Stealing The Heavens - Chapter 23
Chapter 23 - Tough Situation
After expelling all the redundant officials in the City Guards through thunderous and bloody tactics, a thorough background check was carried out on all seven thousand soldiers on the drill grounds, and only approximately two thousand of them were the real City Guards, the rest were all temporarily hired by those officials to fool Lu Chengfeng!
While these identities exposed, the soldiers were worrying what Lu Chengfeng would do to them, Wu Qi suggested, no matter these people were the real soldier or some scumbags in Little Meng City previously, from now on they would have their name recorded in the book, and become part of the army for real, officially becoming the City Guards of Little Meng City.
Lu Chengfeng spent all of his personal money and rewarded these soldiers who were still suffering from the shock, temporarily calming these people down. Then, Zhang Hu and his men had their names recorded in the book as well, and became the new officials for this army of City Guards.
After all this, Wu Qu made another suggestion. He suggested to reorganize all the battalions and have all the soldiers assigned to a different group, with this they can keep the influence from their previous official to the minimum and maximize the stability of the newly organized city Guards.
After all, Lu Chengfeng was the authentic General of Little Meng City. As long as he rewards the troops handsomely, together with tough training from Zhang Hu and his men, all their bad intentions would become sweat and tears. As time went by, he would be able to win the hearts of these soldiers. In the end, the City Guards of Little Meng City would become Lu Chengfeng's true personal army.
Ordering Zhang Hu and his men to lead those soldiers back to their respective camps, Lu Chengfeng went back to General Residency in an extremely good mood.
’’Wu Qi, if not for Yi Yang and his siblings metting with such an unlucky event, I don't think we could take control of this army so easily. Although there are less than two thousand real soldiers among them, the quality of the rest is not bad. They should become great soldiers with proper training.’’
Staring at Wu Qi thoughtfully, Lu Chengfeng said with a smile on his face, ’’Speaking about this, I think we really need to thank that burglar who stole everything from the Mayor's Mansion!’’
Wu Qi raised his head and stared at the sky, then, with a grin, he said, ’’A good person with have good karma and be rewarded in the future. That burglar has been a great help to the young master. I'm sure he will be well rewarded in the future!’’
Lu Chengfeng nodded his head, then he kept staring at Wu Qi, but at the end, he still shook his head. The burglary really didn't look like something Wu Qi could do. Those few hundred City Guards who were on duty were not easy to deal with! Wu Qi was only a peak Houtian Practitioner, with that level of cultivation, could he really sneak into the Mayor's Mansion and steal so many treasures overnight?
Wu Qi threw a gazed back at Lu Chengfeng, then he smiled, ’’I'm sure Mayor and his siblings have sort of recovered from their losses today. The men they arranged in General Residency had been chased away, those useless fools in City Guards were expelled, all the men they arranged in City Guards had been removed by us. We better be careful, they might play some tricks on us soon!’’
Lu Chengfeng frowned. He stared at his feet and thought for a while, then, with a shook he said, ’’I don't think so. There are rules among all the influential families, after all, I am wearing a hat that tells them I am from Lu family of Liyang. Also, I am the General of Little Meng City, what happened just now was within my authority, unless I was planning to revolt, they can't say or do anything on City Guards management.’’
Hearing what Lu Chengfeng said, Wu Qi just kept quiet. Maybe he was right, or maybe, he might be wrong.
But the fatty ,Yi Yan... Would he really give up on such a gold mine as the City Guards? The salaries of few thousand soldiers every year, this was one massive profit!
Just a year ago, the previous General of Little Meng City was killed in a battle with barbarians, and great numbers of officials were killed too. After the battle, Yi Yang and his siblings immediately put their hands into the City Guards and pushed aside the few talented officials, replacing all the skillful soldiers, either by forcing them to leave the army or transferring them to be the guards for the Mayor's Mansion.
At the end, the only battalion that still remain at their full combat strength was the one that was stationed at Meng Village. This was the last elite battalion left by the previous General.
With the manipulation of Yi Yan and his siblings, the salaries of few thousand soldiers became a massive profit for them. In just the first year, these City Guards never went on any exercises so there was no wear and tear on their weapons and armors, however, the Bursary Officer appointed by Yi Yan was still reporting the expenses that a normal eight thousand soldier army would, being resupplied with a few thousand sets of armor and weapons, which all went to Yi Yan.
The Lu Kingdom was rich and prosperous and all of their soldiers were equipped with fine armors and weapons. Therefore, a complete set of military equipment was pretty expensive, and the profits from selling this equipment were enough to add another layer of fat onto Yi Yan's tummy.
All the information was coming from Zhang Hu, as he had lived in Little Meng City for past few years and was well versed with all the changes the City Guards went through. Also, Zhang Hu knew really well about what kind of person the Mayor, Yi Yan, was. Therefore, Wu Qi didn't believe that Yi Yan, who had recovered from his poor emotional state, would just remove his hands from the City Guards and let Lu Chengfeng do whatever he wanted.
Gazing at the confidence and high spirit of Lu Chengfeng, Wu Qi let out a cough and pointed at his tightly wrapped right shoulder.
Lu Chengfeng's face darkened instantly. Sometimes, between clever men, a gesture could tell what they were trying to say.
The right-hand man of Yi Xing provoked Wu Qi face to face, this was equal to Yi Xing provoked Lu Chengfeng face to face. Also, Yi Yan and his siblings were sent to Little Meng City, a remote outland city, to be the Mayor and other high ranking officials, this means they were only the sons of concubines. By provoking him openly, this made Lu Chengfeng sense there was some conspiracy going on here. The status as the eldest son of the Lu family seems to not be that useful here.
Just as expected, when they approached the front entrance of Mayor Mansion, the meatball Yi Yan had brought his men and blocked the way. When he saw Lu Chengfeng, Yi Yan immediately jumped up and yelled, ’’Lu Chengfeng, I know you are the General of Little Meng City, but how could you be so reckless? You expelled all the senior officials in the army, by doing this, don't you cripplehol the combat strength of this army?’’
Wu Qi raised his head up and stared into far bright sky, then he saw a large white cloud rolling by. The environment here was really awesome!
Lu Chengfeng steped forward with his back straight, then stared into Yi Yan's eyes and sneered, ’’I am the General of Little Meng City. No matter how reckless I am, everything I have done has been within my authority! If Mayor is not happy about that, you can just report this to the Government!’’
Yi Yan shuts his mouth instantly, with his eyes starting to quiver. It was impossible to tell what he was thinking.
Patting on Yi Yan's tummy, which was bigger than a pregnant ladies belly, Lu Chengfeng said, in a cold voice, ’’Those ridiculous past transactions within the army, I will ignore and forget everything because of the Ruyang Yi family, and I'll burn all the books of accounting tonight. But, from now on, no one is allowing to put their hands on the City Guards. Also, all the salaries and army provisions have to be supplied to us on time and in full amount, if not, we will have issues!’’
With blade-like vision, Lu Chengfeng gazed at Yi Yan and few of his siblings behind him, then he snapped, ’’I know what you all think about me! But please don't forget this, I will always be the eldest son of the Lu family, and my mother, the Maiden Ronyang, she is still the lady of the Lu family, and the only daughter of Marquis Yuanyang!’’
Yi Yan twisted his lips, then a bright smile jumped onto his meaty face. He hurriedly grabbed onto Lu Chengfeng's hand.
’’Brother Lu, brother Lu, I think you had misunderstood Yi Yan's meaning! Yi Yan was worried the combat strength of City Guards would decrease, giving those barbarians the opportunity to harm our people! It was out of good intention, good intention! Ha ha ha, I still need to manage something back in my mansion, I'll take my leave now! Oh, brother Lu, remember to come to my mansion for a dinner a few days from now! Ha ha ha, remember, you must give me face and come!’’
With a bright smile on his face, Yi Yan moved out from the front entrance.
Lu Chengfeng sneered, then he walked into Mayor's Mansion with big steps. With steady steps, Wu Qi followed behind, when he walked beside Yi Yan, he suddenly turned his head and said to him, ’’Why is your honorable afraid of those barbarians? With just the thick walls of the Mayor's Mansion alone, and those few thousand elite guards everywhere in the Mayor's Mansion, how could those barbarians possibly come in here?’’
Yi Yan might be polite to Lu Chengfeng, but he definitely didn't take Wu Qi seriously. He let out an arrogant humph, raised his head up, and said, with an indifferent tone, ’’What do you know? I'm a kind hearted man and I felt pity for the civilians of Little Meng City! If those barbarians are here, they are the one who will suffer!’’
Wu Qi turned his body and stood face to face with Yi Yan, then he pointed at the backyard of Mayor Mansion, laughing and said, ’’Your honorable is a wealthy man, if you really pity your people, then just take some money and have the city wall fixed, make them as thick as the walls of the Mayor's Mansion, with that, they should be safe from the threat of barbarians, right?’’
With an odd smile, Wu Qi strolled back into the Mayor's Mansion.
Yi Yan, had finally calmed down from the grief of his losses, but what Wu Qi said just now had reminded him about the burglary. Yi Yan widened his mouth suddenly and let out a heartbroken cry, ’’My money, my money, my money! Tell me, who was the bastard that stolen all my money!’’
Yi Xing, Yi De and Yi Cu who were standing behind Yi Yan were crying out at the same time, ’’Brother, you still have that golden bed left, but for us, even all of our silk underwear were stolen! This bloody thief, we must catch him alive!’’
The Yi siblings started their drama again, in front of the entrance, when the weak and fatty Yi Yan thought about his massive losses, he can't stand anymore and had his body trembled. His eyeballs rolled back and he fainted on the spot. Even when he was frothing and fainted on the floor, he was still kept murmuring 'my money, my money'!
Wu Qi turned around and looked over his shoulder at the chaotic scene, then he just walked back to General Residency while laughing out loud.
When he stepped into the main hall of General's Office, he saw Lu Chengfeng had sat down with a dark face together with Laohei, gazing at each other in speechless dismay.
Wu Qi walked up to them hurriedly, looking at both of them curiously and asked, ’’What happened? Young master? Laohei? What are you guys doing now?’’
Letting out a light cough, Lu Chengfeng rubbed on his cheek and made his expression relax. He stared back at Wu Qi and, with a dry laugh, said, ’’Back in the drill ground just now, I had rewarded a lot of money to the army in order to win their hearts. And, Laohei told me just now, that I, your young master, only have ten gold coins left!’’
Wu Qi frowned, he nodded thoughtfully and said, ’’This indeed is a serious problem. A great man can't lose his authority for a day, and he can't even spend a day without money. Don't tell me you are going to live your life with Government salary? How much is your salary for a year?’’
Lu Chengfeng was frowning as well, he knocked on the table with his fingers, shook his head and said, ’’Equal to the total salaries of one hundred soldiers.’’
Wu Qi stared at Lu Chengfeng, speechless.
Unlike Yi Yan, who kept squeezing money from his people, Lu Chengfeng can't be a Government Officer that earns his living with other people's money. He was the General of Little Meng City. In order to maximize his potential, he needed to spend all his money to expand the City Guards and his own personal guards and right-hand men. By behaving like Yi Yan, earning his money from the City Guards, Lu Chengfeng would lose the respect of his soldiers.
Lu Chengfeng needed a lot of money, only then could he make the City Guards of Little Meng City into a strong army, only then can he recruit a lot of right-hand men to help him.
Especially for the right-hand men, Lu Chengfeng, as a young master from a wealthy and influential family, he had only two right-hand men right now, Wu Qi and Zhang Hu, if his peers knew about this, that would be very disgraceful. Without many talented and powerful right-hand men, no one would really listen to Lu Chengfeng, even if he was the eldest son of the Lu family.
Sitting down beside Lu Chengfeng with his leg crossed, Wu Qi thought for some time, then he said slowly, ’’Maybe, I can help young master solve this problem.’’
Lu Chengfeng immediately felt surprised.
Narrowing his eyes, Wu Qi hid both of his hands in his sleeves, and, with an indifferent tone, he said, ’’But I want to know, as the eldest son of the Lu family from Liyang, why is young master so poor? It's fine to lack in money, but you were sent to this remote place to be a low ranked General. Also, the Yi family, who are friends with the Lu family, yet even the sons of their concubines dare to provoke young master openly. I must know what this is all about?’’
Laohei's face became even darker and he gave Wu Qi a fierce gaze.
But Lu Chengfeng only breathed out a long sigh, then he looked at Wu Qi and asked, ’’Do you really want to know this?’’
Wu Qi nodded his head hurriedly and the naughty part of his soul, which belongs to Le Xiao Bai, emerged.
’’I really wish to know this!’’