The movements of Baron sparked the interests of one of the subgroups within the Vesper faction. This group actually had a bit of history with Baron, they were Ho Yang and Gou Shi. The two parties had met before during the Sun Alliance’s Great auction and that was where Baron, and more importantly Xu Da had humiliated the two of them to no end.

That stunt had not sat well with the elders of the Vesper faction and as a result, both of their standings within the faction were drastically diminished. Had they not had any high ranking people who vouched for them, they would have been outright thrown out of the faction due to the loss of face that they had to go through.

This time though, Gou Shi and Ho Yang were prepared for Baron and they thought that it would be in their best interest to teach Baron a lesson so that they could redeem themselves and prove their worth to their superiors. With a combined fleet of over 1,000 ships, they made their way to the southernmost tip of the Vesper faction’s territory that touched upon the lands that Baron was on and they made their intentions clear.

Baron, on the other hand, had a much larger fleet of about 2,000, but this did not put him in the advantage since all of his ships were rather outdated a bit more than his opponents’.

The reason for this is that all of the ships that belonged to Zi Bo and Zi Ji Ge were sent to Madam Zheng in order to prepare for the plan that was being finalized by the three leaders of the Forever Pirates. Baron knew that although this was his plan, he would have almost zero participation with it being that he just was not as reliable as Madam Zheng’s two husbands. Baron, Guan Yu, and Yue Fei might be able to tag along, but that should be the most that they could expect since this tournament meant everything to any and all naval strategists.

Even if they had the best of relationships, Madam Zheng knew how to separate business from personal feelings. For this entanglement with Gou Shi and Ho Yang, the three of them would have to try and repel it themselves. However, entering this part of the competition was mainly for gaining experience in naval warfare, so they weren’t too terribly afraid of losing. Though it would be quite embarrassing, to say the least, if they were steamrolled over by one of the lesser-known groups within the Vesper faction. So for that aspect, they had to do everything in their power to either win or if they stood no chance, to take down as many as they could.

They agreed to do battle on a little island on the northwestern part of Baron’s lands and Baron’s men were greeted with a lineup of over 1,000 fairly impressive ironclad warships. These warships were used in the late 1800s and were one of the first to use a metal hull instead of the traditional wooden ones. These ships were steam-powered and held weapons that were capable of firing explosive shells, the first of these ships were used by Napoleon.

In comparison, Baron had about 2,000 sloops of wars. These ships were only one generation behind the Ironclads but they were not anywhere near as dependable as the ironclads. This type of classification was actually pretty general and there were many different types each with specialized purposes that Baron and the other two could use with different strategies. Coincidentally, they had gotten all of these blueprints only a day or so between when they got these and when they met Gou Shi and Ho Yang during the Great auction.

No matter how anyone put it, the advantage in their respective fleets was miniscule, the difference in naval prowess would be the one to determine the outcome of this war. Baron, Guan Yu, and Yue Fei all knew that although this wasn’t a very worthy fight for high tier strategists, there would be many interested eyes trained on them, especially of what they did during the aerial part of the tournament. They had wanted to see if it was truly Meng Tian that led them to achieve great things, or if these three did indeed have some form of skill themselves.

It was fair to say that both sides would take grievous losses this time around. With the two superpowers just watching in the background, these two started their mini-battle. Baron had the home-field advantage, they were able to situate themselves upon an island and they prepared an extensive fortification line as best they could. They built some missiles, some machine guns, and a bunch of other weapons that they thought would be of use in defending this point. Baron knew that the three of them were no match for Gou Shi and Ho Yang in terms of skill. However, Gou Shi was the only naval strategists and Ho Yang was more of a fight in the front lines general so they weren’t completely hopeless.

Baron, Guan Yu, and Yue Fei were still complete newbies at naval warfare, though their experience in the other fields allowed them to not make any major mistakes, that would only last so long. Plus, if the enemy really decided to push them to an extreme, they weren’t exactly confident in repelling this group. That being said, they weren’t completely useless in the water. All they had to do was make the battle flow to their speed and plan their fights accordingly.

On Gou Shi’s side, he would be the commanding general in trying to take some of Baron’s land. Ho Yang would be fighting in the front lines, and with her exceptional skills, would prove to be quite the challenge to take down unless another strategist was sent to take her down. Or, she had to be cornered so masterfully that there was no way to get her out.


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