The 134th “The Empires suffering” (part two)
Prince Son’s explanation:
When the previous emperor was still alive, he ruled the empire with a kind heart. Instead of blindly pressuring the people of the prairies, he allowed the empire to conduct a policy of appeasement by removing the garrison stationed there.
The results of 30 years of effort were very good. Within that time, the tribes living there did not conduct a single rebellion.
But once Augustine the 6th (the current emperor) succeeded the throne, he modified the policy and took on a high pressuring approach towards the nomad tribes. Finally, the already disorganized nomadic tribes reunited into a single banner to rebel against the empire. In order to quell this sudden rebellion, the empire was forced to organize a 100,000 army to cross the desert. In the end, the empire lost about half of the army in this war just to calm the rebellion. Also, the expense of supporting this crusade cost the empire millions of gold. To demonstrate the seriousness of their actions, the emperor ordered the slaughter of nearly 100,000 nomadic people in the prairie, many included civilians. After the bloodbath, the empire and the nomad tribes of the prairie is forever locked in a deep blood feud that cannot be wiped away.
But what did the empire gain from all this? Nothing! It was all to meet my father’s desire for conquest!
Once the war was over, the empire had no choice but to station 20,000 troops in the prairie. In order to supply this small little garrison army, the expense is at least 10 times that of a normal force because of the vast desert! Can you imagine? The military cost is so high it cannot even be imagined!
Hearing this, Du Wei suddenly blurts out a sentence: “It’s too unfortunate, if they had finished it once and for all back then….”
Prince Son sparked a strange color in his eyes as he looked at Du Wei deeply: “What did you say?”
Du Wei’s face looked really cold as he spoke: “The war 20 years ago already killed more than 100,000 people of the prairie. Since we already did the first by setting this deep grudge in place, why not finish it off by taking the second step?” Du Wei raised a hand and made a single chop gesture with his hand: “That strip of prairie in the desert is no more than a single province in size, so how big can the population be? I estimate that it is no more than a million people. Once you remove the elderly and children from these numbers, there is probably no more than 300,000 strong men’s capable of fighting! For such a force, why not just eradicate them to end this cancer? Humph….. Since we already killed 100,000 people, killing another 900,000 isn’t something out of our reach!”
Prince Son was inwardly surprised… … How can the methods of this boy in front of him be so ruthless?!
“What you said is not bad.” Prince Son sounded really bitter in his words: “Back then, my father also had that intention…. Humph, father is not so foolish to not understand the meaning behind this. However, when father wanted to go ahead with his plan, the temple intervened! Humph, those damn fakes believing in superstitions. I’m not sure what happened, but one night, the pope went to meet my father and somehow convinced him to change his plan…. If not for their sinister intentions, we could have already achieved a permanent peace in the northwestern region!”
Du Wei nodded as he thought in his mind: How can the temple possibly allow the empire to have a peace of mind? If the Northwest continues to be a threat, the empire will be forced to pay attention to a possible rebellion while paying less attention to what the temple is doing!
“The threat of the Northwest is thus buried away! In the span of 20 years, the cost of maintaining a 20,000 garrison in the desert has been a fatal drain on the treasury. If the nomadic tribes really wanted to rebel, that small army would likely be destroyed with ease after 10 days! This is not a guess, but a fact! Those nomadic tribes will sooner or later rebel after their numbers are restored!” Prince sneered loudly: “Luckily, this matter can still be put aside for now because there is no ignition lit yet…. The biggest problem present lies in the southeast!”
Once the topic referred to the southeast, Du Wei’s spirit felt like he got a shock because his father gained all his promotions through the southeast expeditions.
“The act of expanding the trade routes into the Southeast Sea and the frequent expeditions of conquest, it was all been a mistake! Humph, the southeast may be full of riches, but even the most fertile of lands cannot withstand such aggressive expansion! According to my calculation, the aggressive behavior against the southeast is doable, but only in the interval of 7-8 years between each expedition! But now? Just about every 2-3 years, the empire would send out another expedition…. The result of this is the reliance on the armed forces to pillage those indigenous peoples living on those islands out at sea…. I have already worked it out. 20 years ago, back when your father first led the fleet out into the sea, they did indeed e back with riches far exceeding the costs. However, the following expeditions only managed to break even. To make matters worse, the spoils from those recent expeditions could not even cover the military costs of the ships! Alas, to counter the empire’s constant invasion, those indigenous people have moved even further into southern seas that even the empire has a difficult time reaching. From rumors, it is said that they even united to form a United Kingdom to fend off the aggression from our fleet! If only father would listen to my advice. In order to meet his desire, father had recently ordered the financial department to grant another 3 million gold for constructing a giant ship.”
Prince Son knitted his brows tightly: “Again and again, the empire sends out such fruitless expedition. Currently, the financial situation of the empire has reached a critical level! You may not know this, but those bosses in the military are growing white hairs trying to balance the books!”
Du Wei remained silent as he recalled back to the time when he was at home. It is indeed true, his father did look much older than before.
“Now, part of the local garrison forces within the empire has begun to self-sustain themselves, I know for a fact that several places in the south have failed to replace their weapons for the past three years already! Even the elite northern storm corps can only receive 60% of their military funding! The only military force left in the empire still receiving their full funding is the garrison stationed in the capital. As for the other army corps stationed throughout the empire, their funding is only around fifty to sixty percent at best. As for missing funds, the bosses in charge will have to figure it out on their own….” Prince Son smiled bitterly as he pointed at the ballroom behind him: “This place is backed by the northern storm corps! They don’t like it any better, but it only by doing this will they be able to raise enough military fund!”
Du Wei sighed. He had long felt the state of the empire is bad, but never did he think the situation was this severe!
Seeing the partying atmosphere behind him and recalling the bustling daily life of the capital, Du Wei could not but help feel sad at the slowly corroding state of the empire!
“So, I suggest you don’t make any sort of ruckus here.” Prince bitterly laughed: “This place is used to raise military funds. If anything bad happens here, it would be the same as making an enemy of those main battle corps in the empire! Right now, money is their lifeblood. If you mess with their livelihood, it would be the same as trying to kill them! Even for someone like me, I wouldn’t dare to make any ruckus here.”
Du Wei gave a shallow bow: “Your Highness, thank you for the advice, I will remember your words… … But I have a few questions.” He raised his head and looked straight at this prince: “The things you just told, I fear a lot of it involved some secrets, right? I just don’t understand why your highness is looking so highly of me, what is it about me to cause you to act this way?”
“Du Wei.” Prince Son peered straight into Du Wei’s eyes and suddenly spoke in a very serious tone: “Are you willing to pledge your allegiance to me?”