After leaving the Four Seasons Inn Sima Yi headed toward the home of one of Twilight City’s wealthiest men, Mi Zhu. In fact, he could be considered one of the Heavenly Sword Province’s wealthiest men also.
This man controlled nearly fifty percent of the city’s rice and salt trade in his hands and was the owner of a very large trading company called the White Crane Trading Company that did business all over the province. If Aurora was able to obtain his support, then running Twilight City would be a breeze because as one of the richest men in the province Mi Zhu certainly would have many connections throughout the province and by obtaining his support they would in turn again those connections. Then to top things off the Aurora Army needed military provisions to continue their invasion and this man could supply them with what they needed.
Certainly Sima Yi was not short sighted and forget to have his men bring lots of provisions but if he were able to secure a steady supply line then even if the campaign dragged on would be able to feed his armies. If he requested supplies from Aurora, there was a possibility that the supplies could be intercepted or would take too long to arrive but if he obtained the support of the merchants of the Heavenly Sword Province then there was no need to worry about food and supplies.
Upon arriving at the front of a large pair of sturdy wooden gates decorated with gold in the form of a beautiful looking crane. Seeing his arrival Sima Yi’s soldiers who had surrounded the mansion saluted and proceeded to open the mansion gates.
“My lord, mister Mi Zhu has been instructed to wait for your arrival in the main hall.” A soldier said while saluting Sima Yi.
“Lead the way.” Sima Yi said excitedly.
“Hopefully this man isn’t an imbecile, I’m tired of having to negotiate to imbeciles…” Sima Yi thought with a sigh. He truly loathed having to negotiate or strike deals because of how often fools reject his proposals due to their idiocrasy. In one particular village that he and his men took over there were many fools spouting nonsense about how the soldiers of Aurora were going to slaughter them all if they surrendered thus a large portion of its populace, consisting of farmers and the like took up arms. Thankfully all they had were simply farming equipment and no real weapons or else the repercussions would have been disastrous.
Only after quelling the rebellion, detaining everyone involved, and then executing the one who had spread the nonsense was Sima Yi and the Aurora Army able to continue their invasion. After being lead through the large halls of the mansion Sima Yi soon found himself in a large hall where a middle aged man dressed in exquisite looking light blue robes could be seen sitting at a round table with various foods on it. Sitting beside the middle aged man was a woman whose face could not be seen.
The moment Sima Yi entered the room the middle aged man and women turned around and then quickly got up and to greet him.
“My lord welcome to our humble abode.” The middle aged man said respectfully while the woman curtsied. Once she turned around Sima Yi was able to see that this woman was extremely beautiful and looked at be in her early twenties with skin white and clear as jade, and delicate looking features that looked as pure as snow.
“No need to be too modest Mister Mi Zhu.” Sima Yi said with a kind smile on his face.
“Please have a seat my lord.” The young woman said politely.
“You men stand guard outside I wish to speak to Mister Mi Zhu.” Sima Yi said to his men as he walked toward the table and sat down.
Soon after Mi Zhu and the beautiful young woman joined him at the table. The woman was then introduced Mi Zhu’s younger sister Mi Yang.
“I prefer to be referred to as Yang Mi though.” She said with a smile as she poured some tea into a cup for Sima Yi and her brother.
“So my lord how may I be of assistance to you tonight.” Mi Zhu said after sipping some tea.
“I would like Mister Mi Zhu to join me on a business venture that could possibly end up with you having control of the rice trade in the entire Heavenly Sword Province or well at least what was the Heavenly Sword Province.” Sima Yi said with a grin.
“I’m listening.” Mi Zhu said without trying to be around about like he had been up until now. If cooperating with Sima Yi gave him a monopoly of rice trade over the Heavenly Sword Province, then his clan’s wealth now would be but a grain of sand in a vast desert compared to what it will be in the future.
After discussing for a few hours Sima Yi left the Mi residences with a smile across his face. With a contract signed Mi Zhu
“It appears not everyone is an imbecile.” He chuckled as he headed back to Four Seasons Inn to rest for the night before heading out tomorrow to meet the other wealthy and elite of Twilight City.
After concluding his business in Twilight City and establishing a supply line Sima Yi’s invasion of the Heavenly Sword Province proceeded as swift as a raging river, every obstacle in his path was crushed and every village and city was taken over. With a more direct supply line in the Heavenly Sword Province Sima Yi no longer feared that his men would go hungry if their supplies from Aurora were cut off thus his attacks against the Heavenly Sword Province became many times more aggressive.
Currently the forces of Aurora had Heavenly Sword City surrounded from all sides and were making preparations to take over the city. Once Heavenly Sword City was taken the remaining thirty percent of the province would automatically fall under Aurora’s rule and with only a roughly twenty thousand soldiers there was little hope of repelling Sima Yi’s forces. Most of these twenty thousand men were conscripted and forced to join their lords final stand, this meant that most of them had no actual combat experiences or were even properly trained.
While the last of the Heavenly Sword Army stood atop the walls they witnessed thousands of soldiers clad in black or white armor below. Despite having arrived for many days these soldiers did not begin attacking the city but rather all they did was march to the front of the city every day. Of course they stood out of the range that any archer could shoot so they were perfectly safe but they did not show a signs of attacking the city.
Sima Yi’s forces had simply surround Heavenly Sword City and cut off all access to it. Sima Yi even had his men set up a makeshift dam to block all of the water that traveled into the city by river. His goal was to make the city exhaust its supply of water and after a few days it would be ready for the taking.
Unlike the Beast’s Gorge where water and food was abundant, a city had a set amount of provisions and once that was gone there was no way of obtaining more with the blockade outside. A few miles away from the city a large camp had been erected and in a large tent in the city of the camp Sima Yi could be seen reading a book with the words “Art of War” written on its cover. “My lord a correspondence has arrived from Aurora.” A soldier said peeking his head in through the tent’s curtain.
“Bring it here.” Sima Yi said while placing his book down on his desk. A few short moments later a letter was in Sima Yi’s hands.
The letter basically thanked Sima Yi for his service to Aurora and that he would be awarded for heavily upon his return to Aurora. It stated for him not to worry about the soldiers that had fled from Aurora because after receiving word of what Sima Yi was doing Zhang personally set off to keep those fleeing soldiers to pursue those fleeing soldiers. These men will most likely never make it back alive with Zhang, Gan Ning and Lu Xun on their tails.
It also asked him to return to Aurora as soon as possible because in six months Zhang and the four beauties will be getting married and they wished for him to attend their wedding. It would be a huge event with many dignitaries attending and they a very important announcement will be made so all officers of Aurora should be present. After reading the letter Sima Yi placed the letter onto the desk beside his book.
“Go have a messenger tell those in Heavenly Sword City that if they surrender those who wish to leave will be given a chance to but if they do not we will raze the city and none shall be spared. The lord of the province may leave with his wealth and his life and his families lives will be spare if they surrender.”
“Right away my lord!” The soldier responded and left the tent.
“For your wedding gift I’ll give you the entire Heavenly Sword Province my lord.” Sima Yi thought with a grin on his face.
Although he would prefer to show mercy to those in the Heavenly Sword Province so that it would show the world that if people are willing to surrender to Aurora they will be rewarded. If everyone thought that if surrendering to Aurora meant death, then no one would seek to surrender but rather they would fight to the death like in the small village that took up arms.
But of course he could make an example out of Heavenly Sword City either way, if they surrender he can show them mercy but if they don’t he will show everyone what happens to stubborn fools who do not take the chances given to them. He would have every living soul in the city put to death as a warning to the world. “Surrender and live or resist and die.”
“Those in the city will either be able to live in happiness or be sent to the depth of hell depending on their decision.” Sima Yi murmured.
Upon Sima Yi’s orders a messenger rode through and passed the rows of troops that surrounded the city and made his way to the front of the city gate. Once he was in front of the gate the messenger pulled out a magical voice amplifier and brought it to his mouth, “Our commander Lord Sima Yi has decided to give those in the city two options! The first option is to lay down your arms and surrender, those who do not wish to live under our rule are free to leave and go elsewhere. The second option is resist and we will bury every single man, woman, and child in the city alive.”
The messenger’s voice reverberated into the city and was audible to a large number of people inside. It did not take long for chatter to break out between the residents inside the walls of Heavenly Sword City. In the provincial lord’s mansion an elderly man was sitting in a large hall filled with people. Dressed in golden robes with a small crown atop his head of grey hair from his clothing and the crown alone one could tell that this elderly man was definitely the lord of the Heavenly Sword Province.
“Lord Yuan Shao what should we do the entire city has been surrounded and the men we sent to Aurora are nowhere to be seen and those that went to the Green Clover Province never returned either. We still haven’t received word from General Zhuge Dan nor General Chao Chang either.” A middle aged man dressed in red robes said, one can tell that this man was most likely a minister of sorts.
“On top of that our provisions are running low, we have at most enough food to feed the entire city for another four months and after that we will all die from starvation and that is to say we can make it without water because the Xunsu River has been dammed and no water is flowing into the city.” Another middle aged man said.
“If we stopped giving food to those peasants then we can last for a year or two!” A third man with a balding head dressed in brown robes said.
“I believe we should rather the riches of the city and then surrender. They said that if we surrender we may leave if we please. With all of the wealth of the capital we can go to another province and acquire large armies then come back and reclaim our land or we bid our time and take control of a few other provinces and when we are strong enough wipe out Aurora.” A young man in golden robes said with a sly look on his face.
“Yuan Shang you're telling me to give up the land that our ancestors fought and died for?” Yuan Shao said while looking at his son.
“Only for the time being father, man takes revenge, ten years is not too late; one should bide one’s time and wait for the right opportunity to seek vengeance.” Yuan Shang said proudly.
After some thought Yuan Shao began giving orders for as much wealth as possible to be gathered in the provincial lord’s mansion. He would then store all of it into his interspatial ring, once this was done then they would open the city gates and surrender. As an act of kindness he did not take the possessions of the common folk of the city but had the province’s treasury emptied along with the wealth of many of his ministers.
A day after Sima Yi’s messenger was sent white flags could be seen hung atop Heavenly Sword City while the city gates were wide open. The Heavenly Sword Province had officially declared their surrender to the Aurora Province and this marked the end of the bloodshed and war between the two, well at least for now.