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"Their other goal is to attract the entire continent's attention with this a.s.sault. They want everyone to think that they're making a move against the Star Luo Empire. What will that do? This will mobilize the Star Luo Empire's main forces, and this will concentrate those forces along the western front. The Dou Ling Empire will mobilize reinforcements as well, and the Heavenly Soul Empire's reinforcements may even be deployed to our western front. After all has been said and done, their true intentions will be revealed. If my guess is correct, their true target isn't the Star Luo Empire, but the Heavenly Soul Empire!" Huo Yuhao was resolute and decisive when he uttered his final sentence, but there was a lot of pain and agony among all that resolution.
Dai Luoli finally understood, and he drew a cold breath as he said, "Elder brother, your guess is just too frightening. However, isn't the Sun Moon Empire paying an excessively heavy price for this? They've mobilized several elite soul engineer legions, and they've expended several Cla.s.s 9 soul tools! Why would they turn around and attack the Heavenly Soul Empire when they've already made a breakthrough here?"
Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and said, "The war has already begun, and the situation can change at any time. The Sun Moon Empire has their reasons for this choice.
"First, the Star Luo Empire has the longest history amongst the three native empires; we have been around for ten thousand years. Back then, the Heavenly Soul Empire and the Dou Ling Empire were still one, and they were called the Heaven Dou Empire. The Heaven Dou Empire's national strength was comparable to ours back then.
"As of now, even though the Star Luo Empire's strength can't be said to be stronger than the Heavenly Soul Empire and the Dou Ling Empire combined, we are still much stronger than any of the two by themselves, and our foundations are deep and solid. Cla.s.s 9 soul tools are fearsome, and they forcibly tore a hole through our defenses.
"However, the Northwestern Field Army and the Western Field Army are still in place; even though we have sustained heavy losses, our losses can't be considered fatal. When an all-out war erupts, the Sun Moon Empire can't be using Cla.s.s 9 stationary soul cannon sh.e.l.ls every day, can they? They have limited numbers of those things, and one use means one less in their stores. They are intended to be used as strategic existences, while the Star Luo Empire will definitely receive full support from the Heavenly Soul Empire and the Dou Ling Empire. In that case, it's hard to say who will emerge as the final victor. The Star Luo Empire's foundations are definitely the strongest and deepest in terms of national strength."
"Comparatively, the Heavenly Soul Empire's national strength is considerably inferior to ours. Furthermore, judging from the Sun Moon Empire's borders, the Heavenly Soul Empire's borders that connect with the Sun Moon Empire are about the same length as our borders with the Sun Moon Empire. If you had to choose, who would you choose to attack?"
"This misdirection is truly scheming and cunning, and I have to admit it's quite spectacular! First, they invade our borders, and they blew open a gap so that their armies could be brought in from the Sun Moon Empire at any time. Afterwards, they took the Ming Dou Mountain Range. The mountain range in our hands means different things than when the mountain range is in their hands. The Sun Moon Empire is famous for their soul tools, and in addition to the Ming Dou Mountain Range's fantastic topography, the Sun Moon Empire has an absolute advantage with their surveillance soul tools. Even if we had two more field armies on our side, we might not be able to take down their defenses on the mountain range. They just have to leave a few elite soldiers behind to cooperate with their soul engineers to defend the gap that they have created in the Ming Dou Mountain Range, and that will be enough. With this gap around, the Star Luo Empire will not dare to mobilize too many soldiers to reinforce the Heavenly Soul Empire, because we have no idea when the Sun Moon Empire will attack us.
"In the future, if the Sun Moon Empire achieves a conclusive victory on the battlefield against the Heavenly Soul Empire, they can still attack us through the gap in the Ming Dou Mountain Range if and when they want to. First, they obtain an absolute advantage and restrain us, and then they turn their forces against the Heavenly Soul Empire. This series of tactics has been ingeniously planned, and we have been kept in the dark because they've blocked all of our reconnaissance and surveillance efforts. n.o.body will think that they are changing targets when they've already obtained an absolute advantage. Therefore, you have to report all of this to the White Tiger Duke as quickly as possible, so that he can pa.s.s the news to the Heavenly Soul Empire, so the Heavenly Soul Empire can be careful, and he also has to request that the Dou Ling Empire reinforce the Heavenly Soul Empire.
"The Sun Moon Empire is waiting for all our reinforcements to concentrate over here. When that happens, they will launch another invasion against the Heavenly Soul Empire, and our reinforcements will be unable to reach them in time."
Dai Luoli's back was soaked with sweat as he listened to Huo Yuhao's a.n.a.lysis. Not in his wildest dreams did he expect such a situation. If everything was as Huo Yuhao had predicted, the Heavenly Soul Empire was truly in danger!
"Brother, is there a chance that your guess is wrong? Perhaps the Sun Moon Empire doesn't have that in mind at all, and they haven't considered starting an all-out war at all?"
"Childish!" Huo Yuhao grunted coldly and said, "Don't dispute and deny the situation just because it's disadvantageous. Are you trying to be a coward? My guess has almost a ninety percent chance of being correct. Just relay everything to the White Tiger Duke, and he will understand.
"Don't mention me, just tell him that you thought about everything yourself. Tell him that you snuck over to the border, and there were coincidentally no aerial surveillance soul tools in a particular region, so you took a look, and surmised all these possibilities afterwards. You have to say everything with sincerity and honesty, because time waits for no man! The Heavenly Soul Empire's defeat will spell disaster for us in the future!"
Dai Luoli gulped as he felt the pressure coming from Huo Yuhao's body. He nodded and said, "I understand, I will definitely explain everything to my father clearly. Elder brother, you're really a genius! If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't have been able to calculate anything at all."
Huo Yuhao forced a laugh and said, "Genius? How can I be a genius if I've only realized what's happening after everything's been said and done? The person from the Sun Moon Empire who plotted this scheme is a true genius. Right now, I can only hope that their movements are a little slower, so that we can have a little more time. However, I'm afraid…"
There was an enormous tent inside the army camp. This tent was different from other tents, because it was made entirely from leather, and it was actually dark red, as if it had been painted over with blood.
Lights and lanterns lit up the entirety of this large tent. Soldiers walked in and out continuously, and even though it was already late at night, everyone still seemed extremely busy.
"Eh? A super-high aerial surveillance soul tool has gone missing?" rang out a voice tinged with astonishment inside this tent.
"Yes, marshal," the messenger spoke respectfully as he knelt on one knee.
There was a fair and graceful figure standing within the commander's tent. She was clad in red armor, which perfectly brought out her elegant frame. She had a rose-gold cape draped behind her, and a picture of heroism and valor. A picture of a fiery-red phoenix was painted on her chest, its wings outstretched as if it were about to soar into the sky.
Her skin was extremely fair and tender, and seemed like it had been formed from frozen water crystals, and water would be squeezed out if one pinched gently on her skin. Her face was beautiful, but she seemed a little haggard, and her eyebrows were tightly knit together as a contemplative look came over her face.
Huo Yuhao would have been astounded if he saw her, because this person, whom the messenger had addressed as "marshal", was the Sun Moon Empire's current empress, and also someone that Huo Yuhao was very familiar with... Ju Zi!
Ju Zi stood up and started to pace inside her tent. After a few moments, she stopped and lowered her voice as she said, "Pa.s.s on my orders immediately, and as quickly as possible - increase our surveillance lockdown against the Star Luo Empire at their western border. Don't allow even a fly to come over. We have to sever every possible surveillance method they possess."
"Yes!" The messenger bowed, then immediately turned and left.
There were several tall officers standing on either side of the tent. They all had looks of admiration and respect on their face as they watched Ju Zi.
The Sun Moon Empire's emperor, Xu Tianran, had appointed Ju Zi as the commander-in-chief of their three armies. When that was first announced, almost every military general and every non-military official thought he was joking.
How could a girl only about twenty years old be commander-in-chief? The emperor was clearly appointing people from favoritism!
However, Xu Tianran was too overbearing. With the Holy Ghost Church supporting him, he quickly suppressed every voice who objected against his decision, and insisted that Ju Zi be appointed the three armies' commander-in-chief. Shortly afterwards, the war quietly entered its preparation stage.
Was Xu Tianran appointing someone because he was biased towards that person? Yes, he was, but he had seen this person's abilities, and this person was worth supporting at all costs.
Xu Tianran had never doubted Ju Zi's loyalty and commitment. In other words, Ju Zi was the one who he trusted the most among everyone beside him.
If he hadn't had Ju Zi all those years ago, Xu Tianran would have died from an a.s.sa.s.sination attempt by his younger brothers when they were trying to claim the status of crown prince. Ju Zi had always been beside him and served him for so many years.
However, Xu Tianran wasn't just biased towards Ju Zi enough for him to have so much faith in appointing her commander-in-chief of his three armies. More importantly, he approved of her abilities.
Many years ago, he had allowed her to join the military. In the beginning, he just wanted her to be trained and tempered in the military, but he had never expected her to have an extraordinary talent for military affairs. Ju Zi had achieved exemplary results when she led her troops to put down several revolts, and managed to suppress the rebellions with the lowest possible casualties, and within the shortest possible time.
Xu Tianran was always surprised whenever Ju Zi reported the various strategies and plans that she had used in battle. Ju Zi was simply too talented in military affairs, and the battle strategies and tactics that she used were always different each time. Her ideas were bold and imaginative, yet they were stable and grounded in rationality at the same time. Xu Tianran knew that she was better than he was at such things.
Ju Zi had gradually established her own reputation and prestige within the military within a few short years. Xu Tianran had given direct command of the Phoenix Soul Engineer Legion, one of the five great soul engineer legions that formed the Hand that Protects the Nation, over to her.
He had contemplated long and hard about his decision to appoint her as commander-in-chief of his three armies. He only made up his mind after she devised a scheme and proposal for the coming war.