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Empire of the Ring (Web Novel) - Chapter 574: Change of Plan (1)

Chapter 574: Change of Plan (1)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

“Your Highness, the Indian government is adamant that there can be no concessions.”

“Does the Indian government have a strong force to speak so boldly like that?”

“It has an army of more than 1.1 million troops. It claims to have improved Soviet tanks and missiles, and some of their equipment is way ahead of the equipment of China. Since both sides have nuclear weapons, they won’t go to an all-out war, but it’s going to be quite severe at the border battle.”

After visiting India with Eriksson, Kabak, commander of the Royal Armored Division, believed that India would never lose ground in fighting China even if there was a battle at the border.

“How do you beat China when Indian defense spending is only a quarter of China’s? I doubt that they’ll have high-tech weapons with such spending.”

“India is a country that operated aircraft carriers before China did. It has a lot of new and improved missiles. It turned out that we did not know much about India’s military strength.”

“It sounds like the military strength of India is a little bit exaggerated. It’s hard to believe that India could have an equal strength with China.”

“There’s no way to check the truth of their claim. That is what India has to deal with. The problem for us is that if China attacked us at the Pamir Plateau, India can’t pressure China just because we’re attacked because India would not want to provoke China first.”

“You mean the cooperation with India won’t be easy.”

“No, we’re going to have to move independently apart from India.”

“I’m prepared for that. It’s a separate fight although India has a border dispute with China, too.”

That was what Youngho said, but he was quite disappointed to hear that as he calculated that he could pay less attention at Pamir if India pressured China, but that expectation seemed to have to be put aside.

He had a hunch that if there was a battle in Pamir, it would be a lonely and difficult fight for Kazakhstan. It was because border disputes usually would not end easily as each nation’s pride was at stake. The problem was that there could be a temporary suspension of the dispute, but there would be no fundamental solution.

If Kazakhstan would be dragged into a boring war of attrition instead of ending in a short period of time, it would be very troublesome.

“Let’s hurry up and get ready. Let’s provide enough ammunition and equipment for our army at the Pamir Plateau and prepare for a long-term battle.”

“Your Highness, shouldn’t we switch to an emergency exhibition system?”

“Once we switch to a war system due to border conflicts, others will laugh at us.”

“No matter what others say, we need to give the impression that we’re going all out. If you show signs of weakness, they will underestimate us. Let’s take this opportunity to show our strength to them.”

“China will shrink from the beginning of the war so just look forward to it. We’ll destroy all the mechanized units across the border.”

Youngho was confident as he was looking forward to the performance of the mountain battalion and the Tajik militia armed with Stinger missiles and portable rocket launchers.

This was because there would be only a few Chinese equipment that would withstand missiles and rockets fired from hidden covers. There were also three air defense battalions installed in the rear. Air defense artillery batteries provided by Russia and the U.S. were capable of disabling intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Youngho’s mind was getting busy as India’s cooperation was not promising anymore.

If Park Jong-il was here, he would have suggested a brilliant idea by now, but he was vacant as he left for the United Arab Emirates and Iran in secret.

So, Youngho called Cho Chul-hwan and Cha In-soo and was grilling them to come up with an idea. As the two hated to think deeply, they insisted that they should go to the battle site immediately.

“I thought you’d have a slightly decent idea but you two are unbelievable.”

“What are you talking about? We need to visit the site to brainstorm our ideas. They say the answer to all problems is always at the scene.”

“You are the chief of the Royal Guards. Don’t you have some idea after looking at the map?”

“You think Jong-il would have a better idea than us? He’s just the same type as we are. In fact, he’s more ignorant than us.”

“Okay, if you don’t come up with anything after visiting the site, you two would have to face China and prevent its forces coming at us.”

“Oh, that’s great to hear. I wish we can be at the frontline when the battle happens.”

***

The Pamir Plateau was suffering from a severe cold spell that it was even hard to breathe.

It was midday, but the temperature felt below minus 40 degrees Celsius.

Cho Chul-hwan and Cha In-soo were already exhausted from the weather as it was their first time at the Pamir Plateau.

“It is impossible to fight in this cold.”

Cho Chul-hwan, who just went outside of the light-armored vehicle for a while to pee, came back and spoke with an affirmation.

“Wouldn’t it be bearable if you’re in an armored vehicle?”

“You won’t last much eating and sleeping in a cramped vehicle. You can’t even dream of sleeping in a field-tent in this weather.”

“Given the maneuvers the Chinese side has been carrying out these days, it looks like they’re going to break into the border before this year ends…”

“If there is a military leader who wants to attack this place in the winter, he is a madman. You’re more likely to freeze to death than to be shot to death.”

“…”

It was hard to live even for those who had lived in the Pamir Plateau their whole life. In this severe cold, people could not take a few steps or even put their fingers on the trigger outside.

Cho Chul-hwan claimed that even if the Chinese forces crossed the border, they would retreat within two days.

Youngho, who was visiting the place for the second time, also felt that this was much colder than half a month ago. The weather in November was this bad, so December was going to be terrible.

If China had the intention to provoke Tajikistan, it would have done so already before winter came.

“It’s a war we have to win no matter what. Don’t be so impatient. Tell them to come if they want to come over. All our soldiers have to do is enjoy the fire at the camp while watching them retreat over the cold.”

Following Cho Chul-hwan, Cha In-soo was making a joke.

Judging from the weather in Pamir, the two were certain that there was nothing to worry about even if the Chinese forces crossed over the border.

“Let’s pay respect to the soldiers who are suffering in the cold and go back. Now that I’ve heard from you, I’m not worried anymore.”

“See? If they cross in this weather, our soldiers don’t have to put their best efforts. They can just pretend to fight the enemies. I don’t think it’s reasonable to station large-scale troops here. Why don’t we re-station some of our troops at the rear and greet the enemies with artillery fires?”

“Oh! That’s a good plan. We can leave a few scouts and attack groups here and take the rest to the rear and train them hard. Like you guys said, I think it’s right for us to get the soldiers ready for next spring.”

“I told you. The answer to the question is always on the spot.”

“All right, all right. I made a slip of the tongue. I’ll treat you a big drink when we get back to the palace.”

Youngho felt much more relaxed after making up his mind.

There was a Korean proverb, ‘an illness is fixed quickly if you spread the word, and a problem is resolved easily if many heads are gathered.’ After all, it was great that he brought two friends here.

“As far as the battle is concerned, ask us for advice.”

Youngho and his two friends’ faces became brighter as they left the Pamir Plateau in a light armored vehicle.

***

The number of Kurds’ enlistment had suddenly increased after the rumor that Kazakhstan was joining the border dispute between China and Tajikistan, which was its ally. The Kurds, who thought their new home—Kazakhstan—could be in danger, wanted to protect it.

Behind the scenes, they also thought that becoming soldiers was much better than working in a factory as a wage earner.

“Your Highness. I’m worried that all the young people will become soldiers.”

“Other countries have one or even two million soldiers, but we’re gaining only a few thousand more. Why are you making a fuss?”

“I wouldn’t care if there are more than a billion people in Kazakhstan like China and India. What if all the young men that should be in the workforce joined the army? Our population is only a little over 20 million.”

“They’ll only have to serve for two years. It’s also a great opportunity to learn a language for them so just look on the bright side, Commissioner. Please encourage people’s enlistment as much as possible for the time being. If not now, we might lose the opportunity to increase the number of soldiers.”

“What does that mean?”

“They’re all in a rush to join the army now, but in a year, the number of applicants will drop significantly. If your life is stable and comfortable, would they ever come close to serve in the military on their own where they’ll go through physical distress?”

“I suppose you’re right.”

“Even if Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan come into our arms, we don’t know if their people will join the military. This may be our last chance to increase our forces.”

“I guess I did not think that through.”

“Your concern is normal, Commissioner. It’s just that I’m very greedy.”

“What are you talking about? You always give what you have to the people of our nation.”

“You know, I’ve been greedy for land. After we accepted Kyrgyzstan, I now want Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to be our federal states. Because of that, our border is increasing and we have more areas to protect…”

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