Chapter 1162: This method is super effective

After reading through all the letters, Han Yunxi had seen the crux of matters at Western Zhou: different generals were vying for supremacy. And Long Feiye still wants me to sleep? He has no choice but to keep chatting with me!

It had to be said that Long Feiye preferred to discuss matters with Han Yunxi instead of those reckless warriors like Baili Yuanlong. For one thing, he didn’t need to explain as much to her; for another, this woman could always surprise him with her schemes.

The skirmished at Western Zhou had Emperor Kangcheng sending troops into Tianning’s borders frequently until he saw that the situation was dire. Now his soldiers were guarding the borders, leaving both sides at a stalemate. Long Feiye hadn’t left many soldiers of his own in the west, so the main resistance force was made up of the chu Clan troops. After their sudden rebellion,[1] Long Feiye had transferred a few more battalions to beef up the ranks. Both the Baili and Ning armies were part of the forces at the western frontier, while two to three more branches laid in wait in the central regions. As long as Long Feiye gave the word, any one of them could head west to attack Western Zhou’s front lines, thus toppling the country within a year and eliminating its royal seat.

Long Feiye had recently been too busy to give orders, so the various generals began to guess at his intentions. They kept asking Long Feiye who he was sending to Western Zhou to gain military merits, then who would go into Western Zhou afterwards to take over the country. 

But Long Feiye’s thoughts were a mystery, so every one of the generals began to contend with each other and send letters asking for permission to act, hoping to be the main commander of the western expedition. It began with the Baili and Ning Clan troops, then involved the central regions when their respective commanders received support from the various established families and financial groups. 

The Baili and Di Clan’s Ning family had always been at loggerheads, so they didn’t merit much comment. But the competition between the other forces were out of insecurity towards their future positions. If they couldn’t maintain their position, they’d have tough days ahead.

If this was the past, Long Feiye could stll send a contingent west. Now he had to consider the problem from all angles before he acted. 

“I’ve come up with a good idea,” Han Yunxi grinned.

Although Long Feiye long knew the gist of handling the western borders, he was willing to hear her out. “What will it take to make you talk?” he asked. He’d seen through her machinations before she even started asking for favors.

Han Yunxi’s smile turned sly. “There’s only one condition! I promise you won’t lose out.”

“Speak,” Long Feiye smiled helplessly back.

“Take me into the army!” Han Yunxi was dead serious. Although Long Feiye hadn’t arranged for her to leave Medical City yet, she knew he’d make her go to look after her baby. 

As expected, Long Feiye’s expression darkened at her words.

“I don’t mind if you find a few extra Zhao mamas to look after me. I’ll be good and listen to everything you say, eat the things I’m supposed to eat, and sleep when I’m supposed to sleep. As long as you bring me and the baby along!” Han Yunxi declared.

Long Feiye looked at her silently, making Han Yunxi grow nervous. She added, “I can agree to all and any terms if I can come with you. Long Feiye, you definitely won’t go to the battlefields or Northern Li. You’ll likely stay within Tianning’s army camp.”

Long Feiye arched his brows. “You’re so certain?”

“You should be staying in the Tianning army for at least two to three months before joining me in the south around New Year’s, right?” Han Yunxi asked.

Long Feiye wanted to say no, but those were his exact plans.

“So you--” Han Yunxi didn’t get to finish as Long Feiye took her by the hand.

“There are too many chaotic things in an army camp. I’m afraid it’ll affect your rest. Moreover, the army camp is far away from any towns and goods are scarce…” So speaking, he wiped her nose lovingly and sighed. “I’m afraid you and the baby won’t have anything good to eat.”

Han Yunxi arched her brows at him. “That’s an excuse!” she accused. “None of those are real problems! Speak, you just think my big stomach’s a whole heap of extra trouble, isn’t it?”

Long Feiye didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. He couldn’t come up with a rebuttal. Seeing this, Han Yunxi grew gleeful. She knew bringing that up...would definitely work! Looking wronged, she muttered, “Enough of that, I’m not talking to you anymore. You can send me wherever you want, I’m going to bed…”

As she spoke, she lied down and turned her back to him to “sleep.” At last, Long Feiye realized that this woman hadn’t gone to the study to help him with his work at all. She just wanted to talk about going to the army with him! He looked at her form with knitted brows and didn’t speak. 

No matter how chaotic or scarce an army camp might be, his worries were nothing as long as he was willing to take care of her well. He was only concerned that she’d know too much and tire herself out instead of relaxing and resting. After all, there were plenty of conflicts and power struggles that would start from the army camps there. 

Long Feiye continued to crease his brows as Han Yunxi laid there waiting with open eyes. She was counting from one to ten and had already reached seven, her patience running thin. However, Long Feiye scooted over by the time she got to nine.

In a soft voice, he said, “Tell me the chessboard you were planning, quick.”

Han Yunxi gave a start before she turned around, thrilled. “You agreed?”

“If it’s a good plan, I’ll agree. If it isn’t, go to the Plum Blossom Sea and wait for me obediently there,” Long Feiye said.

Han Yunxi looked at him before bursting into laughter. He was putting up such an obvious front. Had he ever been dissatisfied with any of her schemes? 

“Giving up!” Han Yunxi declared. “Just tell them that we don’t want a fight, just a peaceful surrender.”

Long Feiye only stared at her, speechless. His original plans were to listen to all the plans of the generals before picking one amongst them. But Han Yunxi’s idea was even better! He didn’t have to give any orders or make any choices. All he had to do was show their stance and let the underlings vie amongst themselves. Whoever had the skills to make the Western Zhou army surrender would be charge of managing its affairs thereon. 

Of course, the most important point was that Long Feiye wouldn’t need to express his views on this matter at all, leaving his intentions inscrutable to his subordinates vying with each other for his attention. If the master of a household wanted to stabilize his position, he had to be impartial; the same went for a sovereign of a nation.

Naturally, it was impossible for anyone to be truly impartial. Whether it was a single incident or matters of state, no true impartiality existed. Nor was a pure neutral stance the best way to rule a country. Now with hundreds of incidents and the whole chessboard poised for a reshuffle, the battle between factions had already turned turbulent. What Long Feiye needed to do now was to take a middling stance and keep his thoughts and preferences private.

“What are you looking at? Did I say the wrong thing?” Han Yunxi asked.

Long Feiye smiled wordlessly, three parts helpless and seven parts doting.[2] 

“Say something! What are you smiling for?” Han Yunxi fretted. He should understand what I’m getting at!

“It’s really a shame you’re not ascending the throne as an emperor yourself,” Long Feiye said sincerely.

Han Yunxi gave a start before she grinned. “I prefer to have your babies instead.”

Without a word, Long Feiye rose and walked out of the room. Soon enough, Han Yunxi heard him instructing Xu Donglin to give orders to the Baili battalion stationed in Tianning to find a quiet place for setting up camp. They were to also set up a tent and provide adequate water and rations. Zhao mama would be sent over ahead of time to make arrangements for the servants.

The weight on Han Yunxi’s chest finally lifted as she began to imagine her future days. That night, Long Feiye stayed by her bedside while the couple poured over the letters. Gradually, she trailed off into a peaceful sleep.

--

Late at night, Gu Qishao was jolted awake because Gu Beiyue had materialized out of thin air to take his pulse by his bedside.

“What are you doing?!” Gu Qishao retracted his arm, on guard.

“You promised the princess beforehand that you’d let me take a good look once we returned to Medical City. She and His Highness were asking all about it this afternoon,” Gu Beiyue said seriously.

“Even if they asked you in the afternoon, you didn’t have to drop by in the middle of the night!” Gu Qishao huffed.

“When else could I find you if not now?” Gu Beiyue rebutted.

“Tomorrow morning! I want to sleep tonight, so I won’t be seeing you out,” Gu Qishao was in good enough spirits to show a slight smile. 

It’d be strange if I could find you tomorrow! Gu Beiyue hadn’t been able to find Gu Qishao that morning, so after coming back from Clearbreeze Peak in the afternoon, he’d kept searching until night fell. If he hadn’t found Gu Qishao in his rooms tonight, he would have assumed the man had gone missing again.

“I’m only taking your pulse, so it won’t affect your rest. Go sleep,” Gu Beiyue said gently.

Gu Qishao’s smile dropped as his voice turned cold. “Gu Beiyue, are you getting lost or not?”

Gu Beiyue simply grabbed Gu Qishao’s wrist without a word. Gu Qishao knocked him aside and prepared to flee. In two somersaults, he was at the door. “Bye!”

Gu Beiyue didn’t chase after him. “Qishao,” he said, “If you can’t abide by your promise to the princess, I’ll have no choice but to trouble her with the news.”

Gu Qishao froze. Then he insisted, word by word, “I’m fine! I won’t die!”

“Go tell that to the princess yourself.” As Gu Beiyue spoke, he suddenly appeared by Gu Qishao’s side and gripped him by the shoulder. This time, Gu Qishao couldn’t break free no matter how he tried, so he was forced to submit. Without a word, he turned impatiently towards his room and sat down, offering Gu Beiyue his arm.

Gu Beiyue took his pulse for a long time and kept feeling that something was wrong, but couldn’t figure out what. He asked, “Qishao, your pulse is very unique, different from normal humans. It’s impossible for me to get a proper reading. Have you been feeling any more hunger pangs in the past two days?”

“How could I be hungry when your medical academy serves such good food?” Gu Qishao retorted.

“Then what about exhaustion? Do you still feel out of energy?” Gu Beiyue asked next.


1. Reminder that this was the Li Clan’s adherents within the ranks that rebelled, not Chu Tianyin’s original revolt.

2. Isn’t it interesting how Chinese expressions like to take comparisons out of ten? In English we’d use “half hopeless, half doting” but here it’s a clear 30/70 percent divide. You’ll see this in similar expressions of other novels too.

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Ruyi's Thoughts

It had to be said that Long Feiye preferred to discuss matters with Han Yunxi instead of those reckless warriors like Baili Yuanlong. For one thing, he didn’t need to explain as much to her; for another, this woman could always surprise him with her schemes.

I have a minor complaint.

Baili Yuanlong and the others are supposed to be professionals who've studied military strategies for years. Ok, so General Baili was stuck in the navy for a while, which means he probably knows sea tactics better, but it's a little worrying that he and others like him on East Qin's side would have problems even understanding LFY without his "explanations."

I get it, I get it, LFY's a genius whose ideas are too profound and high-level for mere mortals to grasp or something, yadda yadda yadda, and we know from past incidents that Baili Yuanlong's not the sharpest tool in the shed...but really. This just brings down the whole IQ/formidable energy of the East Qin faction, doesn't it?

*squints*

Ning Cheng and the West Qin faction suddenly look a lot more intelligent in comparison. Then again, I suppose he too, is a genius leading lesser fools...orz.

I know it's a trope to raise the IQs of the male and female leads in novels so they outshine everyone else, but I love novels where the side characters, supports, and antagonists are equally crafty. When you up the stakes, victories feel earned instead of gifted, and there's a real thrill to seeing your protagonists succeed. 

Here, I just feel like yawning a bit. Wooooow, HYX came up with this incredibly effective idea that even LFY couldn't think of? It's not even some complicated tactics, just looking at the problem out of the box. I know LFY's a stiff, strait-laced man, but I can't believe he couldn't have come up with something similar eventually. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's overworked, lacking sleep, and got HYX and baby on the brain to think straight. Hohoho. Ahahaha. 

Anyways, apologies for the rant! I am being extra-picky when PGC's done a darned good job of keeping consistent and steady with plot all this while.