Chapter 260 “Its only natural one will turn black if they go near the ink.”
Aside from being depressed at the situation, Du Wei thought: this Biliaibuer really was crafty in shirking off the responsibility to him. Whether the outcome was peace or war, he will still end up offending a wack tone of people.
Some time ago back in the capital, Du Wei already had the pleasure of interacting with this Biliaibuer so he knew full well how slick this guy was. In order to show his sincerity after his steward offended Du Wei in the slave market, this Biliaibuer went as far as to break the poor guy’s leg. To top it off, this Biliaibuer had the injured fella tossed in front of Du Wei’s doorstep for a day.
To be able to do something as fabulous as to slaps one’s own face, this Biliaibuer demonstrated he was someone of great endurance. The truth was, this Biliaibuer never had to lower himself to Du Wei. Sure, a Duke’s title was higher than an Earl’s, but Biliaibuer was still a favored figure in the Regent Son’s eye. If not for this reason, how can this Biliaibuer climb up so fast and completely absorb the former Solomon Family’s assets and responsibilities right after the coup?
Towards people like this, Du Wei had to be extra careful!
Thinking of this, Du Wei slowly formed a smile: “Earl……”
Biliaibuer quickly smiled in return: “You and I are old friends, no need to be so formal. Since there are no outsiders around us anyways, why don’t I call you by your name instead? That is if you don’t mind. Likewise, you can call me Biliaibuer.”
Du Wei thought for a moment: “This… Your age is way older then mine, and you are my father’s friend. If you don’t mind, I will call you uncle.”
Earl laughed: “Then from now on in private I will call you Du Wei. I hope you won’t think of it as me taking advantage of you.”
After exchanging some pointless polite words, the two began to get serious: “Uncle Biliaibuer, your familiarity with the natives and their methods will help greatly in the negotiation table. Although the Regent appointed me nominally responsible for the event, I’m still young and inexperienced. For the difficult details, you will have to preside over them.”
Biliaibuer immediately shook his head and smiled: “You are too reserved with those words. Du Wei, you may be young, but your fame far exceeds mine. Who doesn’t know the Tulip name, who doesn’t know your name, the grand Duke of the Northwest whom created countless miracles in this barren landscape? Although the Northwest Army took credit for beating off the native army, but who doesn’t know it was really you whom defeated the enemy? It’s only natural that his highness values your talent greatly. This matter mustn’t be pushed aside….. As for me, it’s more than enough to waive the flag in the background.”
Du Wei cursed the sly guy in his heart. Their faces may look intimate but knives were flying in their words: “Uncle Biliaibuer’s compliment is embarrassing me! No matter what, you are older than me and your insight in these issues outweighs mine……”
“But that’s only because I’m born several years earlier than you. Du Wei, the Regent sent me here to assist you and I will do just that without fail.”
Even after going at it for half a day, the two couldn’t get anywhere because Biliaibuer refuses to drop the “assistant” excuse. At this annoying word, Du Wei can only give in and sigh: “In that case, Uncle Biliaibuer, what’s the tone of his highness and those back in the capital?” Du Wei attempts to get a clearer picture by fishing for info.
Biliaibuer’s eye promptly turned sharp: “Capital? Humph….. What can those bosses back in the capital do? Every day all they do is argue this and argue that, even his highness is troubled by this. At first things were kept internally between the military, then it was with the financial department over the budget, then with the intelligence department, then the argument gets tossed back to the first department and the blaming cycle begins again. Considering how much of a mess the capital is in right now…. Humph, let me speak a word of truth. The reason his highness chose you and this place is likely because the Regent didn’t want the natives to see what a joke those bosses have become.”
Du Wei became furious at the answer. Rambling on and on, this blasted Biliaibuer only mentioned the gossip news…. Does this guy think he wouldn’t pick up these gossips on his own? It’s not like he doesn’t have his own methods of gathering information. Darn it, the guy’s lip simply refuses to open.
Thinking of this, Du Wei couldn’t stop the discontent from showing on his face. Putting the tea cup down, Du Wei cuts to the chase: “Uncle Biliaibuer, we’re behind closed doors, why are you telling me all this? Once we are out of this room, no other will know what we talked about today. What I want to know is whether to go to war, or aim for peace.”
Seeing Du Wei had lost his patience, Biliaibuer understands he cannot continue the act. Its fine to put on a show sometimes, but overdoing it wasn’t good: “You’re too impatient. Hmm…. If you must hear my opinion…..”
Taking a sip from his tea cup, Biliaibuer glances over at the locked doors before speaking in a hushed tone: “Cannot fight!”
Du Wei nods, his eyes continuing to stare at him. Unsettled by Du Wei’s gaze, Biliaibuer follows up with more: “The following words must be kept private…. In my opinion, the prairie and the empire are like a child and a sick adult, both sides wishes to knock each other down but can’t due to difficult circumstances.”
Du Wei smiled: “if you say both sides don’t want to fight, then?”
“Not entirely so.” Biliaibuer sighed: “Both sides understand their foe’s situation. The young child knows he needs time to grow, but if he does wait till he grows up, the adult would have recovered from his illness. By then, fighting will become difficult. Likewise, the sick adult thinks the same way…. Here’s where the contradiction lies.”
The truth was that Du Wei knew about all this mentioned by Biliaibuer, but he needed this “assistant” to be upfront about it. Thinking up to here, Du Wei asked: “Since it’s a contradiction either way, why not fight? Rather than prolonging the pain, why not end it now? No matter what, both sides will eventually have to fight.”
Biliaibuer’s heart jumped at what he heard. Looking into Du Wei’s cold eyes, the only word that came into his mind was “cruel”.
“Your idea is exactly like those pro-war factions in the capital…… It does make sense, but it will be difficult to realize. Let’s say we do attack the prairie natives, can we be certain the Northwest Army will side with us? If they side with the empire then everything will be great, but if they turn on us and stab us in the back…. At that time, the empire will be in serious peril!”
The last part was spot on.
The empire’s current situation simply can’t afford to endure another war. Whether it was the newly appointed Regent Son or the empire itself, both needs time to stabilize.
After hearing some true words from Biliaibuer for once, Du Wei finally showed a satisfied smile: “It appears what Uncle Biliaibuer said is correct, we cannot fight!”
Biliaibuer quickly cuts in: “This … … This is only my opinion. It cannot be taken for fact! Du Wei, you’re the main negotiator in this mediation, you must make the final decision and not blindly follow my words. If you do decide to go war, I believe the Regent will support you! Before I came here, his highness already went two nights without sleep from all the talks!”
Du Wei sneered inside, “Is he really handing him the power to decide? More like make him out to be the bad man here!”
No matter what decision he makes now, he’s going to offend one faction.
After talking for another short while, this old fox finally excused himself and left Du Wei alone. Not waiting for a minute longer, Du Wei immediately ran off to consult Philip – a subordinate which he’s been growing increasingly reliant on. At first Du Wei despised this young man but later learned to respect Philip for his brain has the workings of a chancellor.
Once Du Wei explained everything, Philip promptly offered a solution after contemplating the problem.
“Duke, I think this whole thing is a hot potato that will burn you either way. Since the Regent tossed the decision making to you, couldn’t you toss it to someone else?”
Du Wei smiled wryly: “I’d like to toss it to Biliaibuer but that guy is as smooth as oil.”
Philip smirked, “If we can’t toss the problem to our own people, why don’t we toss it to the prairie natives?”
“Huh?” Du Wei’s eye lit up like he had just found a guiding light inside a fog. Giving Philip an appreciating glance, Du Wei suddenly bursts out a laugh: “Oh Philip, your ideas are getting more cunning by the day!”
Philip answered with a ‘you got it right’ smile: “Working by your lordship’s side…. Hmmm, what was that saying you told me before…. Ah yes: turn red if you get close to red, turn black if you get close to black.”
Du Wei lapsed out for a second: “What… My words were ‘a person’s personality is decided by whom they associate with’.”
The people of the Roland Empire truly can’t understand Chinese culture, but Du Wei didn’t care: “Philip, you’re saying you learned it by copying me eh?”
Philip smiled: “It’s only natural one will turn black if they go near the ink!”
Since a solution was thought up, Du Wei became much more relaxed compared to before. Therefore, he ordered those down below to prepare for the negotiation event.
On this visit Biliaibuer also brought with him many crates full of documents pertaining to the negotiations. But after Du Wei had a scan over these papers, he quickly came to the conclusion that they were all useless.
To simplify the contents of those papers, it was all “you hit first if you dare, I dare if you dare!”
Seriously, what differences are there between these politicians and a bunch of quarreling kids in a playground?
Hmm … … Throwing this hot potato to the natives…. What a great idea!
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