Standing in front, back straight and hands behind his back was An Ruo.
"So, An Sun needs more grain?"
"Yes, father. And vegetables, fresh or frozen."
An Ruo nodded his head.
An Hongyu leaned back in his chair, his rough features contorting into a stern and tense expression. After a while, he sighed tiredly and waved his hand.
"If he needs more so be it. Gather the amount he requested, we have plenty to spare. And check if we have any vegetables. If we do, give him some, but only a little. Don't want him to think we'll obey to all his demands."
An Ruo's brows puckered, but he held back the words he wanted to say and nodded his head.
"Yes father, I'll have our men send it out to him as soon as possible."
"Mm, good. You're dismissed."
Bowing his head once more, An Ruo heads out to deliver orders. When An Ruo stepped out of the tent, the cold northern winds harshly brushed against his face, causing his expression to harden even further.
Going to the nearest soldiers, An Ruo orders them to gather grains and vegetables to send to An Sun. After issuing out the order, he strides back toward his tent.
On the way back to his tent, An Ruo's emotionless features twisted into a ruthless expression.
"You were right. There's something unusual about this."
An Ruo's dark eyes turn to look at the pale figure standing in the corner of the tent, his short blond hair hanging delicately in front of his ashen face.
The pale man looked at An Ruo's icy expression and said in a subtle tone, "What does Master Ruo plan to do?"
An Ruo didn't reply to the young man immediately. He simply stared down at the floor with piercing eyes, his fists by his side clenching.
"Send men to spy on the camp. I want to see what they're doing. Investigate everything you can on this new strategist of his and get him to side with us." An Ruo's features were cold and menacing. "If he refuses, kill him."
The pale man lowered his head and nodded. "Yes, Master Ruo."
He wouldn't allow anyone to stand in the way of his chance at becoming the next leader, not even his little brother.
When dawn finally broke, Rin allowed the soldiers to rest early for the morning. After a week of training, the soldiers looked quite haggard. Feeling slightly sorry and satisfied with their training, she allowed them the chance to rest.
The Jilin soldier felt like shedding tears of joy once they heard their training ended early that day.
There was a God!
After settling things she headed to her tent but was stopped by a Jilin officer.
"Advisor Bai, Lord An, General Manchu, and Governor Duyi are awaiting your presence in the Jilin office."
Rin tilted her head to the side in puzzlement but nodded.
After fifteen minutes, Rin was led into the office to see the three men hovering over a table, a large map resting on it.
With his finely honed senses, An Sun sensed Rin's presence and turned his gaze toward her before motioning her forward.
Still uncertain of the situation, Rin nonetheless, walked over.
An Sun looked down at the map with crossed arms, "What do you think?"
Looking at the map, Rin's eyes widened in surprise.
"You plan to build tunnels?" She lifted her gaze to glance at An Sun.
Rin looked down at the map again and observed it with intense eyes.
She held back the urge to release a bitter laugh. This plan was indeed full proof. Because An Sun already issued a direct attack on Shongo, he was already aware of their strength.
Rin learned to never directly attack a well-entrenched opponent.
Attacking head-on would be foolish even with more troops. One couldn't overpower strength. But they could outsmart it. One hundred thousand strong men couldn't defend themselves against a sole genius - not head on at least.
Thus, this plan to construct tunnels near the Eastern Empire was most fitting.
Rin grinned at the young man. "Lord An, if you were able to come up with such a well-planned tactic why do you still have me around?"
The corner of An Sun's lips twitched. "Just answer the question."
"Of course," Rin chuckled and stared down at the map.
"Truthfully, this plan can do very well in our favor however, does my Lord mind if I make a suggestion?"
An Sun nodded, "Go ahead."
In response to his confirmation, Rin's expression grew sharp, her emerald eyes glowing intensely as she pointed toward a province area on the map. "We're currently only a few miles away from Guando's province and other territories your men conquered. Although this is all An Clan territory now, we can still expand the tunnel to these areas."
Pointing to an area that indicated a river, Rin continues. "We can create a trail here and operate it as a resting area for our troops when they need to recover or retreat. Placing weapons and other supplies in hidden areas within these territories should also be considered. All while doing so, we shouldn't charge head on completely, attacking based on the number of soldiers wouldn't be wise so we'll need to come up with a plan to attack."
After Rin finished speaking the room went silent. Rin raised her eyes to see all the men in the room staring at her.
Before she could ask anything, a rough pat could be felt on her back causing her body to tense slightly.
Looking up, Rin's eyes met with the sight of An Sun's gray eyes narrowed up and a smile laced on his thin, red lips.
"You've done well kid," He praised with his deep magnetic voice.
Rin blinked dramatically and chuckled softly. "Thank you, my lord, for the praise, but it was mostly thanks to your idea of the tunnels that inspired mine."
An Sun snorted in response and patted Rin's shoulder lightly. "Do you have any other suggestions on how we can issue an attack?"
Rin pinched her chin with her slender fingers and tilted her head to the side, a faint strand of her dark hair hovering over her eyes. "I only have a few but they're merely suggestions."
"Alright, let's hear them." An Sun folded his arms while he sat himself down on a stool.
Rin nodded her head and began to pitch her attack strategies. Meanwhile, from the start, Duyi Zhong remained silent as he watched Rin and An Sun's interactions. His brows were slightly creased.
In a large tent within a large camp, a burly man was casually seated in a large chair. The man seated was the An Clan leader, An Hongyu, An Sun's foster father. His built, bulky body covered in strong armor and furred cuffs. The color of his eyes was pitch black and threatening to make one wish to kneel.