Chapter 555 – Epilogueception (9) (300 Years East-West War Part 4)
= Decline of Roman =
After returning to Constantinople, Severus, Hannibal, and his elite generals squared against Sun Quan Navy’s relentless attacks.
For a hundred years, Sun Quan and Severus continued to fight in a tug of war. Sun Quan almost cornered Severus countless times, but Hannibal seemed to have an answer to their ploys every now and then. Every time Hannibal moved, Sun Quan had to withdraw his army back two steps.
Gan Ning also made his appearance in a navy seal style. However, he failed to crack Constantinople’s defense as he couldn’t hide his presence like Zhang He. Anicius Faustus found him with his immortal sight and intercepted all Gan Ning’s water raid attempts.
In the end, Sun Quan and Wu Han Army retreated to recuperate in Antioch, modern-day Antakya City, Turkey.
But that didn’t discourage Sun Quan as Wei Han, Xu Huang, and Sun Shangxiang had already half-destroyed the great empire. Once Severus died, the Roman would end.
Prisoners of war, roman soldiers, women, children, and elders were brought back to China by Pu Jing’s order. This former premiere aimed to cripple Roman’s economy and growth for good as continued to drag on the war to wither Hannibal’s forces.
Guo Jia, the policymaker of this war, sent a request to Sun Quan that they should stop attacking Severus for now as Shu Han came up with an interesting scheme.
All of a sudden, the Sassanid Empire turned on the Roman. They deployed their forces and attacked Constantinople and Roman cities in this area.
For once, Sun Quan sat back and enjoyed the show. Both sides killed each other without realizing that it was Fa Zhang’s ingenious plan.
Yet, a year later, they signed a peace treaty and turned on Tong’s Han Dynasty again.
But that was enough time for Sun Quan to lick his wound and reform his armies. As soon as Sun Shangxiang’s detached units regrouped with them, Sun Quan marched out to fight Severus once more.
Zhang Liao also joined them. However, as a defense master, he fortified Antioch for Sun Quan to protect their campaign headquarters.
Lu Xun sent requests to Wei Han and Xu Huang, asking for reinforcement. Unfortunately, these units had a rough time trying to pacify the local population. After all, western culture was not the same as the Han. Cao Mengde and Xu Huang regrettably declined as they couldn’t help it. Shu Han also had to defend India, in case Sassanid suddenly attacked West China.
Still, with Zhang Liao’s assistance, Wu Han Army’s morale soared. Sun Quan pressed against Severus again.
This time, Sun Quan moved toward Konya Province. Instead of occupying advantage points or high ground, he emphasized on fortifications and draining Severus’ resources.
Konya Province geography was a strategic location as the terrain was mostly forest during this ancient era (Currently a half-desert in modern time due to deforestation in the 20th-century.). The landmark, Karapinar Volcano Field, was also nearby.
Lu Xun also copied Zhuge Liang’s stratagem in his fight against the Sassanid Empire. He started using WW-I tactic – digging trenches and barricading them with barbed wires. Combining with the forest in this area, attacking forces would be vulnerable to ambushes.
Since they had infinite provision and ammo, they didn’t care if they would be isolated in the middle of the Karapınar Forest. Sun Quan might not be able to push back Hannibal, but the latter couldn’t drive away from the former from Konya Province either.
Hannibal proposed that they should burn the forest to drive Sun Quan out, but Severus disapproved of the idea right away. Severus believed that destroying forests would harm their natural resources – food and lumber.
The prolonged war dragged on as Sun Quan kept hiding in the natural fortress.
Severus got impatient after Sun Quan didn’t move for 10 years. He dispatched Anicius Faustus to reclaim Europe from Wei Han Army.
Still, Hannibal and Severus stayed behind to protect Constantinople from Sun Quan.
When Cao Mengde and Jia Xu found out that Anicius Faustus led an army for them, they retreated west, heading toward Spain. However, they didn’t withdraw normally as Pu Jing employed the scorch earth tactic, burning cities, crops, and food storages and they ran away.
Pu Jing didn’t forget to use Cheng Yu’s tactic – tampering with the water source and spreading diseases to the local people.
Anicius Faustus was enraged. He pursued Wei Han Army despite having limited food supply.
Cao Mengde stopped periodically to draw Faustus deeper. Eventually, Faustus Army reached Gallia Narbonensis, aka modern Toulouse Prefecture.
At that point, Faustus ran low on provision as he couldn’t replenish them via the local channel. Furthermore, when he reclaimed most of Roman Cities, he had to distribute some food to the remaining sick population.
This good deed action harmed his army. He was not ruthless enough to carry the responsibility of cruel warfare.
Soon, Cao Mengde and Pu Jing Army changed course and left the European continent via sea route. They didn’t dare to touch Sun Shangxiang’s former territories in southwest France and Spain, which idolized her as their goddess.
Still, Cao Mengde sent messages to Sun Shangxiang and asked her for a favor. Guo Jia also requested her aid in Spain region.
Sun Shangxiang returned to Caesaraugusta, aka Zaragoza. She appeared in public and announced that Faustus Army was carrying diseases toward them, and they were here to plunder their food.
The Romans were skeptical at first as they knew that Wei Han and Faustus were at war, and Sun Shangxiang was Wei Han’s ally.
But when Faustus traveled to Zaragoza Prefecture and forced the local people to hand over their food, all townspeople recalled Sun Shangxiang’s warning. Within a month, over 10,000 roman citizens revolted.
The anarchic incident got worse when Faustus’ soldiers spread their cursed diseases to the local population. The legate of Caesaraugusta allied himself with the Gothic refugees, a small mercenary force, and established Visigoths, the same name as the Visigoths of Alaric in history.
Although history changed a lot because of immortality and East-West War, Alaric got back into power as he was the current captain of Gothic Thervingi Mercenary. His people selected him, who had 8 demon wings and the memory of his counterpart in the other world, as their king once more.
All roman cities with Sun Shangxiang religion switched sides to Alaric, and the new empire, the Visigoths, emerged once as in history. Alaric, the new king, declared war against the Roman Empire and announced that they would be the Han Dynasty’s ally.
This sudden development shocked Faustus and even Sun Shangxiang, who was used by Guo Jia. She returned home and scolded Guo Jia in Ye for a whole day.
When the news reached Cao Mengde and Jia Xu, they almost died laughing as this incident was not a part of their plan. In reality, it was Guo Jia’s machination as usual since he had been watching everything and learned all otherworld history from Diaochan.
Faustus suffered a humiliating defeat because of the famine and epidemic, but he managed to deal a critical blow on Alaric. The new king suffered from soul injuries and had to recuperate for years to come.
Faustus retreated with a few thousand men to Constantinople later, but he returned home too late.
By the time he arrived, he found that Gan Ning, the navy commander of Wu Han, had bombarded the great city with cannon artilleries from countless frigates.
The great city wall was tattered with traces of cannonballs and explosives, and the gate was destroyed.
When Faustus was away, Lu Bu ransacked the great city and killed Severus. However, Lu Bu also died in the rampage. As for Hannibal, he disappeared.
Fortunately, the city had not fallen yet as Sun Quan didn’t send his soldiers into the city. Faustus reorganized the civilians and the surviving troops and prepared to have a peace talk with Wu Han Army.
No more major war occurred afterward as Roman senators began to tear each other for the throne. With immortal life, no one satisfied with being a lowly servant.
All of Tong’s troops returned to China’s homeland. What happened from that point was left to the local population to fight it out. Although Zhuge Liang, Guo Jia, Jia Xu, and Xun Yu messed with the internal affair of the Romans, no general cared to continue the war anymore.
= Tong and Hannibal =
“Do you mind if I play in your universe?”
That was a mysterious voice message that Tong heard in his head after Pu Jing swore allegiance to him. It was many years before Severus even prepared his forces to invade Han Dynasty.
“Who are you? What do you want?”
“I’m a peer of your creator. I have a proposal for you.”
“… Don’t you want to introduce yourself first?”
“You can call me [Player One]. I’m just a tourist who wants to experience life in your universe. Unfortunately, I need your permission, who is the current administrator of this dimension.”
“Oh? Then, what is it that you want, and what is your offer?”
“As I stated before, I want to play a game in your universe. I’ll be reincarnated as someone with the same name in the west, and I’ll enjoy my life there.”
“Tell me what you’ll be giving me, and I’ll decide. I don’t trust strangers, so my game will be pricy.”
“Fifty billion years of lifespan, a million barrels of purified 20-wing entity’s holy water for karmic river cleansing, and the news from your home universe. Aren’t you curious why you aren’t summoned back home?”
“You seem to know a lot. Do I know you?”
“You’ve already learned about what I did in a history book, you see. My name is Hannibal Barca. I’m also an administrator from another universe.”
After the conversation, a few decades later, Hannibal Barca appeared in this world despite the timeline error.
Hannibal forbade Tong from using system authority or his relatives to directly harm Hannibal and his allies, but Tong could bestow a few support skills to his subordinates if he needed to. Tong also couldn’t participate in the upcoming war either since his power was cheating, and Hannibal found it boring to fight a cheater.
Hannibal promised that he wouldn’t use his 16-wing power and his otherworldly knowledge against Tong, but he would fight using the local weaponry and the technologies that had already existed or developed in Tong’s world.
The game began with Tong’s universe as a gaming server host for the first time. Hannibal became the [Player 1] and enjoyed the East-West War thoroughly.
The war changed Tong’s perspective of native people, souls, and the nature of this universe. Aside from his wives and his subordinates, he distanced himself from the local population.
Millions of souls circulated through the river of karma as Tong maintained its stability in secret. He found out that the more people died, the more stable the river became.
He felt nothing when Zhang He and his men died. Tong felt like they were NPC game characters, who would respawn at some point.
Still, the policeman-self pulled him back from the apathy syndrome. He took the hobbies of impregnating his favorite wives and collecting cursed children in Lilim’s dimension to maintain his sanity. He even released Liu Ping out of misery, but he forgot to sever the karma.
The East-West War ended after Lu Bu killed Severus. Hannibal visited Tong personally and revealed his 16 black feather wings, which was the opposite of what Sun Shangxiang had.
Hannibal gave Tong what he had promised and commented that Tong’s support system skills were interesting, and he would create them in his universe. He complained, though, that the Romans in this age lacked talented generals, good strategists, and hot weapons. Or else, he could have defeated Tong’s minions.
Hannibal [logged out] from this universe, but he returned in his true form a few hundred years later.
This time, Hannibal came to give the festival invitation to Tong and his subordinates.
As Tong had enlightened from the recent war and the truth of the universes from Hannibal, Tong denied his subordinates’ entry and sent everyone to Zhang Jiao’s dimension so that they wouldn’t lose their sanity and humanity mindset like him.
He went to the [Higher Dimension] with his trusted family members.
Unfortunately, the creator challenged Medusa and got Tong involved in their affair.
Tong wanted to breakthrough during the fight, but the karma knots he had with Ping hindered his growth. Even after Tong severed the ties with his retainers and immortal subordinates, he couldn’t get his 11th wing.
In the end, Tong suicide-bombed the creator. He even saw Liu Ping’s smirking face before his consciousness faded away.
When he reincarnated as Xian Tong, he was a bit upset that resting in the karmic river was more peaceful than struggling in the world of the living.
Hannibal even visited Tong when he was still a baby. He came here under Medusa’s supervision.
Hannibal invited Tong to play in the future festival when he grew up. He wanted to challenge Tong in another war game again, but he would bring his top generals and strategists to fight against Tong’s best officers.
Tong refused at first, but he eventually snuck out when Medusa and others went to another festival. As Xian Tong, he ended up evolving into another dragon among the higher dimension by training in Hannibal’s game universe.
The two became friends without anyone realizing it. When Tong migrated his former retainers and his wives to the [Old Heaven], aka Morning Star and the creator’s old universe, he took the role as an admin once more.
He stayed out of the festival and enjoyed his freestyle “Sim Universe” afterward. Medusa dumped him along the way, which depressed him for a millennium.
But he returned to a new conflict once more when he discovered Morning Star in a new reincarnated body and Lilith’s little game. Surprisingly, he found Medusa and Hannibal at the new festival.
Tong found out that Lilith had brought up the reincarnation of Morning Star as her representative. Meanwhile, Medusa allied with the reincarnation of the creator. As for Hannibal, he brought his best officers as promised. The latter even challenged Tong for an all-out war between universes.
Xian Tong and Hannibal’s brought their elite generals and strategists soldiers into another war. Amid their conflict, another war between Lilith and the reincarnated creator took place while a new actor, the reincarnation of Lucifer, emerged as the new rising star.
“Wanna play a game?”
*Nom-Nom Mew!* (I’m hungry! Get me food, banana Mia!)
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