Sun Quan followed Lu Su’s advice and stopped trying to take Lu Meng and Ling Cao’s military power. On the second day, Sun Quan raised his Sun banner. The banner fluttered in the wind.
Qin Feng went out to greet Sun Quan. He was extremely skilled at flattering and showed Sun Quan a lot of respect. However, Sun Quan did not have any good impression of Qin Feng. Qin Feng was only the local lord of Linhuai. Basically, he was just like Sun Ce’s dog. Sun Quan had gone out to rescue Linhuai because this was the only land they had across the Yangtze River. It was also a good place for Sun Quan to establish himself. Qin Feng was Sun Quan’s first obstacle in obtaining Linhuai.
Qin Feng quickly brought Sun Quan into Tuzhong. “General Sun, please come in. The journey must have been long. The banquet have already been prepared at the governor’s residence.”
Sun Quan nodded and followed Qin Feng. His fifty thousand men were also escorted to their stations along the walls or outside the city. Hot food had also been prepared for them.
Sun Quan quickly arrived at the governor’s residence. The servants were all moving around preparing for the banquet.
Qin Feng invited Sun Quan in like a good host. Although he intended to let Sun Quan sit in the host’s seat, Sun Quan went and sat there before he could even say anything.
Qin Feng frowned at Sun Quan’s rude att.i.tude. Sun Quan may be a Lord but even then, Qin Feng felt uncomfortable from this.
Fortunately, Qin Feng was experienced in dealing with such things. He suppressed the resentment in his heart and smiled at Sun Quan. He sat at a seat beneath Sun Quan and called for the servants. The servants nodded and brought the food over. Naturally, after the food would be conversations.
“This one is untalented and only managed to control Linhuai because of Marquis Wu’s recommendation. However, Liu Mang is ambitious. He intends to take Linhuai and bring suffering to the people. Fortunately you are here to stop Liu Mang’s from getting his way. You are truly the fortune of the people of Linhuai! Because of this, this first cup must go to you!” Qin Feng raised the wine towards Sun Quan.
“Governor Qin is more meritorious than us for holding out until our arrival.”
“No, no. This is the General’s deeds. You are the one that brought the elites causing the Liu Mang’s Army to fear in terror. My men will have a lot to learn from you.” Qin Feng continued to praise excessively. However, he would soon be in shock when Sun Quan forcefully took over his military power.
“I guess there is no problem then? Zhu Ran! Pan Zhang! You are to take command of Governor Qin’s Army and train them like you would train my elites!” Sun Quan immediately ordered his two generals.
Zhu Ran and Pan Zhang glanced at each other and then cupped their fists towards Sun Quan in affirmation. Sun Quan then turned towards Qin Feng and said. “Governor Qin. Hand over your tiger seal.”
Qin Feng was in disbelief. Sun Quan moved against common sense. Normally, Sun Quan was supposed to be happy and act modestly after being praised. Saying his soldiers had a lot to learn was part of being polite. Sun Quan should also be busy with governing and refuse. They were supposed to keep flattering each other this way. Instead, Sun Quan treated Qin Feng’s courteous as facts and metaphorically slapped Qin Feng across the face. How could Qin Feng consent to giving away his army of twenty thousand men like that?
Qin Feng knew that by inviting the Jiangdong Army in, he was giving away his authority. He could only stay as a wealthy person. He simply never expected things to move so quickly. The way things had been done was too rude and unsightly. Fortunately Liu Mang had been chased away, allowing Qin Feng to obtain some merits.
“What’s wrong? Are you going back on your words? Is Governor Qin looking down on how I train my troops?” Sun Quan asked. His words were phrased as a question but he was actually threatening Qin Feng.
“I…” Qin Feng was troubled. He did not want to hand over his military authority but at the same time, he could not afford to offend Sun Quan especially with Sun Quan’s two generals staring at him. He looked around for someone to help him get out of this mess. Unfortunately, n.o.body was willing to help him. All of his officials followed him for power and wealth. Now that he was no longer in charge, they abandoned him for next Lord of Linhuai. Meanwhile, Sun Quan’s generals continued to glare at Qin Feng while Lu Su simply did not care.
To Qin Feng, that split second felt like an eternity. However, he eventually sighed and took out the tiger seal. Sun Quan’s eyes turned fiery as he received the tiger seal, the object that gave him authority over Qin Feng’s army.
“This servant invites the two generals to train the soldiers.” Qin Feng respectfully lowered his head and replied.
“Haha! Don’t worry, Governor Qin! We will definitely make these twenty thousand men able to go on the battlefield!” Sun Quan laughed. Although he was not able to obtain Lu Meng and Ling Cao’s military power, he was still able to obtain twenty thousand soldiers.
“Yes. Yes.” Qin Feng replied. However, the banquet was now tasteless to him. On the other hand, Sun Quan felt complacent.
Sun Quan now felt like a winner. He initially had fifty thousand men. After losing five thousand to Zhang Liao and obtained twenty thousand from Qin Feng, he now had sixty five thousand men. Even Liu Bei did not have that many troops.
Meanwhile, Liu Mang was fighting a battle of his own. Although it was not a battle of blades, it was also an intense battle. One mistake and he could even die without knowing how.
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“Wenhe. Is everything ready?” Liu Mang asked Jia Xu who was standing beside him.
The spies still sent out a few people to keep an eye on these two as a precaution.
After leaving, Liu Mang took the time to admire Xiangyang’s landscape. He did not have the time to look around earlier because he had to greet Liu Biao before being sent straight to the residence. He now had plenty of free time as the spies were still following him.
“Wenhe. How many people are still following us?”
“Three. That one selling pastry over, that one carrying firewood there and that one shopping for things.” Jia Xu replied as he pointed towards the three spies with his eyes. As he also dealt in the same area, he was able to tell whether that person was a spy or just a common person.
The one selling pastries seemed to follow them everywhere. The one carrying firewood was even more laughable. He followed them into a prosperous area pretending to sell firewood when none of the people in the prosperous area would actually buy firewood.
The one shopping for things looked like the other shoppers at a glance. However, this person in particular had paid too much attention to Liu Mang and Jia Xu. He had paid so much attention to the extent that he forgot his act, making mistakes such staying at a shop for too long or others.
“Let’s go, Wenhe! Looks like we have to wander aimlessly.”
“Wenhe. I wonder if you can still do it?”
“Do what?” Jia Xu was stunned for a while. He eventually understood what is going on when Liu Mang entered a crowded brothel1.
… *calm breathing exercise* … FUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-
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