Madam Zheng’s personal ships were hitting their enemies with everything that they had, and hitting the Vesper ships 99 times out of a hundred. Meanwhile, Zheng Zhi Long and Zheng Jing were following the ships that had left just a few minutes prior to them. The interesting thing was, all of the ships that were fighting on the frontlines before, elite guards and everything, were not doing as much damage as Madam Zheng’s fleet was doing from a distance.
This only added to her superiority in the waters. After she had gauged that enough time had passed, she had her forces leisurely pull back. It was the middle of the night once all of the elders and the inner circle were gathered to discuss the plan for the following day.
(ZZL) “First? Second? When did you two come back?” Zheng Zhi Long asked with a derpy voice.
(H1) “We came back a while ago. Who do you think was defending the main force while all of you were attacking the enemy?” The First quickly answered in hopes of ending the conversation then.
(MZ) “Enough, let us begin the plan for tomorrow. We have been pushed back quite far as most of you should know or realize by now. They are deep into our territory and I am betting that this is nothing more than a distraction from a land grab. Going by the way they operate, they will be able to take huge swaths of our land if we are not careful, especially if they have that mysterious lady with them.” Madam Zheng announced.
(H2) “How do you plan on going about this if this is what the Vesper’s are really going after?”
(H1) “Do you really need to ask? We will just send a suitable amount of forces to stall them long enough that we will be able to take back the land if they do manage to run over our soldiers. Your naval prowess may be great, Second, but you are still lacking in some crucial areas.”
(MZ) “Now, now, no need to be like that, you two. We will do as you have said but with a twist this time. We will lure some of their most important figures into taking over the island and use that to then trap them inside while we slowly whittle down their numbers, after that, it is only a matter of hunting them down.”
(ZJ) “How do you plan on luring them there?”
(MZ) “Easy, spread a rumor of one of our islands being full of weapons while we have sent out nearly all of those forces to help us in this current battle.”
(ZJ) “As much as I despise the Vesper’s they will see through this and won’t even bother showing up.”
(MZ) “That is where the second part begins! We will concentrate all of our forces from our outer regions and have them assist us here. Then, the Vesper’s will naturally try something with the bait that we have set. There is no guarantee that we will be able to ensnare them in our trap, but it’s worth a shot. Alright, I’ll give you all your assignments tomorrow.”
The team dispersed and went about their separate ways. Some to think about what formations they would want to use tomorrow, some to discuss the contents of the meeting that they had, and some just left to go straight to the map of the area to study it once more. Nighttime turned to daytime and the battle once again raged on with a whole new level of ferocity, Zheng He’s carriers and fighters proved to be a much more powerful threat when they were grouped together. Vesper was now using another a different position that would allow him to get more down today than he had the previous day. It didn’t matter to Madam Zheng as she just kept the old formation and went in with high expectations.
By midday, there were many ships that were sunk, but not enough for either side to think that they wouldn’t be able to recover from. So, the battle continued to be fought with neither side giving ground to the other. On the morning of the third day, Zheng He’s group was already being attacked by ships from all around the region to attack him.
These ships were by no means able to do any real damage to his prized collection, but they were quite effective in ambushing the Vesper’s, typical for a pirate. Madam Zheng had long ago started the first part of the plan to trap elders on an island, and now, the second part was coming into place nicely. She ordered the elders to once again punch a hole through the iron defense of the Vesper’s second line.
Unfortunately, this continued on for another few days with neither side being able to push each other back significantly. This would ultimately change as the Vesper’s tactic changed from being slightly offensive to extremely offensive. For the strategists on planet 4, the first few days were used to probe out their enemies, if not to outright destroy them due to the difference in strength. Upon seeing this, Madam Zheng and the rest of the pirates did their best to hold the lines for as long as they could.
Facing the Vesper faction was not an easy task to accomplish for even Madam Zheng, as such, she ordered for all her forces to retreat a few kilometers backward and set up a defensive perimeter all during the night. Dawn came and the Vesper's approached the defensive line, but interestingly enough did not go past it to engage in more warfare with the Forever Pirates for the entire rest of the day.
Madam Zheng got news late into the night that many of the islands that were close to the borders with the Vesper’s had been taken over. This did not surprise her as this was exactly what she had wanted Zheng He’s reaction to be.