Tyranny of Steel - Chapter 867
Emperor Asha gazed upon the letter in his hand, which was written by the Japanese Empress herself. As he read its contents, a slight shiver made its way down his spine. The following words were written by Itami as a means to condemn the Bengal Army, and ensure that they fell back in line as a proper puppet.
"Dear Emperor Asha Sarkar,
I have learned that you have only recently began your conquest of Ava. The reason behind your delay is that your army spends more time looting and raping than it does fighting. I am most disappointed by your leadership; perhaps I have chosen the wrong state to support in India.
I am certain your neighbours would be most interested in the weapons I sold you. Correct your ways, accept the advice of my officers, and do not disappoint me again. Your Empire will not survive the consequences of doing so.
Empress Itami Riyo"
While Asha may not be aware of the current difficulties that the Imperial Japanese Army was suffering through, he knew enough about their capabilities to know that if he truly enraged the young Empress, then his own army would not stand a chance.
The Bengal Emperor was also keenly aware that, without Japanese military support, he would not be able to fulfill his conquests. Nor keep the lands he had already seized. Perhaps worst of all, he had enraged the woman he sought to take as a bride.
Thus, with a heavy sigh, Asha accepted his fate. Though he would not free the prizes that he and his army had taken during their campaign. He would make sure that his troops were focused on what truly mattered.
Thus, after careful consideration, the man summoned his officers, as well as the military advisors that Japan had provided him with. Once they were all within his grand war tent, Asha began to speak of his newest orders.
"As of right now, any and all looting, slavery, and rape are strictly forbidden. Any man caught engaging in such activities will be summarily executed. Our men may keep what they have already claimed for themselves, but we have a war to focus on. I want our conquest of the Kingdom of Ava to be completed within the month, so that we may focus on our larger ambitions!"
The Japanese attaché was relieved to hear that Asha had begun to take things seriously, so much so that they let out a deep exhale. As for the Emperor's personal military officers, they were rather upset by this news and immediately began to protest.
"You are saying that you will be denying our soldiers their rightful spoils of war? This is simply unacceptable. Our men fight hard for your glory, and yet you refuse to allow them to take their share of wealth? Do you intend to keep them all for yourself!?!"
This insinuation deeply enraged the Bengal Emperor, who slammed his hand upon his table, and cursed out the General who had dared to accuse him of selfishness.
"You are relieved of your position! As is anyone else who dares to question my orders. Regardless of whether you agree or not, these are your commands, and you will follow them, or I will find men who will! If you dare sow dissent among my troops, I will have you shot!"
The Bengal General was absolutely horrified by what had just happened. He had lost his position in the army as a mighty General, who knows what he would be demoted to now. As for the others, they refused to speak up on his behalf, in fear that they too would lose the wealth and glory of being a general.
With these orders, the Bengal Army was forced to conduct itself in a better light, as well as readjust their priorities. Without the overwhelming number of slaves to slow them down, the Bengal Army would be quick to advance through the rest of Burma, before turning west toward their true goal.
While Asha and the Bengal Army concluded their conquest of Burma, a council of Indian Kings met together within the borders of the Pandya Dynasty in the south of the Indian subcontinent. The only Indian Kingdom that was not represented in this meeting was the Bengal Empire, and that was because their aggressive expansion was the topic of discussion.
Emperor Chandra Tomara sat in the chamber where the meeting was taking place with a scowl on his face. Why was he in such a poor mood? Because all the other Indian Kings were far wealthier than he was. There was one reason for this: trade with the Reich.
While Germany had long since dominated the trade within the Mediterranean, it was not until the opening of the Kaiser's pass where commerce with the rest of Asia could be easily established. Nearly three years ago, the Kaiser's pass opened up, and the Indian subcontinent was welcomed to the luxuries of Germany.
The trade routes with Germany had made all of these Kings exceptionally wealthy. All except one. After usurping the title of Emperor from his nephew, and forcing the boy and his sister to flee for his life. Chandra thought that he would be able to live out the rest of his days basking in what little wealth his family's Empire still had.
Instead, his nephew and niece had fled to the Reich, where it was discovered that Chandra had been poisoning the young girl. In response to this, Germany had enacted strict economic sanctions against the Anangpur Empire.
At first, this was not too big of a deal because there was limited trade with the Reich. However, once the Kaiser's pass had opened up, all sorts of luxurious goods made their way to the Indian subcontinent, yet because of his poor relationship with Germany, nobody was willing to trade them to him.
Thus, when compared to the rest of the Indian Kings within the chamber, Chandra appeared as if he were a beggar. As a man who wanted nothing more than to flaunt his wealth and power, this was the ultimate insult. He was still mulling over this loss when he heard something interesting be reported by the Pandya King.
"Recently, the merchants of the Reich have begun selling a rather peculiar article in my realm. These so-called newspapers shed some rather horrifying light on how the Bengal Army is conducting their war in the east."
After saying this, the man pulled out multiple newspapers which were written in Sanskrit. They contained images of multiple atrocities being committed by Emperor Asha's troops. The Pandya King then passed them around to his peers, who all read the contents in silence.
The black and white photos in the papers surprised most of them. Some even confused them for rather poor paintings. It was not until the Pandya King cleared up the confusion did the various Indian Monarchs realize the extent of the issue.
"These are called photographs. It is some new technology the Germans have invented that allows them to capture an instant in time. What you are looking at is not some artists' interpretation of the events that have unfolded in the east, but the actual scene of Asha's crimes as they occurred.
If this is how the Bengal Army treats their neighbors in the east. Then how will our people fare, when he marches his troops on the west? Make no mistake, Emperor Asha seeks to conquer the all of our realms. Which means all of us are at risk of this happening to our people.
My suggestion is simple. A defensive alliance between all our kingdoms. If one of us is attacked, then we are all attacked. At the very least, the sight of our unity against foreign aggression will be enough to send Asha a message, that if he wishes to conquer all of our lands. He will have to fight us all at once."
It took the Indian Kings a few moments to properly comprehend the newspapers, but once the reality set in, they were all quick to join this defensive alliance. All but one. Emperor Chandra scoffed as he heard this so-called notion of unity before pointing out the hypocrisy of it all.
"So, when one of our neighbors poses a threat to one of you, you all decide to label him a foreigner and seek to come together against his aggression. However, when my Empire is sanctioned by a foreign power in the far west, none of you come to our aid? You can take your defensive alliance and shove it up your asses. The Anangpur Empire has no need of your war!"
After saying this, Chandra Tomara stormed out of the room where the meeting was being held, and in doing so, had made the greatest mistake of his life. He was now all alone, with no allies to speak of. While it was true that he may need to worry about the Bengal Army, there was a far more ravenous wolf that had already set its sights upon him, and that wolf was Germany.
Thus, two things occurred within the Indian subcontinent on this day. The Anangpur Empire, in an act of spite, had enacted a policy of isolation. While the rest of the Indian Kingdoms formed a defensive alliance. Both of which benefited Berengar and his ambitions for the region more than anyone else.