(BM) "I'm glad you are willing to be under me." Baron said with satisfaction.
(BC) "As long as you give me a few of those blueprints I'm willing to do anything" Ban Chao said half regrettingly.
(BM) "Don't worry, as long as you do whatever I tell you to do and don't betray me then we'll have a great friendship."
(BC) "Good, so how should we resolve this simulation then?"
(BM) "To be honest, I really need to keep my head low right now. If I keep beating everyone that challenges me, then I'll attract way too much unwanted attention."
(BC) "That makes sense, but wouldn't that mean you are handing over the victory to me?"
(BM) "You aren't thinking over the long term. What's a loss to me if I got a long lasting alliance out of it?"
(BC) "Then how do you plan to lose to me?"
(BM) "That's easy, you just have the rest of your men launch a night assault against the steep impasse to the west of here and I won't notify them of anything. After you break through I'll just surrender. Sound good to you?"
(BC) "As you say... Boss."
(BM) "Oh, don't be like that. Just call me Baron, you are still my senior and all that."
(BC) "Alright then. I'll take my leave."
After the two finished their quick chat, the two armies did not fight for the rest of the day. Instead, Baron ordered his troops to take a well deserved rest until nightfall. On the other hand, Ban Chao told the remaining 30,000 or so soldiers on this battlefield to standby. He left to go command the other army that still had over 200,000 soldiers in peak condition.
As the night fell, Ban Chao readied his army and set forth to forcefully push through the location of where Baron had stationed 2000 men with the repeating crossbows. First, Ban Chao had 100,000 soldiers shoot 10 arrows each into the forest where Baron's men were hiding. As the defending army was not ready for such an assault, and the fact that it was very dark, they lost close to a quarter of their men before everyone held their shields up to defend. Even so, this singular attack demoralized them, killed hundreds, and wounded several hundred others.
Without even letting the defenders regroup, Ban Chao's men rushed into the numerous small passageways. Baron's men kept shooting their repeating crossbows, but they had nowhere near the amount of bolts capable to wound this many men, let alone finish them off. Baron's men had no chance, especially without someone that could lead them as efficiently as Baron could. Within a matter of hours Ban Chao had successfully broken through and made his way to Baron's flank.
Before flanking Baron, Ban Chao had actually decided to have his men quietly encircle their enemies. Once complete, they had half of the army stay in hiding while holding up banners of the Persian empire to give the impression that they had even more numbers than they really did. The other half would immediately jump into the enemy camp and cause mass confusion. It worked.
Within a few moments the 4,000 or so remaining soldiers that was left of Baron's army was encircled by an army over 100,000 plus an additional 100,000 waiting behind them. With the advantage in the high ground lost, the comical drop in morale, the lack of any leadership from their strategist all but absent the soldiers found themselves unable to resist at all. The attacking army made quick work of such easy targets and soon enough, Baron chose to surrender.
Back at the gaming room many were gossiping loudly about the results of the match that had just concluded between Baron and Ban Chao.
"See I told you Baron was just lucky aginst Yue Fei and Xu Da. No way this newcomer can best them in a battle of tactics."
"I can't believe Baron let such an opportunity to pass by, by letting Ban Chao sneak behind him. Maybe he isn't some genius like the goddess Madam Zheng, I guess I overestimated this kids' abilities way too much."
"He's a fool for letting old Ban Chao get the better of him like that, Baron barely did anything to counterattack when his army did something."
"He's got the secret blueprint to the repeating crossbow and he doesn't utilize it, shame what a shame. The blueprint to the repeating crossbow is absolutely wasted on a trash like him, he should just give it to me. Hahahahahaha."
Baron heard these sort of insults all around him, but he didn't mind. He could put up with all of this because he had just gained another trustworthy ally. Including Ban Chao, Baron had just acquired three relatively well known, well respected, and decently powerful comrades. He had to be careful though, he couldn't just straight up announce his new alliance. He had to become well respected enough first before announcing such a big piece of news. Ban Chao walked up to Baron so that they could shake hands, as is customary after a simulation. They shook and Ban Chao left do do other matters, while Baron continued to be challenged by others. However, everyone after Ban Chao wasn't very well versed in the art of warfare and constantly made mistakes. Baron let all of these guys choose the mode since he didn't really care.
During one simulation, Baron had personally taken to the field to slay all o his enemies' capable officers aside from the general strategist himself. Without anyone capable below him to carry out orders, their entire army fell into disarray and Baron swiftly mopped up such an easy picking. Needless to say, Baron's enemy was completely humiliated once the simulation ended and left in a hurry without even shaking Baron's hand with a face full of anguish. This battle lessened the amount of people that wanted to challenge Baron, but not by lot. Soon Baron was in yet another simulation.
During another simulation, Baron showed his superiority in deception by sneaking into the enemy camp as a messenger. Now, he had already left instructions for what his officers and lieutenant should do after each phase in Baron's mastermind plan. Throughout the entire simulation, Baron had masterfully manipulated his opponent and fed him all the wrong information. At the end of it, when his opponent finally figured out that his main messenger turned out to be the enemy general, he did not have enough troops to even capture Baron. Baron's lieutenant and a few officers then led the charge to destroy the enemy camp thereby concluding the simulation.
Baron had to endure countless simulations after that, since he wanted to lay relatively low he won the majority of these but sabotaged himself so that he wouldn't win every time. He wouldn't have managed to win anyway since there were quite a few people who sat back and observed Baron patiently. They would have prepared sufficient counter strategies to Baron's many tactics. For these opponents, Baron had decided to surprise them by using completely unconventional warfare, even more than what he had used before. These didn't work all the time, but it didn't matter as Baron only wanted to upset these people who think that he was such a predictable person to beat on the battlefield.
Gradually the amount of strategists that wanted to have a battle of wits with him lowered and lowered. When no one wanted to fight him any more, he felt relieved, Yue Fei told Baron that anyone who arrived here and showed talent would get a fast track to becoming one of the elites in the Chinese Community. Baron didn't want this however, so he ended up having his win lose ratio slightly above average of the normal Chinese community member. After this ratio became apparent to everyone, no one cared about him anymore.
This worked to his advantage since he wanted to lay a low profile, and in a couple more days people didn't even bother to greet him anymore. There was a special type of reputation to gossip that went around this community, Yue Fei had told him. The only thing these guys talk about are the people who are amazing, who have clawed their way to the top, who inspire others to fight harder, these are the people worth talking about. You? If you just act average no one will care about you.
During these peaceful days, Baron, Yue Fei, Xu Da, and Ban Chao were laughing it up and drinking to their hearts content talking about strategies, and counterstrategies, and epic moments when they got to see the top brass have simulations against each other. These four men developed a deep friendship towards each other and slowly began to trust each other more and more.
(YF) "Oh yes, you should probably go and see Madam Zheng now, I'm sure you still have many questions you have to ask her." Yue Fei said suddenly remembering Madam Zheng's invitation to Baron.
(BM) "You're right, I do still have a few questions left to ask her."
(XD) "Woah, you even got the naval genius to notice you? Looks like you are a bit more special than I thought." Xu Da said half jokingly.
(BC) "It is indeed quite amazing that you get the chance to have an audience with her. Have you considered why she's bothering to do this all for a nobody like you?" Ban Chao asked nonchalantly.
(BM) "Actually, that's a good question. Yue Fei, do you know anything? You are after all the only one of us who have seen her."
(YF) "Sorry, I've got no clue."
(BM) "It's probably time for me to go meet this lady and see if she can provide a few answers for me. How do I get there Yue Fei?"
(YF) "Just go down to the portal room and go into the one that says elders hall, ask someone in there to guide you to Madam Zheng's place."
(BM) "Alright thanks." Baron replied then promptly left to follow Yue Fei's instructions.
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