ripe,
Until Zhi is even more chaotic. Since that is so, then we’ll simply not reunite East and West Zhi!”
Hua Jianli and Wen Yuanbo froze. Ye Yin glanced back and laughed, smiling cunningly.
“We’ll attack from both fronts. Each side will be strengthened at the same time while being secretly aligned!”
“Let East Zhi and West Zhi become more chaotic, set up a new ruler in East Zhi and a new emperor in West Zhi. On the surface, the two will be completely irresponsible, but…”
“I get it now!” Hua Jianli interrupted, excited. “Have East and West Zhi under our control, but don’t let the other countries know that East and West Zhi are secretly working together. On the surface, they will be hostile, each strengthening its own power. Once the time is ripe, East and West Zhi will reunite. By that time, even if the other countries know, it will already be too late for them to interfere.”
“Correct. Work undercover and reunite in a flash. By the time they realize what happened, it will already be too late!”
“Good idea!” Hua Jianli was delighted. Even the usually stoic Wen Yuanbo had a sliver of a smile. However, Ye Yin frowned, a serious expression on his face. “But this method is somewhat susceptible to corruption.”
“This plan has one variable, that is… Your highness will act as one regent, but who will the other ruler be? If they sit on the throne for too long, perhaps they will not be willing to hand it over. If the person chosen is wrong, the whole plan may go to waste, to the point that…”
Ye Yin did not finish his words, but Wen Yuanbo already understood. He raised a brow. “Do not worry, young master Ye. I already have someone in mind. Your worry will not come true.”
“Good! I am looking forward to your highness’s success!”