After Ren Baqian left the palace, another person arrived there.
The person was approximately forty to fifty years old. His appearance looked very ordinary. If he was thrown into a sea of people, no one would be able to identify him. He wore ordinary clothes and his height was considered ordinary among the aboriginals, with a height of 1.7 meters tall. Even so, he stood tall and imposing like a mountain, giving off an unmovable aura.
"Your Majesty!" the huge man cupped his fists and greeted the empress with a powerful voice.
"Give General-in-Chief who Supports the Nation a seat of honor!" There was a rare cordial look on the empress's face.
She would only act this way when she saw General-in-Chief Who Supports the Nation, Hong Wu.
The empress was only sixteen years old when she ascended the throne. One could imagine how hard it would have been for a sixteen-year-old to become the ruler of a nation. At that time, everyone, inside and outside of the imperial court, was observing her. Even Great Xia, the Yun Nation and the Chen Nation had countless people doing the same as well.
The level of her strength at that time was far from her current godlike level.
It was all because of General-in-Chief Who Supports the Nation, Hong Wu, that she could secure her throne.
Hong Wu was appointed the General-in-Chief Who Supports the Nation by the former emperor of Dayao. This showed how high the emperor's expectations for him were.
Hong Wu did live up to the former emperor's expectations.
Therefore, Hong Wu was an uncle to her during that period of time. He was the only person she could rely on.
Seven years had passed and their relationship lasted until now.
Every year, during the empress's birthday, Hong Wu would return from the North and chit-chat with her, just like how family members talked to each other.
Such a heartwarming session was hard to come by for the empress.
"Your Majesty is becoming more and more powerful, and I'm becoming older and older." Hong Wu sat down and chuckled. The way he looked at the empress was cordial. Even Hong Xian had rarely seen this type of gaze from her grandfather.
"General, you look no different from ten years ago." The empress chuckled on her couch. "Qing Yuan, fill up General's cup."
"Even though my face doesn't change much, time spares none, and I'm indeed old," Hong Wu said.
After he was passed a cup full of win, he burst into laughter and downed it in one gulp. "Your Majesty, thank you for the wine!"
"Qing Yuan, fill it up again. This is a toast to thank you for guarding the North. Your presence alone stops Great Xia from trying anything funny. General, you have worked hard and your contributions are greatly appreciated."
After finished speaking, the empress downed her cup of wine in one gulp.
After each gave a toast, both of them talked about other stuff.
"I'm afraid Great Xia will be up to no good soon. The emperor of Great Xia is an ambitious individual. After putting in so much effort into governing Great Xia, now that Great Xia has become so powerful, he might have the intention of expanding his territory," Hong Wu said.
Following which, Hong Wu sighed and continued, "Back in the day, I should have killed him at the border station before he ascended the throne, it's a pity that he escaped."
The empress nodded her head and replied, "I'm only afraid that they are already making preparations. I guess I have to trouble General to deal with what's going to happen next."
If Ren Baqian heard their conversation, he would understand why Great Xia would send a white bear to Dayao.
"Even though the soldiers of Great Xia are well-trained and well-equipped, the warriors of Dayao are not afraid of them. If they dare invade our land, we will show how powerful we are!" Hong Wu roared with patriotism.
"In the next few days, I will send an order to the mountains and levy twenty thousand men," the empress said while nodding her head.
One had to understand that ordinary aboriginals were already very powerful. After going through military training, they surpassed even the elite units of Great Xia in terms of strength.
Individual-wise, it certainly wasn't an overstatement to say that one aboriginal warrior could contend against two Great Xia soldiers.
Furthermore, this had already taken into consideration the fact that Dayao was lacking in armors and weapons.
However, one could not simply determine the outcome of the battle between two armies like this.
Right now, Dayao had a total of one hundred thousand soldiers. Fifteen thousand were in the South overlooking the remnant citizens of the Hao Nation. Twenty thousand were in the Northeast guarding the common border with the Yun Nation, fifteen thousand in the Northwest were guarding the common border with the Chen Nation and thirty thousand in the North were guarding the common border with Great Xia.
The remaining twenty thousand soldiers were stationed in the capital to protect the entire Dayao.
However, these one hundred thousand soldiers were the patrimony of Dayao over the last few years. All the taxes collected from Dayao's northern region were used to support these one hundred thousand soldiers.
The thirty thousand soldiers guarding the North of Dayao were the elites. However, their equipment paled in comparison to Great Xia's.
They solely depended on their individual strength to suppress the twenty thousand Great Xia soldiers opposite them. However, if Great Xia really wanted to wage war against Dayao, they would utilize at least five hundred thousand soldiers.
In a defensive battle where thirty thousand poorly-equipped soldiers fought against five hundred thousand well-equipped soldiers, even Hong Wu couldn't do much to help.
After all, Great Xia could mount an attack anywhere on Dayao and Hong Wu couldn't possibly just guard one area.
If the empress could recruit another twenty thousand soldiers, Hong Wu would have more trump cards in his hands. He could at least maintain a sizeable force at each pass.
This was the best she could do. After all, it would be very hard to allocate the necessary equipment to these twenty thousand soldiers.
After all, Dayao had an extremely pathetic equipment stockpile.
However, she immediately thought of Ren Baqian. This fellow had many tricks up his sleeves, and he knew a lot of things. She wondered whether or not could he help on this matter.
In fact, she had heard Ren Baqian mentioning "smelting" a few times. Usually, the people here would refer that as "casting". At that time, the empress did not know what he was talking about, and so she did not care about it.
If Ren Baqian had said that he knew how to cast metals and forge weapons in the beginning, he wouldn't almost have been beheaded.
And right now, the empress hoped that Ren Baqian could help her in this area. Even if he couldn't cast metals and forge weapons, she hoped he could invent something they could use in exchange for weapons from the Yun Nation and the Chen Nation. Given the current situation, the Yun Nation and the Chen Nation would still be willing to trade with them. If Great Xia really tried to invade Dayao, it would be very difficult to trade with the Yun Nation and the Chen Nation.
No only weapons but salt and food resources as well.
Right now, Great Xia should still be in the preparatory stage. Therefore, Dayao still had some time to prepare.
"Your Majesty, you have to take note of the Yun Nation and the Chen Nation," Hong Wu continued.
The empress nodded her head. She understood Dayao was different from the other three nations. That was because aboriginals were different from their people. Naturally, the nation that aboriginals established was different from theirs as well.
It was as though a wolf had sneaked into a flock of sheep.
The Yun Nation's and the Chen Nation's uneasiness with the fact that Dayao was beside them wasn't merely formed in a matter of days. In the past, Dayao even almost invaded the Yun Nation's capital. If Great Xia really attacked Dayao, the Yun Nation and the Chen Nation would definitely seize the opportunity to do so as well.
If the Yun Nation and the Chen Nation attacked Dayao simultaneously, they would indeed be in a perilous situation.
After finished talking about the national affairs, Hong Wu and the empress talked about other things. They mainly reminisced about their good old times. Both of them were in extremely good mood while doing so. Every now and then, they would burst into laughter.
Just when the empress was having a great time with the conversation, Hong Wu suddenly looked at her and sighed.
"General, is there any matter?" the empress asked. Hong Wu was an experienced veteran that was revered by many. It was rare to see him sigh like this.
"Your Majesty ascended the throne at the age of sixteen, and it has been seven years since then. Your Majesty has transformed from a frail young girl to a monarch that's revered by everyone in the world. Seeing how Your Majesty has progressed into what you are today, I feel extremely happy. However, now that Your Majesty is twenty-three years old, you have to make sure you have descendants to carry on your legacy." When Hong Wu said these words, he immediately sounded like an old man that was worried about his "leftover daughter".
["leftover daughter" - a successful career woman who has remained single.]
Hong Wu even brought out his status as the senior of the empress.
The empress's face immediately turned ugly. Last year, while celebrating the empress's birthday, Hong Wu also tried various methods to prompt her into marriage. This year, he resorted to the "sentiment" card.
She felt that she shouldn't have asked him what was wrong and let him continue with his "monodrama".
"Your Majesty, I don't have many years left. Before I am gone, I wish to see Your Majesty get married. Furthermore, I'm not the only that is anxious for you. Everyone in the court is anxious as well." Hong Wu continued to sigh. As he sighed, he looked at the empress's facial expression. He did not even worry that much for his actual granddaughter.
However, he could not stop worrying about the person in front of him now. He had been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the empress by the former emperor. The empress had done an exceptionally good job in many other areas, and she was even more powerful than him. It was just this matter that he couldn't stop worrying about.
Outsiders would definitely not expect the seventh most powerful expert to discuss such matters with the ninth most powerful expert in the world.
The empress furrowed her eyebrows.
Initially, when she first saw Hong Wu, she was had been a pretty good mood. She was also very amiable while she was reminisced over their shared past with him. However, now that he brought up this topic, she was immediately turned off.
If the person in front of her now wasn't Hong Wu, she would have sent someone to kick him out of the palace.
Two days ago during the court session, there are many people mentioning this very subject. Today, Hong Wu unexpectedly brought it up again. This made her very perplexed.
However, the empress also clearly knew that Hong Wu did not have many years left. The matters of Dayao had been holding him up for all these years. If it weren't for the fact that he wanted to assist her in the national affairs of Dayao, he would have left a long time ago.