A golden armored warrior charged out with a golden trident in his hand. Who else could this be but Lu Bu? Following behind Lu Bu was the Wolf Cavalry, united in their intentions to kill Zhang Xiu as vengeance for their fallen comrades.
Zhang Xiu laughed bitterly never expecting to receive the appropriate retribution. Half a month ago, he and the Liu Bei's Army ambushed and wiped out half of the Wolf Cavalry. At that time, Lu Bu had escaped. Now, their roles were reversed. His ten thousand Xiliang Cavalry was now left with three thousand men. Besides that, he now encountered Lu Bu.
"What do you want?" Zhang Xiu looked at Lu Bu unwaveringly, hoping to obtain the answer from Lu Bu's expression. He knew that his chances to survive that day was low.
Lu Bu was indifferent. He looked at Zhang Xiu as though he was looking at a dead man. His expression made the prideful Zhang Xiu angry but Zhang Xiu had no way to deal with Lu Bu. "Surrender and we may be able to spare your life." Lu Bu commanded with mercy.
"Surrender?" Zhang Xiu gripped his spear to supress the anger in his heart. "Lu Fengxian! Are you trying to take pity on me?"
"Do you have any other way out?" Lu Bu coldly asked back.
"Hahaha!" Zhang Xiu suddenly laughed. "Lu Fengxian! You underestimate me too much! I, Zhang Xiu, can surrender to anyone except you!" Zhang Xiu was afraid of death but he loved his pride more. He could not accept being humiliated by Lu Bu constantly. He would be willing to surrender to anyone else but refused to accept Lu Bu's mercy.
"Lu Fengxian. I got a counter offer. Would you accept it?" Zhang Xiu asked as he narrowed his eyes at Lu Bu.
"The choice is, I, Zhang Xiu will rush out of here and escape! Men of the Xiliang Cavalry! Follow me!" Zhang Xiu raised his spear and galloped his horse.
"Haha! You have guts! I truly have underestimated you!" Lu Bu smiled at Zhang Xiu with admiration. If Zhang Xiu had chosen to surrender, Lu Bu would have spared Zhang Xiu but he would also have taken away Zhang Xiu's military ability. At that time, Zhang Xiu would have been better off dead. On the other hand, Zhang Xiu's choice would at least allow him to die in battle with dignity.
Lu Bu had admiration for Zhang Xiu. However, he had a duty to his fallen Wolf Cavalry comrades. "Zhang Xiu, I will give you a chance! Three thousand men against three thousand men! If you win, you may leave! If you lose, you die here!" Lu Bu knew that Zhang Xiu was never convinced. The Wolf Cavalry and the Xiliang Cavalry always had this relationship even when serving under Dong Zhuo. During that time, Zhang Xiu was still youthful and had provoked Lu Bu. The then proud and powerful Lu Bu would have killed Zhang Xiu then and there if Zhang Xiu's uncle, Zhang Ji had not stopped Lu Bu. If Zhang Xiu refused to admit it, Lu Bu would beat Zhang Xiu up until he admits.
"Lu Bu! You overestimate yourself!" Zhang Xiu fearlessly faced his enemy head on. "I will die if I lose here! If I win, the one that would die here is you!" Zhang Xiu had his own pride. He shouted as he waved his spear. "Xiliang Cavalry! Charge!"
"Wolves! Do you remember what happened half a month ago? That day, we loss half our brothers at Hefei! They fought to the death to cover our retreat! General Zhang Fan had perished with them! Today, our sworn enemies are right in front of us! What do we do with them?" Lu Bu asked with his charismatic influence.
"Tear them apart! Kill them!" The Wolf Cavalry chanted.
"That's right! Kill them all! Avenge General Zhang Fan! Wolf Cavalry! It is time to hunt!" Lu Bu ordered. The others roared, "Kill! Kill!"
Two mighty forces clashed without any tricks or strategies. Their only intentions were to use their own martial prowess to tear apart their enemies. For the sake of survival, the Xiliang Cavalry showed astonishing strength. For the sake of vengeance, the Wolf Cavalry showed their fearsomeness.
"Lu Feng Xian!" Troops against troops. Generals against generals. Zhang Xiu's target was only Lu Bu.
"Zhang Boji!" Lu Bu took the lead and charged towards Zhang Xiu.
"The one that should die is you!"
"Left General! I beg you! Please save our general!" The soldier from the Xiliang Cavalry kowtowed on the ground. His body was full of wounds obtained as he charged his way out. The blood from his body stained the ground.
"Save?" Liu Bei's expression turned cloudy. Zhang Xiu dispatched with ten thousand elite cavalry. Its strength was greater than what Liu Bei has with him. However, Zhang Xiu had been ambushed and could even be dead. Liu Bei was not sure what to do and had no choice but to ask Pang Tong. "Shiyuan. What do you think?"
Pang Tong was contemplating what happened. What happened to Jiangdong? Why was Lu Bu here? After a while, he came to a decision. "We must save Zhang Xiu but now is not the time!" His words sounded nice but basically it means he was not going to rescue Zhang Xiu.
"No! Our general won't hold out much longer!" The soldier was shocked. When he escaped, the Xiliang Cavalry had already been surrounded by Lu Bu's Army. If they were to delay, all that would remain would be Zhang Xiu's corpse.
"Men! Take this fighter away to let him rest!" Liu Bei furrowed his brows. Discussion would not continue with that person around.
"Milord. What is important now is not rescuing Zhang Xiu but capturing Shouchun!" Pang Tong explained. "Zhang Xiu is ambushed and we do not know the enemy numbers! If we act rashly, we would only face defeat! On the other hand, if we capture Shouchun, we would have a foundation to withdraw to once we save Zhang Xiu!" What Pang Tong meant was that capturing Shouchun had a higher priority as such an opportunity would not come again. With Zhao Yun and Xu Shu absent from Shouchun, the soldiers would not have any morale. Shouchun could also be used to ward off Lu Bu.
"Alright. I will follow the Military Advisor's advice! Men! Pass down my orders! We attack the city!" Just as soon as Liu Bei gave the order, a loud and frightening shout came from Shouchun. "Who is that? What happened? Did Yide attack the city already?" Liu Bei had thought that Zhang Fei could no longer wait for orders and attacked the city on his own. He soon realized that he was wrong. Zhang Fei had only just returned from collecting his spear that he threw at the city.
"Milord!" Pang Tong's voice was filled with bitterness. "Looks like we have no choice but to go and rescue Zhang Xiu!" The shouting voice came from Shouchun. After some time, a figure appeared on the walls of Shouchun. Countless flags with the word Liu and Gan was also placed on the walls. These belonged to Liu Mang and Gan Ning. Thousands of figures then appeared on the walls. They were the Urban Army and the Black Flag Army.
"How could this be?" Liu Bei asked in disbelief as Liu Mang should be at Guangzhou two days ago. It should take longer to reach Guangzhou and even then, they should have encountered him outside of the city. However, Liu Mang appeared from within Shouchun City.
The answer was the river. Pang Tong had forgotten all about it. However, Pang Tong could not be blamed as Liu Bei's navy was so disappointing that they were completely annihilated in a single battle.1 By using the river, Liu Mang would be able to reach Shouchun from Guangzhou within two days and also enter the city from there.
"Milord. Let us leave!" Shouchun could no longer be captured. His trick had also already been exposed. Staying here would simply be a waste of provisions.
1. Personally I would think that I be sure to remember about the river and the navy in my mind but apparently Liu Bei’s navy is so disappointing that it broken through the cap for memory if it was a stat and ended up on the other side of the scale… like CivGandhi.