On October 27, 689 of the Continental Calendar, the largest peasant uprising in recent years broke out in the northern part of the Tanghe Empire in the Beiyuan Commandery.
Originating in the Qinghe Prefecture to the south of the commandery, the local magistrates never heeded the first signs of trouble, not even reporting the situation to the Imperial Court. Thus, in less than a week’s time, the revolt quickly spread to Pinglu Prefecture and Laizhou Prefecture of the Yanyun Commandery; and the Longquan and Heishan Prefectures of the Hesho Commandery. The number of participants also rose from less than three thousand to over sixty thousand men with no end in sight.
Very quickly, the rebel army conquered several large towns within the prefecture, defeating two brigade of the local guard sent by the Commandery and another one from the local Merchant Guild.
The logistic status of the rebels also quickly improved through confiscating the from local landlords, merchants, and pillaging the armouries of the army. Soon, even the smaller riots from nearby prefectures also started flocking towards the rebellion, seeking cooperation.
It was then that the local government finally began to open its eyes, quickly sending a petition to the Imperial Court as well as seeking support from the Empire’s Second Army.
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At that moment inside the palace’s throne room, there was not a sound beside the vigorous report of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Lu Wenfu.
“Currently, the rebels are concentrated near Qinghe Prefecture’s cities of Da’an, Gucheng and Taihe. These cities borders Hesho Commandery’s Longquan Prefecture and the terrain there is very complicated, resulting in the defeat of the local guard.
The rebels have also been able to pillaged a great deal of supplies and weaponry, and their numbers are approaching eighty thousand men, with more joining by the day.
Right now, Longquan Prefecture’s First and Second National Guard Divisions has already been mobilized, readying for the order to march out. Due to the ambiguity of the situation, Beiyuan Commandery’s Anyuan Prefecture and Qinghe Prefecture, Pinglu Prefecture’ Heshuo Commandery’s Longquan Prefecture and Heishan Prefecture; and Yanyun Commandery’s Laizhou Prefecture have all entered a state of emergency.
Beiyuan Commandery has also requested help from the local garrison of the Second Army, but with the lack of directive from the Central Military Command or one from the Northern Military District, the division has yet to move out.”
Siting on top of the Jade throne atop the raised dais is the Thirty First Emperor, Emperor Stuart Lune. With a gloomy face and half closed eyes, it was a while before he coldly replied, “He Aiqing, what do you think?” (TL Note: Aiqing is a court rank)
The person that the Emperor questioned is the Minister of Military Affairs, He Zhiqiu, a fifty some year-old elderly man who quickly leaned out from the crowd. “Your Majesty, this servant has already received the missive from the Second Army and was about to report to Your Majesty along with another matter.”
“According to the intelligence that we have received, we have also found irregular movement from the armies of Karman, Cisro, and Poole to the north. The three nations have deployed several Corps of their main army to our border, appearing with the intention of launching an assault against our nation. Upon questioning the three ambassadors of these nations, they’ve informed us that it is for a military exercise. However, Sir Meng of Jalocke Dukedom’s Ministry of Military Affairs have also reported similar large scale exercises between their borders with the Cisro and Karman. I feel that the current revolt in the north and these movements from the three nations are connected and asks for the redeployment of the Third Army of the Western Military District in case of emergency.”
“Assembled Aiqings, what are you guys’ opinions?”
“This General believes that the current imperative is the quell the northern revolt. The three nations are only trying to gain an advantage if an opportunity presents itself. As long as we prepare for the possibility war as we put down the revolt, I think that the three nations will back down on their own.” The person speaking is a general of around fourty-years old. With the accent from the south, he is the commander in charge of the Empire’s City Guards, Count Yusuf.
Next to Count Yusef stands the commander of the Imperial Guards, Count Ma Yuanwang. As the emperor shifted his glance to him, he immediately steps out, “This General also believes that security if the most important. However, we cannot carelessly redeploy troops form the North or the West Military Districts which could present the enemy with another opportunity to exploit this crisis.”
“Does the other Aiqings have any other opinions?”
Seeing that no one else have anything they wish to propose, the emperor frownd, “He Aiqing, what does the Ministry of Military Affairs think of this situation?”
“The two generals all presents very logical and valid points. This servant has already talked to Minister Lu and we would like to seek the permission of Your Majesty for a plan of action.”
“Minister Lu and I believe that the five local Guard divisions of the four prefectures in the north and west could take up defensive positions while two divisions could be redeployed from City Guards from the south and east to take up the offensive. Simultaneously, to fend off a possible invasion, three divisions from the Third Army of the Western Military District could be redeployed north towards the border of the Jalocke Dukedom and the Northern Military District be put on high alert. Finally, Minister Su of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could send a letter of protest to the three nations against their actions of destabilizing the security of our borders and inciting violence.”
“Ministers, what do you think of this plan, please speak.”
“Your Majesty, this minister believes that we should also reduce the tax, and send relief to the northern three commanderies to relive their difficult position. This will appease the people, and reduce the moral of the rebels,” Qin Yuedong, the Minister of Agriculture, advised.
The Emperor nodded with satisfaction, “Qin Aiqin’s words are reasonable, and will ask you and Tian Aiqin to complete this task. The rest, we shall follow the course of action advised by He Aiqin, to be immediately carried out.”
On November 15, 689 of the Continental Calendar, the Second Division of the Empire’s City Guard Army departed from the western section of the capital, heading north. The Third Division departed from the northern section of the city, going northeast before flanking northwest.
Before the battle, the Third Division held a council of war for staff officers at the platoon level and higher. During the council, General Hockel conveyed the message from the Ministry, to set an inspiring example for the regular troops, and to grab this opportunity by achieving victory and displaying the prestige of the Third Division. After his remarks, Hockel’s chief of staff went over the overall battle plans for the upcoming engagement and the individual orders for each of the brigades.
Directly after the staff council, Wufeng went back to his battalion before calling an assembly of all the fighting soldiers. Here, he quickly summarized the effects of their training, the current crisis that the Empire faces, and once again displayed his innate talent at inspiring the troops.
“Brothers, fortune always come during unexpected circumstances. I have already received orders to march north and face our first battle. The fruits of victory are just waiting for us to taste, whether it be promotions and wealth, or returning home to enjoy retirement, they are no longer a dream. The enemies are but a bunch of country bumpkins, waiting for us to defeat. Be it gold, slave, or beauties, the opportunity is here, let us raise up our spirits and welcome our first glory!”
His speech stimulated everyone to such a degree that they could not help but let out their excitement. The thundering roars resounded throughout the sky, and even the normally composed Liang Chongxin could feel his blood starting to boil, restlessly waiting to set out.
After five days and night of marching, the Third Division finally arrived at the border between Yanyun Commandery’s Laizhou Prefecture and Beiyuan Prefecture’s Pinglu Prefecture. The soldiers are clearly fatigued, so the commanders ordered a day of rest. Taking this opportunity, Wufeng stayed in his tent, carefully examining the map.
“Reporting,” a voice sounded.
“Come in,” Wufeng replied, and the shadow of a figure came in, “Ah, it’s Chongxin, please sit.”
Chongxin came before the table, but did not sit down, instead choosing to study the map.
“Commander, this seems to be the map for the area we are in, but it is not the map given to us by the upper command, it is more detailed.”
“Your eyes are pretty good, this is a map that I acquired for learned scholars a few years ago,”
“Commander is truly like a saint, already predicting our current battle years earlier.”
“How can I be some immortal, predicting the future? Rather, I simply have an interest in geography, so as I was journeying years ago, I had visited various geographers to draw me maps of their local regions. Although this isn’t perfect, compared to the maps from the upper commands, this is far more practical. When I had visited the West, I had saw cartography methods far more sophisticated than what we are able to achieve, the Empire is truly behind in this particular field.”
“Commander, how shall we proceed tomorrow?”
“I have just received news that the Second Division along with the three local guard divisions have engaged the rebel in the Qinghe prefecture two days ago. Although the initial confrontation isn’t all that smooth, our side still maintain the clear advantage, and we should receive the good news soon.”
“This isn’t good new for our division. The meat has already been seized by the Second Division, I’m afraid that we will be unlike to get any of the treat.”
“That might not be so, according to my analysis, the Second Division is unlikely to swallow the entirety of the enemy.”
“Oh, why does the commander think so?”
“The Second Division has less than 20,000, and even if you factor in the undermanned local guards, they number less than 90,000. Even then, the local guards will not be properly trained. Comparably, the rebel army number over 80,000, ad despite their lack of training, they still have support of the local populous and knowledge about the local geography, not to mention they had already defeated the local guards before, proving that they are somewhat combat ready. As such, even if they are defeated, they will not be annihilated, and will flee in our direction. Our division only needs to wait to catch them in our trap.”
“General’s words are enlightening, I hope that this will be an opportunity for our Third Division to establish some contributions, not let this march be some empty joy,” Liang Chongxin let out a sigh, towards his leader, he felt an explainable sense of trust.
“Don’t worry, when the time comes, there will be more than enough opportunities. You should go rest early, and prepare for the fight to come.”
Two days later, Wufeng received a report from the headquarters. The Second Division and their attached local guards had engaged the enemy’s main force near Qinghe Prefecture’s Wanjia village. Around 20,000 enemy were killed while 30,000 more were captured. The rest, numbering some 20,000 has split into more than ten different groups, fleeing in the direction of the Third Division.
“Looks like I was right in my analysis,” Wufeng murmured in his heart.
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As the Third Division receive this report, battle orders were immediately handed out. With the brigade as a the main fighting unit, the fourth brigade held a council, delegating each of its five battalions to spread out in a in such a way that they can cast an effective area of influence yet maintain contact.
Looking at the geography of the area Wufenng volunteered his unit to guard the central valley area that all the other battalions was unwilling to patrol, which was immediately accepted. After the council, the five battalions went into battler alert, heading to their designated areas.
“Commander, why are we going to this road? The path is very hard to transverse, I’m afraid that the enemy will not flee this way.”
“Chongxin, this road is very isolated, hidden from sight, yet not at all narrow. Within the enemy ranks, there must be some who is familiar with the local geography, and will not anticipate us to appear on this path. As a result, the enemy commanders should be coming down this route. Rather than fearing not meeting the enemy, I’m more concerned that we will not have enough men to catch them all.”
“Commander, the enemy has already lost their will to fight. Not to mention the long journey they had to make, they must be exhausted. Comparatively, our soldiers are fresh and motivated, no matter how large the enemy number are, we will definitely be able to take them on.”
“Even a great number of ants can take down an elephant, we should still be more cautious. Let us maintain contact with the main unit. All scouts immediately head out, if you see anything report with haste.”
“Yes sir,” Wufung’s fifth battalion continued to maintained their alert level, advancing with caution.
“Reporting,” an urgent voice sounded.
“A large enemy host has been sighted around fifteen li away coming our way. The exact number are unclear, but there seem to be at least three thousand men.”
“All unit immediately go into battle alert. First company flank to the enemy rear, two of second company’s platoon go to each of the valley’s side to set up an ambush. The last platoon along with the third, fourth, and fifth platoons set up battle line at the mouth of the valley. Immediately report enemy contact with the brigade, requesting aid,” Wufeng calmly issued the orders to each of the units.
After making all the preparations, Wufeng watched the enemy army that swarms like locust. They didn’t even sent out any scout units, probably focusing solely on fleeing, not even anticipating the possibility of an enemy ambush. Looking at the enemy as they slowly approach, Wufeng’s original calm heart could not help but start racing, after all, this will be his first battle.
“Archers ready on my command,” Wufeng ordered quietly.
As the enemy approached even closer, even the enemy conversation could be heard. Wufeng raised his right hand, and the archers pulled back their bows.
Following Wufeng’s command, wuwuwuw, the arrows flew towards the enemy like a swarm of locust. Caught unprepared, the enemy ranks were cut down like a field of wheat. As the enemy tried to flee towards the sides, they were met with another round of arrows, but as they tried to retreat the way they came, they were met with the blades and shouts of Wufeng’s troops. Immediately, their ranks descended into a mass of chaos.
At this moment, Wufeng stood up and shouted, “Rebles listen up, we are the Third Division of the Empire’s Guards. You are currently surrounded on all side, immediately put down your weapons and surrender to avoid being executed, otherwise, you will all be cut down without mercy.”
Although the sound isn’t particularly loud, all the enemy on the field were able to clearly hear these words.
The chaotic rebel army immediately quieted down as another exclamation came from within the crowd, “Brothers, don’t listen to them. If we surrender, we will definitely die. They don’t have many men, let us break through, only then will we be able to survive.”
Following that voice, shouts of “Charge” and “Don’t listen to them” broke out among the ranks. The originally quiet rebel army became restless again.
Seeing the influence of the one who spoke, Wufeng guessed that that was the rebel’s leader. He took a bow from the soldier next to him and released an arrow. Directly after, a pitiful cry came from the crowd, the leader of the rebels had just died with an arrow through his heart. Liang Chongxin and a two other staff officers also shoot their arrows, downing the people standing next to the rebel leader. Now, like a snake without its head, the rebel army was directionless with no idea what to do next.
Wufeng’s cold voice resounded again, “Immediately drop your weapons, and we will spare you. All those who disobey, the individuals prior is an example of what will happen.”
“Kang,” no one was sure who was the first to thrown down his arms, but once he did, it spread like a pandemic. “Shua la shua la,” soon after, everyone had surrendered.
“Put your arms atop your heads and line up in an orderly fashion to be processed,” Wufeng ordered again while directing a part of his troops to collect the weapon while another watches prisoners.
When the reinforcements from the brigade had arrived, the fifth company had already finished clearing the battlefield and the prisoners under guard. During the sweep of the battlefield, one of the soldiers found a weird prisoner among the rebels who was already tied up upon the discovery. When question the two soldiers guarding him, they found that he was a high-ranking advisor but because of disagreement with leader, he was imprisoned. The rebel leader had originally wanted to execute him right away, but when considering that he might still be useful in the future, his fate was delayed. When the rebel army had been defeated, they had yet to decide what to do with him, so he was dragged along with the troops before being captured by Wufeng.