Sowing Discord (2)
Wei Yan went out once more and soon came back with a man in tow. The man gave off an unpleasant stench. This person was Sun Qian Sun Gongyou. After experiencing the catapults and Huang Zhong’s three arrows, he became so frightened that he wet his pants. His hair became dishevelled when he had tried to escape.
“Mister Gongyou. I believe you have been well?” Liu Ye spoke up first. Sun Qian seemed very profound to Liu Mang. Liu Ye believed himself to be very resourceful but was also duped by this man. He was stuck outside an empty city for three days.
“Report. This Wei Yan had brought the governor of Ruyin, Sun Qian.” Wei Yan cupped his fist towards Liu Ye. By right, he should be greeting Liu Mang first. However, Liu Mang had deliberately stepped behind Liu Ye and pushed Liu Ye to the front.
“Mister Ziyang! Haha. We meet again!” Sun Qian felt a bit awkward as he tricked Liu Ye for such a long time. He would have already beheaded himself if he was Liu Ye. Before this, Sun Qian had a high position. Now, he was a prisoner.
“Mister Gongyou. Ruyin is now captured and you are taken prisoner. Do you want to surrender?” Liu Ye asked. Sun Qian was not that good at strategy but could still be a governor. On top of that, Liu Ye also wanted to get the provision from Sun Qian.
“Surrender? Mister Ziyang. Although I am captured and not worth ransoming, I know how to be loyal. It is best if you give up.” Sun Qian was not actually that strong willed. However, he was not a fool. Liu Bei’s Army had also entered Yangzhou. All that is left were Shouchun and Lujiang. After these two cities were captured, Liu Mang’s Army would be trapped and defeated. As Liu Bei’s top advisor, he naturally knew of Sun Ce’s plan. On top of that, Zhang Xiu, Liu Bei and Sun Ce were easily provoked. Once the three of them unites, even Cao Cao and Yuan Shao would receive a headache. Sun Qian would really have nowhere to go if Liu Mang gets defeated after he surrenders.
“Mister Gongyou. Milord appreciates talent. If you are talented, you could even obtain my current position. If Gongyou were to surrender, I would even recommend to Milord to have you promoted.” Liu Ye used high position and salary to entice Sun Qian.
“Hm?” Sun Qian was moved.
Right now, Sun Qian was a governor in Liu Bei’s Army but was unable to accept Pang Tong. Liu Ye had said that he wanted to recommend him. This made Sun Qian feel moved. However, it was not enough to impress Sun Qian as it was too risky. “Mister Ziyang. Gongyou appreciates your good intentions but he must remain loyal to his Lord.”
Sun Qian remained stubborn even after all these offers. Liu Ye could no longer be blamed for this. He looked towards Liu Mang. Liu Mang then nodded to show that he understood.
“Hmph! Military advisor. I knew he would not surrender! Let’s just kill him and take revenge for His Highness!” Liu Mang shouted out. He pulled out his sword and slashed. The tip of the blade cut through his skin causing blood to flow.
“Ah!” Sun Qian had never been so close to death before. Huang Zhong’s arrows were shot when he was not paying attention but the blade had almost cut his throat. Sun Qian even wanted to scream in fear.
“Stop!” Liu Ye stepped forward to stop Liu Mang. He then grumbled. “General Liu Han. How could you be so reckless? How could Sun Qian be our sworn enemy? The ambush at Yingshang should not have been part of his strategy!” This was the both of them acting to remind Sun Qian about the ambush.
“Yes. Yes. That was not part of my strategy. I did not dispatch anyone to ambush you!” Sun Qian spoke incoherently.
“Mister Gongyou. Even now, are you still refusing to surrender? One must be loyal to their Lord but do not forget, this is to be grateful to their treatment of you. But now, did your Lord treat you well? Our army may have been ambushed but most of them managed to break out of encirclement. On the other hand, you would rather sacrifice your life in Ruyin. You had less than ten men and most of them were old men. After suffering an ambush at Yingshang, we would naturally take revenge here. Where would you escape to? You would have no way out. If you still insist of being loyal, this one will truly respect you and will help to send you off.
“No. No!” Sun Qian hurriedly replied. He did not know how to say what he wanted to say. He was not willing to sacrifice his life for a small Ruyin.
Liu Ye could tell that Sun Qian did not want to die based on his reaction. “You already said earlier that the ambush at Yingshang was not done by you. This meant that Ziyang is not a brazen person but an upright person. Mister Gongyou. You are a talented person that has a high position in Liu Bei’s Army. But why were you not told of the ambush? The only way to explain it is that you were abandoned. Ruyin was meant to fall and you were meant to die. How pitiful. So this is how Liu Bei treats his talented officers.” Liu Ye wept crocodile tears.
“No! No! How could I be abandoned? I am the Left General’s trusted advisor, Sun Qian Sun Gongyou! I accompanied the Left General from Xuzhou. I was recommended to him by the Great Confucian Zheng Xuan. The Left General has always attached a great importance to me. How could I be abandoned?” Sun Qian’s heart began to shake. He was already wavering when Ruyin was attacked. n.o.body would be willing to admit being abandoned. It was an unpleasant feeling. Besides that, these are things that would happen during times of turmoil. Even an injured soldier that became useless would not be killed by the cruel Cao Cao. Although Sun Qian was just a second-rate advisor, he was still a talented and scholarly person.
“How could Xuan Degong abandon me? I have the ability to govern and the will to a.s.sist!” Sun Qian comforted himself as he refuted Liu Ye. However, he did not notice that he called Liu Bei as Xuan Degong instead of his t.i.tle.
“Is the ability to govern worth as much as Yangzhou? Could your will to a.s.sist be compared to Yuzhou?” Liu Ye refuted Sun Qian’s two reasons ruthlessly.
“Hmph! It is impossible for Xuan Degong to abandon me! Xuan Degong was defeated three times. It is I, Sun Qian that prepared the provision for the army, allowing him to proudly make his comeback. Why would he abandon me? These must be your tricks!” Sun Qian continued to believe in Liu Bei as he broke down. During that moment, he had guessed the correct answer.
“Hm?” Liu Mang and Liu Ye both frowned. They did not expect Liu Bei’s influence on Sun Qian to be so great. He was too charismatic. Liu Mang even felt admiration for Liu Bei’s brainwashing. Many generals and scholars went to Liu Bei in the original timeline.
One such example was Zhao Yun that delightedly went to look for and follow Liu Bei despite the fact that Liu Bei had just been defeated by Cao Cao. Despite not winning many battles, he managed to persevere because of people like Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Sun Qian and Jian Yong. It could be said that Liu Bei became their faith.
Anyone who has faith were frightening. With faith, they fear nothing.
Liu Bei was Sun Qian’s inverse scale. In that case, the person should be changed. Liu Ye would not desperately force Sun Qian as it may produce an opposite effect. “Mister Gongyou. Xuan Degong may not have abandoned you. He may not even know about this as there is n.o.body in the world that would know everything.” Liu Ye guided Sun Qian. After all, what kind of city would open up its gates?
“Are you saying…!” Sun Qian thought about it for a moment. “Yes. It must be him!” Sun Qian’s expression froze. His grievances turned to anger as he found a place to vent. ‘It is that Black Fatty that proposed this to Milord. He is the one that forced me to stay behind at Ruyin for three days. It must also be him that set up that ambush!”
“It must be that black pig! It must be him that set up the ambush!” Sun Qian roared.
“Black pig?” Liu Mang froze. ‘Who is this black pig?’ He did not want to hear the nicknames of the people in the late Han Dynasty.
“The Fledgeling Phoenix Pang Tong. The black pig!”
“The black pig?” Liu Mang’s mouth twitched. He wanted to laugh but could not. Liu Mang had seen Pang Tong before. He was dark skinned and fat, so it fits him. However, this was what they wanted from Sun Qian.
“Mister Gongyou. You now know who purposefully harmed you. Don’t you want to take revenge?”
“What do you mean?” Sun Qian had vented enough and calmed down. The only thing in his mind now was his hatred for Pang Tong. “Do you want me to join your Liu Mang’s Army and rely on you to take revenge? Mister Ziyang. I am not looking down on you. Right now, my Lord, Xuan Degong, had already entered Yangzhou. After capturing Shouchun and Lujiang, your Liu Mang’s Army would perish. It is only a matter of time.” Sun Qian replied to Liu Ye. What he said was true. There were less than thirty thousand defenders at Shouchun and Lujiang. Although there were a lot of citizens, there were not enough provision. They would only be able to last a day at most.
“Bulls.h.i.t!” Cheng Yu could not stand it anymore. “Although Liu Bei have entered Yangzhou, Marquis Wen, the Wolf Cavalry and the Formation Breaker are still there. Do you think they would surrender Yangzhou so easily?”
“Lu Bu?” Sun Qian gave a look of disdain. “How could he provide support to Yangzhou? Sun Ce’s navy and infantries are watching him! He would not dare to move!”
“How could that be? Isn’t Sun Ce fighting against Liu Biao? How could he fight on two sides?” Cheng Yu remained unconvinced and turned to look at Liu Mang and Liu Ye. Liu Mang nodded his head in secret. Sun Qian was right. If Lu Bu was not blocked, Yangzhou would not be surrounded.. Meanwhile, Liu Mang would enter Liu Bei’s territory and obtain provision. Liu Bei’s Army would need to retreat. Sun Ce’s interference caused Liu Mang’s plan to go out of control. He did not tell Cheng Yu and the others because he did not want to lower morale.
“This is true. Liu Biao had fallen back to Sanjiangkou. Sun Ce had also left Huangzhou and went to Wancheng.” Liu Ye explained to those present.
“Mister ZIyang. Since you have treated me well, I would not be ungrateful. Let me tell you something!” Sun Qian became serious. “Mister Ziyang. Since your Lord, Liu Mang, has gone missing, I suggest you change allegiance and join my Lord Xuan Degong. I would definitely recommend you to Milord so that you may obtain a high position. You do not need to be buried together with Lu Bu. You would have future prospects and could also join me in taking revenge on that black pig!”
Everyone else present showed a weird expression. After all, Liu Mang was right there. Who would dare to change their allegiance? Liu Ye also could not help but give a wry smile. Initially, he had been trying to get Sun Qian to surrender. Now, it was the opposite.
Sun Qian’s proposal was actually very good. If he could get Liu Ye and the others to surrender, his position in the Liu Bei’s Army would change. Liu Ye, the Urban Army and the Black Flag Army were all elites. On top of that, there were also strong generals. If he could bring them all to Liu Bei, Liu Bei would not treat him unfairly. Besides that, all of these generals would also be grateful to Sun Qian.
Liu Ye was about to strike back at Sun Qian for getting carried away but then Sun Qian suddenly told them about what happened to the Wolf Cavalry. This caused Liu Ye, Liu Mang and the others to lose their calm.
“What!” Liu Mang stepped forward and grabbed Sun Qian. “What did you say? The Wolf Cavalry was ambushed and more than half of them was annihilated? Impossible!” Liu mang did not dare to believe it. He had seen the strength of the Wolf Cavalry first hand. They were four times stronger than the Urban Army and the Black Flag Army. They were even powerful enough to annihilate an entire armored cavalry. That was how the Yuzhou Armored Cavalry got destroyed.
Another reason why the Wolf Cavalry was so powerful was because of the G.o.d of War Lu Bu. He dared to even rush out at Cao Cao’s Army of one hundred thousand. Amongst Liu Bei’s troops, only the White Eared Soldiers could harm the Wolf Cavalry. The others could only be food.
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“Aiyo!” Sun Qian was just a scholar. How could he be compared to Liu Mang in terms of strength? “Of course this is true. It is not just my Lord Xuan Degong’s White Eared Soldiers. There is also General Yang Wu’s twenty thousand Xiliang Cavalry!”
“Yes!” Wei Yan and Xu Sheng stepped forward and wanted to take Liu Ye away. Sun Qian started to panic. The officers were rebelling and not even Liu Ye would be able to save him.
“Let go. I can walk by myself!” Liu Ye struggled away from the two generals. His expression was ‘genuine’ as he was restrained. There was also helplessness. “Sigh. Mister Gongyou. I, Liu Ye Liu Ziyang is unable to help you. These people are like wolves without provisions.”
“Provisions? I have them!” Sun Qian felt his trousers turn wet. He made his own judgement in hopes that he could at the very least die more comfortably. Vengeance could wait for when he is a ghost.
“You have provisions?” Sun Qian’s words made everyone’s eyes shine. However, Sun Qian was panicking and did not notice.
“Mister Gongyou. You have provisions?” Liu Ye asked again. “Wasn’t all of the provision in Ruyin transported away?”
“There is. There are too much provision at Ruyin that we were unable to transport all of them away. So, most of the provisions are still here!” Sun Qian replied quickly.
Liu Ye and Liu Mang exchanged a glance. ‘In that case, it is time to find out how much provisions they had.’
“Hmph. Military advisor. There would definitely not be enough provision for us. Let us sacrifice this Sun Qian anyway!” Liu Mang still remained threatening.
“Mister Gongyou. How much provisions is that? If there is not enough, both of us will suffer!” Liu Ye pretended to look anxious.
“There is twenty thousand!” The figure given by Sun Qian surprised the others. Ruyin truly deserved to be called the granary of Yuzhou. This was more than double the amount Liu Mang and the others obtained at Yingshang. This was why Liu Bei was unable to transport all away. Liu Mang briefly wondered how much provision would there be if all of the provisions were here. Liu Mang also regretted allowing Zhao Yun to return to Yangzhou. If Zhao Yun was still here, they would be able to pursue.
“Do not lie. If it is true, we can spare your life. If it is a lie, you would wish you were dead!” Liu Mang licked his lips as he threatened. This made Sun Qian panic again.
“It is true! It is true! Go and check the granary of the army camp if you do not believe me!”
“The army camp?” Liu Mang froze. He really did not check it. This is because there were no soldiers. If there were no soldiers, why would there be food at the camp? The most dangerous place was truly the safest place.
Liu Mang smiled and wanted to dispatch someone to fetch the provision. With these provisions, they would be able to reach Yuzhou and have spare to send back to Shouchun.
Just as he was about to dispatch someone, he heard a cry from outside. “This is bad! This is bad! There is a fire!”
‘There is a fire?’ Liu Mang was stunned. They went out and saw that there really was a fire at Ruyin. ‘Who committed arson? Is there anyone else left in the city?’
“Ah! That direction!” Sun Qian also saw the fire. His eyes grew wide and began to tremble as though he was going to die.
“Huh?” Liu Mang felt a bad premonition.
Before anyone shoots me for inconsistency, Sun Qian went from zhugong(Milord) to wo de zhu(my Lord).
TN: Note to self. Phoenixes are mammals, not birds. Also, just in case, I do not want to be fired at for supposed racism.
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