In the south western part of China, the state of Kang is led by a new commander whose father just passed away. His generals are displeased with him. He never expand his territory, only training his troops.
His advisor told him that without bigger land and populace, he can never hope to raise a big enough army.
Not only did he become a mockery among the warlords, the bandits harassed his convoy of merchants. While he always send his elite guards to ensure the county's lifeline is not cut off, his state is held in contempt by others. There is even sobotage, cases of arson.
His generals all clamored for war. We should at least clear the area of bandits.
He did sent troops to re-captured several hills occupied by bandits, but never ventured far.
His advisors told him he was too timid, both in strategies and warfare. They wanted him to set fire to the nearby forest to flush out bandits once and for all. He again refused.
However, because of his cowardice, no warlord actually bothered to attack him, there is no much glory in defeating a useless bum. But they did ask for tributes, which the commander paid duly.
His people, while appreciate the peaceful life, had hope for a greater ruler.
One day, Song and Chu went to war.
It was chaos, the smaller states are ordered around to aid in war.
The useless commander called all his people, and asked them. We have been called the beggars of China. Are you ready to live life like this? All his people yell No.
The smaller states of Ou and Guo have been boasting that they have been the strongest in our region, and their armies are now drafted by the state of Chu, leaving their states vulnerable. Is it time to for them to pay back the humiliation they given us? "Hell Yes!"
We need no bold use of fire or whatever strategy, I only know, we now have the army to take them out. I don't pretend to know how to use a small army to take out a big army, but I know when we strike, we must win!
Hell yes! Shouted his people.
It was a opportunity not to be missed, the neigbouring states are mostly empty,
Guarding not against the useless commander. In one swop, he captured several states.
He even took a swipe at the bigger trio states of Deng, Utai and Ouyang. He knew he cannot defeat them but he plunder them and set their key fortress on fire. They will take a long time before they have strength to attack him.
When he captured the 2 smaller states, he reward those who willing to pledge allegiance richly. When the 2 states launch a counter attack, he pretend to retreat and together with the infiltrates deal a bigger damage to the 2 states.
The 2 states are very much weaken.
His advisors told him to wipe out the 3 states.
He told him the bigger states will never sit back and do nothing, the state of Kang is now a bigger meat compare to the 2states, and we should not be confused by the "show of weakness" neither so they be "greedy" or they would lose whatever they have gain.
We can never be a giant. But when the chance come, we can be prosperous.
We should not lose our head. His advisor told him that with the new fame, they could actually borrow troops from the bigger states. Many would gladly do it in return for lands or golds.
The commander laughed! What happened if we borrow the troops and lose the battle. We have to pay back the damages and yet weaken our defenses.
Let's just hope we survive another decade.