Chapter 208 A shocking battle (3)
Translated by Gamer
The Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry rushed toward the walls of Wan Cheng as they needed half a day to reach it. They looked at Sun Ce’s banner that was placed on one of the remains of the battle between Sun Ce’s Army and Lu Bu’s Army a few days ago. The walls were strangely quiet. Although it was dawn, Sun Ce’s Army could not be so lax. There should at least be a few patrols.
“Zhang Fan. Advance to the front.” Lu Bu frowned. What tricks would Sun Ce try to play now? What was Han Yang trying to say?
“Yes!” Zhang Fan cupped his fist, then he took the horse to the city moat. This distance was the safest as the arrows could not reach here. Even if an arrow managed to reach here, Zhang Fan could shoot it down.
Zhang Fan took a deep breath and shouted. “Sun Ce’s Army! Listen here! You guys are frauds and disgrace to martial arts! I am back to send that little boy Sun Ce to death!”
Zhang Fan was more proficient in the art of challenging others. If Zhang Liao was here, that job belongs to Zhang Liao. Otherwise, it belongs to Zhang Fan.
Zhang Fan’s voice was extremely loud and could be heard on the walls of the city. As it was early in the morning, his voice was loud and clear.
“N?” Zhang Fan could not see any movements and shouted again but there was still no response. As soon as Zhang Fan wanted to shout a third time, he heard a piercing sound. That was the sound of an arrow. The destination of the arrow was Zhang Fan. However, Zhang Fan did not move as he judged that the arrow did not have enough strength. Before it could reach Zhang Fan, it fell to the ground.
“An arrow?” Lu Bu also saw the arrow and saw the person shooting the arrow. It seems that Sun Ce is still in the city! Han Yang’s words were empty. Lu Bu shook his head. Half the reason he decided to come here was because of Liu Mang’s words. The other reason was because he wanted to chat with Sun Ce once. Honestly, Lu Bu kind of admired and appreciated Sun Ce. He was unexpectedly invited to the wedding and even almost considered him a nephew. Lu Bu even boasted about Sun Ce’s dead father, Sun Jian.
If it was not because Sun Ce wanted to make use of him. If it was not because Chen Rui tried to avenge himself and was aggressive, this day may not happen.
Perhaps Lu Bu may have left Wan Cheng and reached Hanzhong and besiege Zhang Lu. Together with Chen Gong and Liu Mang’s strategems, they may even ally themselves with Sun Ce.
Now that future was destroyed. Not only did Lu Bu obtain Huang Zhong but because of Chen Rui, they ended up capturing Wan Cheng. This was Sun Ce’s reason to fight with Lu Bu.
Zhang Fan raised the arrow up.
“What! Is there no people inside the Sun Ce’s Army? Did you send a weakling to shoot an arrow as a joke? Is the Little Sun Ce afraid? When the city is captured, it would be day that you die!” Talking big to scare off others is something veterans are experts in.
Although Zhang Fan was not as strong as his brother Zhang Liao, he was still quite strong.
Lu Bu only came out because of Liu Mang’s words. He made Zhang Fan a distraction and made him boast to annoy the Sun Ce’s Army. Also, the Wolf Cavalry was not afraid of Sun Ce.
Unfortunately, Zhang Fan’s efforts were in vain. He only received 1 arrow as a response but everyone else seemed to ignore him.
“It is too quiet!” The city is too quiet. During times of war, even a normal city would be vigilant and it would not be so quiet. Now Wan Cheng really was too quiet and could only have 2 possibilities. The first was that there was really no one in the city. The second possibility is that this is a trap.
Lu Bu became indecisive and was not sure what to do. Fortunately, Liu Kai spoke up. “Milord, Kai has a way!” The one who was most knowledgeable of Wan Cheng is Liu Kai. He even had a part in the construction of Wan Cheng. He told Lu Bu that there was a small hill near Wan Cheng city. It would be able to see the defenses of Wan Cheng from that small hill.
“There is such a place?” Lu Bu did not expect Liu Kai, who he thought was just a flatterer, was able to provide such a place. “Quickly take me there!” Lu Bu quickly pulled Liu Kai and told him to lead the way.
The two men, accompanied by the cavalry reached the small hill. Standing on the hillside, Lu Bu could not only see the inner city of Wan Cheng but also see the walls on the other side of the city.
Lu Bu could see Sun Ce’s banner but could not see any soldiers. Capturing the city would be effortless and was very tempting.
“An ambush?!” Lu Bu thought of the possibility but decided it was unlikely. Even if Sun Ce wanted to set up an ambush, it is unlikely for him to give away the benefits of the city walls. For example, Liu Mang, who defended the city and tried his best to prevent the enemy from fighting inside until he even locked himself inside to wait for the enemy.
“Could it be?” Lu Bu remembered Liu Mang’s words ‘Wan Cheng is not lost. Wan Cheng still belongs to us!’
Could it be that Sun Ce withdrew his troops? Lu Bu thought hard and could not understand. In the end, he stopped thinking. Since the city is empty, nobody could blame him. Lu Bu and Liu Kai issued an order to the Wolf Cavalry. “All units! Siege!”
“Besiege the city?” Zhang Fan was confused. How did it become like this! Zhang Fan still has not managed to obtain a response from Sun Ce’s Army. Zhang Fan thought that the Sun Ce’s Army was trying to stay silent and wanted to report it to Lu Bu. However, Lu Bu and Liu Kai left so Zhang Fan could only wait for them to return. The moment they return, Lu Bu gave the order to siege. Cavalry siege? Is this a joke? The Wolf Cavalry were not ordinary soldiers. Ordinary soldiers can die while sieging. They were expandable. The Wolf Cavalry on the other hand were filled with elites.
“When you enter Wan Cheng, you will understand my orders!” Lu Bu did not bother explaining to Zhang Fan as he did not think Zhang Fan would believe him.
“Yes!” Zhang Fan was puzzled but he still followed orders and began the preparations. Although he was not able to prepare siege towers, he was still able to prepare siege ladders. However, Lu Bu was impatient.
“Zhang Fan, what are you doing?” Lu Bu asked as he watched Zhang Fan command the Wolf Cavalry to dismount. Wan Cheng City already went through a battle. As Liu Mang had already chopped off all the nearby trees to prevent Sun Ce from using it, and forced Sun Ce to collect materials from a distant location. Zhang Fan is now trying to do the same thing.
“Don’t need to trouble yourself so much.” Lu Bu shook his head. “Use those wooden pillars over there to make the ladders.”
“Those wooden pillars? How many siege ladders can we make? 5? 10? What is the use with so little ladders?”
“Not everyone will go!” Lu Bu did it this way as a precaution. In the event that there is an ambush, he could minimize the casualties. If a large part of the army was the Wolf Cavalry, even Sun Ce would not be able to control the situation.
When the ladder was completed, Lu Bu wanted to climb it but Zhang Fan was not willing so in the end Lu Bu had to let Zhang Fan climb first.
When Zhang Fan climbed the ladder, he found 4 enemies. They had broken arms and legs and were in their teens. These were all the enemies in Wan Cheng.
“What is this?” Zhang Fan was suspicious. He waved for the soldiers to tie up these 4 and they were soon captured.
Zhang Fan was surprised at the information obtained by these 4 soldiers. Apparently, Sun Ce has already left the city at night and they haven’t returned. The only ones remaining were these 4 crippled soldiers.
Sun Ce is not in Wan Cheng? Zhang Fan felt like he is being cheated. Perhaps Sun Ce is waiting to strike the Wolf Cavalry from elsewhere while trapping them in Wan Cheng.
“Let’s see if Sun Ce really has the ability to trap the Wolf Cavalry in Wan Cheng.”
It is true that the cavalry is much weaker in the city. However, Sun Ce only has about 5,000 troops remaining. Even if they were elites, the Wolf Cavalry would not fear them. Besides that, Lu Bu is on their side.
“Milord!” Zhang Fan saw Lu Bu climb up. He quickly ordered the soldiers to lower the suspension bridge so that the other Wolf Cavalry troops could join them.
If Sun Ce did not lay any traps, why would he just give away Wan Cheng? Wan Cheng was the most important city in Lujiang. To capture Wan Cheng is like capturing half of Lujiang. Besides that, if Sun Ce had seized the supplies in the city, the Lu Bu’s Army would starve.
“I cannot explain this to you as well. It is best if you ask Han Yang!” Lu Bu was also confused. The only one that was happy is Liu Kai. No matter what actually happened, the most important thing is that he obtained his wealth back.
Half a day later, Liu Mang also arrived at Wan Cheng. The reason that he could arrive so early is because Liu Mang ordered Cheng Yu to march to Wan Cheng as soon as he woke up. He was afraid that his Father-in-law would give up the opportunity to recapture Wan Cheng.
Although the government office is destroyed, it could still be used. After a bit of cleaning, Liu Mang was placed in the courtyard with Lu Bu beside him. Looking at Liu Mang was Zhang Fan. Until Liu Mang gave a proper explanation, he could forget about resting. This is because everything was too mystical! Sun Ce’s stratagems has caused him over 100,000 soldiers and the loss of the Yuzhou cavalry to finally obtain Wan Cheng City. However, he gave away the city in the same night without plundering the city or burning the provisions. What happened here? Lu Bu was very confused. Did Sun Ce suddenly realized his conscience and decide to give back the city? Then there is Liu Mang’s oracle capabilities. Liu Mang who gave Lu Bu so many surprises could actually be a prophet.
Liu Mang looked at the two burly fellows and shivered. “Father-in-law. The recapture of Wan Cheng was not my credit and is not because I am a prophet. The meritorious deed goes to one person!” Liu Mang tirelessly said.
“There are other people?!” Lu Bu thought it was strange. There were actually people who could move Sun Ce? Is it her? Lu Bu’s thoughts moved towards the woman named He Yu. However, He Yu was currently in the Lu Bu’s Army. Also, this Sun Ce does not look like a person who was easily moved by women.
“Father-in-law, this person is a general under your command! You not only need to reward him but you also need to grant his brother Su Fei a proper burial. You must also give Su Fei a posthumous title at minimum! That way you can ease his heart!”
“Su Fei’s brother?” Lu Bu was not stupid and understood what Liu Mang said. “Han Yang. Are you saying!”
Only Zhang Fan did not understand what these two were saying.
“Yes. It is Gan Ning Gan Xing Ba!” Liu Mang nodded and said the general’s name. There was a dragon named Gan Xing Ba in the water. “Gan Ning and I agreed that the city would be captured on the fifth day. He will take our naval army and attack Wan Cheng’s naval main camp.”
“Attacking Wan Cheng’s naval camp? Is he crazy!?” Zhang Fan spoke up before Lu Bu could say anything. Zhang Fan does not know about the situation at the water camp. The Jiangdong Army’s strongest force was their navy. They were tyrants on the Yangtze River. Even the other overlord’s navy, the Jingzhou Army, had to retreat. Sun Ce have brought more than 10,000 navy soldiers with him when he attacked Wan Cheng. Together with the other soldiers, there is an additional 8,000 soldiers. Lu Bu’s navy did not even reach 10,000 soldiers even after sending out everyone. Not being eliminated is already good but now they even dared to provoke the enemy. Isn’t this just destroying themselves to divert attention?
“General Zhang Fan, don’t be so agitated. After all, Xing Ba won!” Liu Mang shook his head and said.
“He won?!” Zhang Fan’s mouth dropped. Lu Bu also did not know what to say! Although he did not know much about naval battles, he knew that the Jiangdong’s navy on the water was like the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry on the land. One was a water dragon and the other was a fierce tiger. (TN: Why would you compare a dragon and a tiger?)
Now Liu Mang has told him that the water dragon was slaughtered at the river. At the naval camp, the dragon’s own home. Also, the one that slaughtered the dragon was his own general. How could Lu Bu not be shocked? It is like someone told Lu Bu that his Wolf Cavalry was completely defeated by some unknown cavalry that also had less soldiers than the Wolf Cavalry!
“It was certainly a victory!” If they did not win, Sun Ce would not have left. The Navy was destroyed and the escape route is blocked. Sun Ce also only had 5,000 soldiers. That is why he had to leave at night.
“Useless! Useless! All of them are useless!” A single force was running in the wilderness. They were not marching quickly but running. They were Sun Ce and his army of 5,000. Was capturing Wan Cheng easy? He brought 100,000 soldiers with him and in the end, he was blocked and defeated by 10,000 of Lu Bu’s soldiers. He has loss tens of thousands of soldiers and even the 10,000 Danyang soldiers. Since he wanted to win Wan Cheng and counter Lu Bu’s Wolf Cavalry, he decided to gamble.
He won his gamble and captured Wan Cheng. However, the price paid was too large. He has loss his 5,000 Yuzhou Cavalry. The Yuzhou Cavalry was a treasure of the Jiangdong Army that took several years or decades to build but they were completely annihilated. Even Zhang Kai was slain! Then again, even If Zhang Kai did not die, Sun Ce planned to kill him.
After much difficulty, he captured Wan Cheng and was ready to fight back. He wanted to send letters to Jiangdong and summon the main army to get rid of Lu Bu. Unfortunately, he received bad news. His navy. His Jiangdong Navy. The Jiangdong navy was completely annihilated! It was more than 10,000 elite navy! There were like his direct descendants! Sun Ce has relied on them to fight the Jiangxia navy. Besides that, there were also another 20,000 ordinary navy soldiers. The total was 30,000 soldiers, under the leadership of Jiang Qin and Lu Su, and they were confronting the runaway Gan Ning. The result was his entire navy being routed. There were over 10,000 casualties and over 10,000 were captured. There were only a few hundred that escaped. Even Lu Su and Jiang Qin were captured! (TN: MVP! GAN NING!)
What the fuck were they fighting? Are they useless? Jiang Qin, Lu Su, Zhang Kai. Sun Ce already does not have anything more to say. If they were useless, the other people were even more useless!
Jiang Qin was personally promoted by him and was a general at the refinement stage. Together with Zhou Tai, they strike terror in the hearts of their enemies. Although his arm was broken, didn’t he still have his other talents? Then there was Lu Su. He was personally recommended by Zhou Yu. He had drastic strategems and even took out the siege tower. Because of him, he almost managed to capture Wan Cheng. His conduct is also honest and frank. Sun Ce could not see any faults in him. Last but not least, was Zhang Kai. Although his martial arts was weak, he was a capable cavalry commander. He was the deputy of the Yuzhou Cavalry. However, this is because the Yuzhou Cavalry split into three. As there weren’t any one else qualified, Zhang Kai took the position. Even Taishi Ci was not as qualified!
If these people are a waste, that would mean that Jiangdong could not find talented people!
(TN: Sun Ce was not complaining as much as he is questioning whether his generals were useless. It is however difficult to translate his emotions)