“Shoot them! Shoot them all! Hahaha!” Zhang Fei laughed heartily. Previously they had been supressed. Now, they were the ones putting on the pressure. The ballistae had also disappeared although it could have just been pushed into the tower. This situation made Zhang Fei feel at ease. He even abandoned his men to run to the front and operate one of the catapults! As Zhang Fei was very strong, his a.s.sistance allowed that catapult to operate much faster than before. Fortunately, the wooden structure was unable to continue receiving Zhang Fei’s abuse, requiring him to eventually leave.
“Milord. Prepare to send soldiers and fill the moat!” Pang Tong did not expect Ma Jun’s catapult to be so useful. It was truly thanks to the recommendation of his uncle and also the fact that Ma Jun admired him.
“Oh!” Liu Bei was also smiling happily. As a ruler, he had to maintain a degree of seriousness. However, he was so satisfied that he could not help it. In fact, if there were n.o.body around him, he would have already been laughing.
Liu Bei was about to dispatch the soldiers when Zhang Xiu approached him. “Lord Xuande. Work must not be half finished. Previously, I promised to fill the moat up, so, let us finish our task!” Zhang Xiu cupped his fist as he smiled at Liu Bei.
“How shameless!” These were the thoughts of Liu Bei’s other officers. However, they would not say it as Zhang Fei was not around. They knew that offending Zhang Xiu would cause them to lose their heads just like Liu Pi. They wanted to call him shameless because the enemy was supressed by the catapults, making the moat to be without danger. This meant that Zhang Xiu would receive free merits. Everybody wanted those merits as well but Zhang Xiu had already opened his mouth.
“Oh?” Liu Bei naturally understood Zhang Xiu’s intentions of taking the merits with little work. However, Liu Bei wanted to pull Zhang Xiu in. He would not decline. “In that case, I would have to trouble you. General Yang Wu.”
“You are too kind! Hahaha!” Seeing that Liu Bei has already given him promise, Zhang Xiu’s subordinate Hu Che Er went to lead his men. The ten thousand Xiliang Cavalry spread out and brought the sandbags towards the moat.
“Hold on!” Deng Yi gave himself a slap in the face. The situation had already became like this. Holding on seemed impossible. The rocks falling from the sky struck fear into the soldiers. On top of that, they were just garrison soldiers.
“Charge!” The Xiliang Cavalry once again rode towards the moat and threw the sandbags in.
“Shoot them with arrows!” Deng Yi continued to give orders. However, the effect of the arrows were minimal.
“They can still appear? Looks like it does not have enough strength. Pa.s.s down my orders! I want to strike at those soldiers of the Lu Bu’s Army that refuses to face reality! I want them to be too afraid of even lifting their heads!” Liu Bei stood up and ordered. Following his orders, the attacks from the catapult became even more fearsome.
“Military advisor! What do we do now? We are suffering huge losses!” Deng Yi asked as he rushed to Xu Shu. More than three hundred men had been killed by the rocks. The number of injured ones were over a thousand. The problem was not the deaths but by the plummeting morale of the soldiers attacked by the catapults.
“Have everyone enter the tower. After that, get down from the walls!” Xu Shu gritted his teeth and replied.
“Enter the tower than go down the walls? Military advisor! Right now, the Xiliang Cavalry are the ones filling up the moat! How can the soldiers stop them by going down the walls?” Deng Yi pointed to the XIliang Cavalry outside.
“Do you think you can stop them now? All you will do is waste lives on the wall! Take all of the soldiers down! All soldiers, take a rest. Wait for my orders before climbing up the walls again!” Xu Shu also felt helpless. Those staying on the walls would only be unnecessary casualties to the catapults. They would also be unable to stop the Xiliang Cavalry. In that case, it would be better to wait away from the walls. When Liu Bei’s Army attacked the city, they would then climb up again and engage them in combat. Xu Shu believed that Liu Bei would become unable to use the catapult once they engaged in melee combat.
“Sigh!” Deng Yi sighed heavily and could only do as ordered. Under his command, his soldiers retreated from the walls, leaving only a small number of people observing the movements of Liu Bei’s Army.
The moat was large but was quickly filled up. It only needed to be filled enough for people to cross.
“Liao Hua!” Liu Bei stood up and yelled.
“Present!” Liao Hua quickly knelt in front of Liu Bei.
“Liao Hua! I order you to take your troops and capture Shouchun! Merits would be given if you managed to capture it!”
“This General receives the order!” Liao Hua nodded happily. This was because the biggest problem which was the moat, had been solved. All that was left was to capture Shouchun. He also knew that Liu Mang’s main army was at Yuzhou. Only garrison troops remained at Shouchun. He would be able to capture Shouchun with his ten thousand troops.
“All units, charge!” Liao Hua commanded the Yuzhou Yellow Turbans. He yelled as he advanced towards the walls.
At the governor’s office in Lujiang, Lu Bu was despressed.
The Wolf Cavalry had been ambushed at Hefei and there were no news of his daughter. He drank wine, which everyone claims to be able to drown your worries. However, it only increased his worries.
Shouchun had requested for help many times but Lu Bu did not know how to go and save them. The Wolf Cavalry had been disabled while the other units were supressed. Sun Ce glaring at them like a tiger made Yangzhou submissive. How was Lu Bu supposed to be happy?
“Milord! Milord!” Chen Gong went straight into the hall as Lu Bu felt depressed.
“So it is Gongtai.” Lu Bu looked at the man in a drunken state. “Come! Come and have a drink with me!” Lu Bu tried and pull Chen Gong to have a drink with him.
Chen Gong did not appreciate this kindness and turned over Lu Bu’s wine table. “Milord. Why are you still drinking at a time like this! Do you want Yangzhou and Lujiang to be buried with you?” Anger was evident on Chen Gong’s face. Although he had a good relationship with Lu Bu, he was also older than Lu Bu. Their relationship is one of a ruler and his minister. His words would only be in his capacity as a subject. Lu Bu glared back coldly like a fierce and terrifying tiger. It was a glare that would make even generals withdraw. However, Chen Gong who was only a scholar did not care and even looked at Lu Bu in the face. They were both stubborn people.
“Milord! Military advisor!” The bodyguard at the side felt awkward as he looked at the two. “Calm down Milord! Military Advisor, watch your words!” The bodyguard was afraid that Chen Gong would not withdraw his statement. He was also afraid that Lu Bu would execute Chen Gong in rage. However, the both of them would not back down.
In the end, Chen Gong was the victor of this confrontation. Lu Bu sighed and picked up the wine cup from the ground. “What can I even do now besides drink?” Lu Bu realized that it was very hard to be a good ruler. Last time, he did not need to bother with all this. He would just take what he wants and was willing to become an enemy of the world just for one woman. However, he had lost very badly at Xuzhou and almost got killed by Cao Cao. That was why he intended to change and become a good ruler.
First of all, one must plan their moves cautiously. If it was the previous Lu Bu, he would abandon Lujiang to go after Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu. He would beat them up so badly that they could no longer be recognized instead of retreating.
However, he was now a good ruler. He wants to care for Lujiang. He would be able to make a comeback as long as he continued to hold Lujiang. This is to leave an escape road for Liu Mang. This was why they were not able to dispatch troops. As the troops in Lujiang were being managed by Chen Gong, Lu Bu suddenly found himself extremely free.
Chen Gong remained silent after hearing Lu Bu’s words. He also did not know how to console Lu Bu. The two of them became silent again. After a while, Lu Bu asked. “Chen Gong. What of the letter sent to Liu Biao?”
Lu Bu’s questions reminded Chen Gong of the purpose of his visit. “Milord. Liu Biao had decided to continue watching.” Chen Gong replied and gave the letter to Lu Bu.
Lu Bu received the letter and read it quickly. After that, he became angry. “A scoundrel. He truly deserves to be called a guard dog! Does he not know that we are dependent on each other? Where would he go if I get exterminated? Sun Ce and Liu Bei would finish him off!” Sun Ce and Liu Bei had to join forces to put him down. In the future, they may do the same to Liu Biao. Right now, the situation at Jingzhou was like this because there is balance.
Sun Ce has ninety thousand navy soldiers, all of which were elites. Sun Ce, Jiang Qin, and Zhou Yu commanded thirty thousand each. Jiang Qin’s thirty thousand troops had already been sent to the bottom of the river by Gan Ning.
Right now, they were afraid of Lu Bu and did not dare to cross the river. However, if Lu Bu were to be defeated, they would no longer have any worries. Zhou Yu’s navy of thirty thousand had already caused Jingzhou to suffer. Jiangxia would have also been lost if it was not because of Zhuge Liang. If another thirty thousand men were to be added, Liu Biao would not be able to stop them.
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Besides that, if Lu Bu were to be eliminated, Liu Biao would also need to worry about Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu. Although Zhang Xiu was like Liu Biao’s dog, this dog had the venom of a snake and could bite back at any time. On top of that, Liu Biao had not been treating Zhang Xiu well in recent years and confiscated his provisions. Meanwhile, Zhang Xiu was now in a pa.s.sionate relationship with Liu Bei. Once he joins up with Liu Bei, Liu Biao could only cry. Liu Bei was also not inferior to Cao Cao in terms of ambition and ability.
“Liu Jingsheng. Do you truly want to see the end of Lu Bu’s Army?” The youth looked up and gave a wry smile. If the situation had devolved into this, he had no other choice.
“Zhong Miao. Ask yourself honestly, how is my treatment to you?” Zhuge Liang asked a question that did not need to be asked.
“Military advisor?” The warrior was Huo Jun, courtesy name Zhong Miao came from South Zhijiang. He had followed his brother when he met the military advisor. He was surprised from the question but quickly replied, “Military advisor is like my mountain!” Huo Jun replied as he half knelt. Right now, Huo Jun was in command of about ten thousand men. He was like a middle-ranked general. If the youth did not select him for a promotion, he would only be a commanding a few hundred men. This was why the youth had earned his favour.
“Zhong Miao. What are your feelings towards JIngzhou?” The military advisor asked again.
“My feelings?” Huo Jun frowned. He did not have any feeling for Jingzhou. Although his position was given to him by Liu Biao. He has no interest in Liu Bei1. After all, he was a smart person and knew that following Liu Biao won’t give him future prospects. Naturally, he had no loyalty to Liu Biao.
“Zhong Miao. What if I one day become an enemy to Jingzhou. Would you follow me?” Zhuge Liang’s expression turned serious. Although his gaze was casual, it could be seen that he was always paying attention to the war.
“Huh?” Huo Jun was shocked to hear this. “Military advisor. Is something wrong?” ‘This man is the military advisor of the Jingzhou navy in Jiangxia. How could he say such a thing? Could it be?”
“Answer me!” Zhuge Liang continued to ask without hesitation.
“I will only follow the military advisor!” Huo Jun immediately knelt down. Although smart, he was only a little smart. He was like a fine steed but he still needed someone with a good judge of talent to make the best use of everything. On top of that, he knew that this young man was unmatched. There would be a better future following Zhuge Liang, which is why Huo Jun knelt down without hesitation.
“Alright. I understand. Huo Jun, go out and ask Zheng Fang to come in.” Zhuge Liang waved and asked for Huo Jun to leave.
They had been conversing well earlier but now Zhuge Liang had asked him to leave. Huo Jun was puzzled but left anyway. After that, Li Yan entered. Zhuge Liang asked the same question. In comparison with Huo Jun, Li Yan had thought of more things. He then smiled wryly and asked. “Military advisor. Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Only if there is no other choice!” Zhuge Liang replied in a composed manner.
“Is he really the ruler of the world?” Li Yan was sceptical. “Are you willing to do all that for him?” If Zhuge Liang were to act as he planned, his name would be blackened with infamy. After all, Liu Biao had given him a stage to play on even if he was not a particularly good person. Besides that, the next ruler was in a crisis and would dry up soon. Was it worth for Zhuge Liang to risk his life for that person?
“I do not know whether he would rule the world but I know that he would be my Lord! Zhuge Liang remembered the scene at Xuzhou. A young warrior holding an unknown child to search for the child’s parents. There was also the suffering of the people.2
Li Yan took a deep breath and then said, “I understand. Military advisor. I do not have anything to pursue. I will go wherever you go.”
“Haha!” Zhuge Liang suddenly laughed.
It said Liu Bei although I think it is a typo.
There is an err…. Idiom or poem of some sort (not sure what it is called but it rhymes so I am guessing a poem), referring to the war causing the people to suffer.
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