Chapter 109 - Held Banquet for Lujiang Nobles
Chapter 109 – Held Banquet for Lujiang Nobles
Translated by Bloodfalcon, Edited by Krayto
Within a few days the 4 counties of Lujiang had fallen, Shucheng County, Shiting County, Qianshan County and Jiashi County! The Nearby Wuwei County who heard the rumor quickly surrendered.
With this most of Lujiang’s region already in Lu Bu’s hands, but nobody in Lu Bu army is slacking.
Although Lujiang’s Prefect is good, it cannot afford Lu Bu’s 40,000 soldiers! Lujiang Prefecture has 20,000 households with a population of more than 150,000 people. Since Lujiang Prefecture is located in far south, it did not experience the chaos of the Central Plains caused by war. So Lujiang is the ideal destination for refugees.
TL: Central Plains, location of China capital. Luoyang, Chang’an, Beijing are all located in Central Plains (Zhongyuan) and I believe this is why People Republic of China called themselves Zhongguo.
Originally Lujiang Prefecture had more than 150,000 mouths to feed now adding more than 40,000 military mouths to feed!!! This raised a big issue in grain and provision distribution.
You cannot let Lu Bu dismiss this issue! Abandoning this issue will only be seeking death.
“Gongtai, how many grain and provisions remain in Lujiang?!” Lu Bu frowned while looking that big pile of official documents.
“Grain and provisions are less than 7000-shi!!!” Chen Gong shook his head. 7000-shi of grain and provisions may look like a lot, it is 700,000 kg of grain and provisions, but in fact, it is not. Even if this grain and provisions were used efficiently being rationed, it can only maintain the army for less than 3 weeks.
If there is a battle, this amount of grain and provisions are nothing.
“What about those paddy fields surrounding the city?!” When Sun Ce went toward Xiakou, he not just took almost all the soldiers from Wancheng city, he also took a majority of grain and provisions. Therefore when Lu Bu’s army captured Wancheng city, there is not much left of grain and provisions.
“Paddies?!” Chen Gong smiled bitterly “Milord, this time is early summer. To have a freshly matured paddy, it needs at least three months!”
“We must wait three months?!” Lu Bu’s army now cannot even afford a one month wait.
“Can we buy them from the market?!” Buying at the market is the only solution in order to support these months until the new paddy matures.
“Milord, the market has grain and provisions but the price is truly expensive!” Chen Gong is very helpless now. In these times, the value of grain and provisions is much more than gold. It’s so expensive that a half-jin paddy rice (25 kg rice) equals to 100 bronze coins. Probably 1 tael of gold can probably only buy 1-shi of grain and provisions.
TL: According to historical records, when in peace and prosperity time, half-jin paddy equal to only 10 bronze coins and 1-tael of gold can buy 50-shi of grains and provisions. Checked it in historical records.
Lu Bu’s army need at least 10,000-shi of grain and provisions. So, if they tried to buy them all, Lu Bu’s army could not afford them.
“What about commoners?! Is it feasible for us to raise grain taxes?!”
Chen Gong said “Commoners also do not have surplus. The only thing left for them is enough to survive next harvest!” Those in the commoners hand is the last harvest grain and provisions, if they raise grain taxes, those commoners will not be able to eat.
“How about we borrow from those noble clans?!” Lu Bu said.
“Milord, if we can just borrow from them casually, then we would not need to have this discussion!” These merchant shops are controlled by noble clans. So when Chen Gong wanted to borrow grains and provisions, they just avoid him. Either they do not have grain or provisions or they just wanted to take advantage on him. Chen Gong then began to tell Lu Bu what he had encountered when he want to negotiate with those nobles.
These people are not hesitating even a bit to decline Lu Bu's request to borrow grain and provisions. If ordinary families refused, it is understandable, because they are also struggling in order to survive day by day, but those are noble clans!!! They have fertile lands amounted to 10,000 mu. And they still refused to lend grain and provisions? This kind of treatment is definitely to demean Lu Bu, saying that he is a beggar in order to shame him.
Especially the Zhou clan, Chen clan and Liu clan. They closed their doors and only sent their lower servant to receive Chen Gong. Chen Gong held his anger as best he could, because in order to govern this Lujiang, he must have the local nobles support Lu Bu.
“HUMPH!!!!” Lu Bu bang his fist on the table. “So they do not want to lend grain and provisions, eh?! Gongtai, you send a letter for all of Lujiang noble’s clan patriarch, tell to them that I am inviting them to a banquet in this Administration Office!”
“Milord, what are you want to do?!” Chen Gong a little worried because currently Lu Bu is quite unhappy and he is afraid he is going to cut all of them down. That issue is too big. In chaotic times, nobles are in power. Chen Gong also wanted to kill those nobles, but he hesitated because by doing that, he will offend the nobles of this nation and at the very least, this Lujiang will fall into chaos.
“Relax, Gongtai. I still have my own sense of proprietary!”
Inside Wancheng city, Zhou clans’ mansion.
In the main hall there is a middle aged man pacing back and forth, in his hand there is an invitation that Lu Bu sent.
There are also people who sat in nearby chairs.
“What is Lu Bu’s intention in inviting us?!” Said a middle-aged man toward Zhou clan’s patriarch. That middle-aged man who speaks is the patriarch of biggest noble clan in Lujiang, the Liu clan, Liu Kai.
TL: Insert a screenshot of Yakuza series when introducing the character. “Patriarch of Lujiang’s Liu clan, Liu Kai”
This Liu clan is truly one of Han Dynasty’s ancestors and relative. It is not like Liu Bei who needed to remind everyone that he is of Han Dynasty Royal Family and unlike Liu Mang who spoke that he is one of the Royal Family out of blue. This Liu clan is truly the relative of Liu Zhen the son of Prince Jing of Zhongshan, Liu Sheng who later became Marquis of Lucheng and after that he resided at Lujiang before being kicked out to Zhou County.
Liu clan’s root has been very deep since Liu Zhen resided in Lujiang. They are one of Wancheng city’s rulers. Originally Lu Kang and Liu Kai compete each other for leadership of this Wancheng city, but after Lu Kang died, he took over the command.
Therefore in Wancheng city, all of the noble clans think Liu clan’s as the representative of Lujiang nobles.
“Brother Liu, this slave of three surnames intention is obviously trying to make us give him grain and provisions! This stray dog is hard to predict in the long term, we cannot give him grain and provisions, we must expel him from Lujiang!!!” A patriarch of noble clan suddenly stood up and said those words.
“This brute Lu Bu, although he has conquered Wancheng city, it will not for a long time. If we give him grain and provisions and he is defeated, it is loss for us!!!” Another patriarch stand out.
“Lu Bu, whether he can bring us advantage or disadvantage, currently he has 30,000 soldiers. How can he not defend this Wancheng city with those numerous soldiers?!” Some clan patriarchs argued. Those nobles are the nobles who do not want to fight for hegemony, but they are the ones who wanted to invest their future on the final victor of this chaos times. With Lu Bu the victor just now, naturally they will hesitate.
Financing warlords, if that particular warlord is able to achieve hegemony, those noble clans will certainly got the most merit but if that warlord lost, then these noble clans will lose everything from family property even their lives.
“Heh, support Lu Bu now, so we can be like Zhang Miao of Yan Province and like Cao Bao of Xu Province, eh?!” Some patriarch sneering against the idea “Zhang Miao of Chenliu, Zhang clan might be bigger than all of you, but Cao clan of Pengcheng city? That clan is Xu Province’s master. After that, Zhang Miao died executed by Cao Cao and Zhang clan was eradicated by Cao Cao. The once big clan of the Han Dynasty in Yan Province was reduced to a mere rubble.
And Cao clan of Xu Province is also pitiful. Thinking that marrying his daughter Lady Cao to Lu Bu can make Xu Province stable. But who would have thought that Lu Bu had too many enemies and Cao clan was uprooted by Cao Cao and Liu Bei and in the end, Cao clan vanished into thin air.
With these two as an example, who would dare to finance Lu Bu?
“But, if we do not give Lu Bu’s army grain and provisions, what can we do if he acts rashly?!” Some people were truly worried. After all the master of Wancheng city is Lu Bu. Making Lu Bu unhappy is not a good thing.
“Does he dare to do that?!” This is the voice of patriarch of Chen clan. “Lu Bu killed my cousin elder brother. I have sworn revenge upon him and HEAR MY WORDS NOW. WHOEVER FINANCES LU BU, HE WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE MY CHEN CLANS SWORN ENEMIES!!!!” That person who speaks is Chen Yao. Chen Duan is his cousin, elder brother who Lu Bu choked to death. How the Chen clan gained big fame and fortune is because of Chen Duan’s merit. Chen Duan working his way from the bottom, allowed the Chen clan to have a stable position in Jiangdong.
“Yes, what Master Chen said is right! If he dares to act out rashly, he will offend not only us, but he will offend all of Jiangdong’s nobles and even this nation nobles! When that time comes, Lu Fengxian will never have any place to take refuge again!!!!” Killing one member of noble clans is still fine, but killing a lot of nobles, that will bring only big trouble, even more if those nobles had big connections with each other.
As an example the original ruler of Wancheng city is the Lu clan. When Sun Ce conquered Wancheng, he put Lu Kang to death and by doing that he destroyed the Lu clan until it almost perished. Properly speaking Lu clan should be unable to threaten Sun Ce anymore.
However when Sun Quan is the ruler, the Lu clan began to emerge once more with the emergence of the last son of Lu clan, Lu Xun. Lu Xun began to rise to power and was trusted with big responsibilities until the end of his life. So with that, Lu clan was compensated by Lu Xun's rise to power
Why he re-emerged? Because when Sun Quan marry Lu Xun's sister as concubine, several patriarchs began to recommend Lu Xun and Lu Xun's sister also begging Sun Quan to use Lu Xun.
“Therefore, we must not give Lu Bu’s army grain and provisions!!!” We must push Lu Bu to the point of collapse, until it becomes a life or death situation. At that time, he might also slaughter us nobles, but he will also offend the other nobles in this nation. “What we do first is to offer him only 1-shi or a dozen-shi, we must make his army starve to death, unable to eat until full. This is the correct path!!!”
All the patriarchs nodded.
“Brother Zhou, what do you think of this?!” Liu Kai's vision goes to head of Zhou clan who just drink tea and silent all the time.
The head of Zhou clan looking at all of them and put down his teacup and said it casually “I only want to say one thing! I got news from my younger brother, that they have conquered Xiakou and almost conquered all of Jiangxia. With this information, I believe you know where my standing is now!!!”
The head of Zhou clan only spoke few words but put all of the clan heads in uproar. Everyone knew who head of the Zhou clan’s younger brother is, so they did not doubt his information.
With Jiangxia almost conquered, that rascal Lu Bu will not hold Wancheng city for long!!! They have truly opened their eyes to Sun Ce's strength. If it was before, they still doubted about which side to take, but right now, their goals have been cleared. They must not give Lu Bu grain and provisions.
Otherwise, when Sun Ce returned to his HQ, they will be criticized as being opportunists.
“Very well!!!” Liu Kai stood up and said “This evening banquet, we must act in unison!!!”
“Act in unison!!!”
As night slowly fell, a war without fire and smoke is about to start in Wancheng city!