My Father in Law is Lu Bu - novelonlinefull.com
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Chapter 328 (short chapter. Single post with 329)
“Let us go and prepare! Cheng Yu. Help me to gather two thousand of the Urban Army!” Liu Mang said to the kneeling Cheng Yu.
“Yes, Little Lord!” Cheng Yu nodded. He knew that it was no longer possible to dissuade Liu Mang once Liu Mang has made up his mind. Rather than waste time doing that, it was better pick elites for Liu Mang to bring.
“Huang Xu. Go and get those good at archery. You only need about five hundred!” Liu Mang needed people to operate the ballista. Although it was not archery, it was more formidable in the hands of archers than in the hands of common soldiers.
“Yes, Milord!” Huang Xu nodded. His Huang Family was a family of archers. Many of his own guards were good at shooting.
“Xu Sheng, w.a.n.g Wei and Hao Shao. Once I leave, you are to listen to the Military Advisor! Regards his words as though they were mine! You must help me to protect Guangzhou!” Liu Mang was going to act as bait but he did not want Xu Sheng and the others to follow him. Guangzhou was equally important to Liu Mang.
“This General will obey!” The three of them cupped their fists together but then, the Military Advisor, Liu Ye, stopped them.
“Milord. I am afraid I would be unable to accomplish the task of staying behind at Guangzhou!” Liu Ye smiled and refused the task given to him by Liu Mang.
“What’s wrong? Do you want to stop me as well?” Liu Mang frowned. He did not believe that Liu Ye could not see his reasoning. If Liu Mang does not go, things may not work out as planned. At that time, Shouchun would be in danger.
“Milord. I do not intend to stop you.” Liu Ye shook his head. He would not stop Liu Mang as he was the one that proposed this strategy. Even if Liu Mang had never suggested going personally, Liu Ye would have suggested for him to do it.
“What do you mean?” Liu Mang looked at Liu Ye in confusion. Liu Ye was the highest ranked person after Liu Mang in the army. Otherwise, Liu Mang would not have let Liu Ye lead the soldiers after splitting up at Yuzhou.
“Milord. You must lead from the front in order to attract the attention of the Xiliang Cavalry but the ballista at the rear should be handed over to me!” Liu Ye replied indifferently.
Liu Mang wanted to refuse as the ballista would be exposed once the enemy breaks through the front. This placed Liu Ye in an even more dangerous situation than Liu Mang. Besides that, Liu Ye was only a scholar. Once the Xiliang Cavalry rushed over, Liu Mang would not be able to save him.
“Milord. Do not be in such a hurry to refuse me. The ballista would need someone to control as to when it would be best to shoot. More importantly, the ballista is huge. Where would you hide it?” Liu Ye a.s.serted. He was the one that proposed this and brought danger to his Lord. It was not something a subject should have done. This is why Liu Ye had decided to follow Liu Mang into danger. If they were successful, everyone would be happy. If they failed, he would die together with Liu Mang.
“Alright. If you say this, it would be my mistake if I do not bring you.” Liu Mang understood Liu Ye’s intentions and he truly needed someone to help him control the ballista. The soldiers holding the front lines needs to be at a certain distance away from the ballista. Liu Mang who led them would not be able to do both tasks at once. He would need Huang Zhong to replace him. However, if Huang Zhong were to leave him, his safety would not be a.s.sured.
“In that case, Xu Sheng, w.a.n.g Wei. Listen to Hao Shao for the defence of this city!” Liu Mang said to the two.
“Huh?” The three of them were stunned. Not picking w.a.n.g Wei was understandable as he was just a Deputy General of the Black Flag Army. However, Xu Sheng was the General of the Black Flag Army and had a higher rank than Hao Shao. By right, Xu Sheng should be the one leading the defence. Hao Shao was also shocked. Although he had been in the army longer than Xu Sheng, the man was Liu Mang’s trusted subordinate while he himself had only been in Liu Mang’s Army for a few months. No matter how it is looked at, he could not compare to Xu Sheng.
“Little Lord. Many thanks for the promotion but I still think that Xu Sheng is more suitable to be the commander leading Guangzhou’s defence!” Hao Shao said as he cupped his fist at Liu Mang. He never expected Liu Mang to put him in charge of Guangzhou. Xu Sheng also felt more comfortable hearing Hao Shao said that and considered Hao Shao tactful.
“Do not be so modest, Botong1. If we were to break through enemy lines, I would definitely make Xu Sheng the vanguard. This is because with Xu Sheng and the five thousand Black Flag Soldiers, we would achieve victory!” Liu Mang said this not only to Hao Shao but also to Xu Sheng. He also knew that Xu Sheng would feel uneasy if he did not explain this. After all, he was being placed under Hao Shao.
“Thank you for the compliment Milord!” Xu Sheng felt shy. He became modest as he had been praised.
“However, we are currently defending the city! You are more familiar with Guangzhou compared to Xu Sheng! With two thousand men, you stopped Liu Bei’s Army of twenty thousand. They were unable to even capture such a small location! I believe that with the five thousand Black Flag soldiers and the three thousand Urban Army soldiers, you would have a greater advantage than Xu Sheng. So, I decided to choose you instead of him!”
Hao Shao gave Liu Mang a profound look and then knelt. “I will not fail you! The city will only fall if I die!”
Xu Sheng also knelt down. “I will properly a.s.sist the Hao Shao. I will not allow the enemy to even step into Guangzhou!”
Two thousand men from the Urban Army were quickly picked by Cheng Yu. All of them were full of spirit. Behind them were fifty racks of ballistae. Liu Mang had even taken out all the old ones. These were the ones Gan Ning had used on his warship. Wheels had also been fixed onto the ballista to make them easier to transport as they were difficult to move.
Liu Mang stood in front of the army feeling proud. This is because the Urban Army was something he had personally created. The soldiers gathered and loudly shouted Liu Mang’s slogan. He looked at the two thousand five hundred soldiers in front knowing that they were going to follow him to battle.
Hao Shao (Zhao)’s courtesy name (Bodao) went back to Botong including the next chapter. I don’t even know which is typo and which is intentional anymore. So, I will just follow blindly. Just keep a note that they are the same person.
Liu Mang did not need to admonish any of the soldiers or raise their morale. All of those that entered the Urban Army were good soldiers. None of them retired or captured. The ones that ‘left’ are the ones that were killed in battle. The ones with serious injuries also chose death over dragging down their teammates.
“Brothers! Let us depart!” Liu Mang waved his hand. Everyone took enough provisions to last for three days and started their journey.
Outside Guangzhou city was an endless plain. Liu Mang’s Army marched such that they hid the ballista. They also covered the ballista with white cloth to conceal it.
After walking for a long time, Liu Mang saw the slope of a hill. The hill was not too large but it was enough to hide fifty ballista. Besides that, they could see everything at the plains from on top of the hill. It was a good place to set an ambush.
“Ziyang. Let us prepare the ambush here.” Liu Mang was satisfied with this hill. It was not easy to find such a hill on Yangzhou and Yuzhou. This showed that Liu Mang had good luck.
Liu Mang had thought that the place he chose would be agreeable to Liu Ye but Liu Ye had shook his head and replied, “Milord, we cannot prepare the ambush here.”
“Is this place not good?” Liu Mang thought that this was strange as he believed that finding such a hill was good luck.
“It is certainly a good place for an ambush but you must remember that we are trying to be bait. Do you think anyone would take the bait if we set up an ambush here?” Liu Ye explained. The hill could be used for an ambush and it would be hard to find a better place. However, if they could tell that this place was good for an ambush, the enemy could also do the same. The Xiliang Cavalry came not only to escort the provisions but also to show off their strength. With such an action, Liu Mang could tell that the one leading the Xiliang Cavalry was not a useless person. The man did not yell out or send messengers when he came to Guangzhou. That was simply telling Liu Mang not to act blindly as they only came for the provisions and would not provoke Liu Mang’s Army needlessly. That is unless Liu Mang were to act shamelessly.
A commander such as this could easily tell that there would be an ambush at that location. At that time, not only would he not take the bait but he would become even more alert. At that time, he might cause more damage the next time they were to set an ambush.
“So where should we go to set out ambush?” Liu Mang was less experienced compared to Liu Ye in such matters. Naturally, he would let Liu Ye deal with this. He knew that all first-rate advisors during that era were not simple people.
“Milord. Look over there!” Liu Ye and Liu Mang had climbed the hill and gazed over to the distance. Liu Ye pointed to the plains and said to Liu Mang, “That is the place that would determine our success.”
“There? How could that be possible?” Liu Mang looked at where Liu Ye pointed and suddenly felt that this was not possible. It was a wide open field with nowhere to defend. At that location, the heavy infantries would not be able to match against the heavy cavalries even with their battle formations as the location was too wide. The Xiliang Cavalry would be able to make use of their charges. Besides that, it was also near a small hill. If Liu Mang was the one that led the Xiliang Cavalry, he would have the cavalry charge down that hill for greater momentum and a more powerful charge. The Xiliang Cavalry’s fighting strength would increase further.
At such a location, they would not have good surveillance and have nowhere to place the fifty ballista. Their every move could be seen from the hills and ambushes would be impossible. It would be impossible to catch the Xiliang Cavalry unprepared.
“Haha. Milord, we cannot prepare an ambush here with the fifty ballista but why must we place the ballista on the ground here?” Liu Ye asked rhetorically, causing Liu Mang to be at a loss. ‘If not on the ground than would it be in the sky or under the ground?’ Liu Mang suddenly blinked and asked. “Ziyang. What do you mean?”
Liu Ye saw Liu Mang’s hurried expression and knew that Liu Mang had already guessed the secret of this plan. “Yes. If we place the ballista on the ground, there would be nowhere to hide. If we hid on the hill, we might as well just tell the enemy that we are going to ambush them. However, it would be a different story if we placed the ballista in the ground. Of course, it would not be as simple as digging a hole to put in fifty ballista. We need to make a foundation such that the ballista could just be pushed out. The gra.s.s on the plains cannot be thrown away and can be used for camouflage. This way, they would not be able to see us even from the hills. Once the Xiliang Cavalry takes the bait, we tear away the camouflage and bring the fifty ballistae out. This would be the perfect scenario for the ambush and it would catch the Xiliang Cavalry unprepared.
If they placed their camp below the hills, the Xiliang Cavalry would be able to see them. As it was not a place possible to set an ambush, they would let down their guards. At that time, they would face their ends.
“Haha. Good. Do it that way!” Liu Mang had it easy. Just do everything as Liu Ye says. The two thousand five hundred soldiers immediately got to work. Although they did not have proper digging tools, they had their swords. Some also found a piece of wood to start digging. As they were at the borders of Yangzhou and Yuzhou where it rains a lot, the ground was easier to dig. The hole then needs to be supported with wood or the mud will cover it back up. The hole was quickly dug up by the two thousand five hundred men in about half a day.
“Just like that. Ten ballistae is enough here. Place the remaining at the other two sides with twenty on each sides.” Liu Mang commanded the soldiers as he worked.
“Milord. Why did we not place all the ballista in the center?” Liu Ye planned to hide the ballista under the ground. As the ballista needed a large area to show their strength, Liu Ye had planned to place all fifty racks of ballistae together. This way, the fifty ballistae would show its strength and also its power of intimidation. Scattering the ballistae made it less intimidating. Liu Ye also did not believe that scattering the ballistae would make it more powerful.
“Haha. Ziyang, I may not be as good as you in making strategies. However, your Lord still has knowledge that you do not know of!” Liu Mang laughed. He could not explain to Liu Ye what is crossfire and what is the meaning of firepower being sealed off. Although it was more intimidating to put the fifty ballistae together, it would be less effective. This is because each soldier may be shot with two arrows, wasting the arrows. They do not have enough ballistae this as there are over eight thousand enemies. Doing this would give the ballistae a wider range and they would be able to place pressure on the enemy even if they broke through. They ballistae would be able to seal them off no matter where they went.
“Hm? Really?” Liu Ye still could not understand. Fortunately, Liu Mang continued and said, “Hao Shao, Hao Botong used this when defending Guangzhou to defeat thousands of Liu Bei’s men!” Hao Shao’s achievement at Guangzhou was something Liu Ye nodded at with praise. It was to the extent that Liu Ye even told Liu Mang that Hao Shao was a talented individual and must be valued. Hao Shao only had two thousand men and he defended such a small location from Liu Bei’s Army of twenty thousand. They killed almost five thousand men and loss only one thousand men. This was a glorious achievement.
“In that case, it is good!” Liu Ye did not ask Liu Mang to give him any evidence as Liu Mang had a lot of things Liu Ye had never even heard of.
“Alright. The preparations here are done. The next part is how to make sure they take the bait.” Half a day had pa.s.sed and the preparations had been made. Liu Mang went to the hill to make see what the camp below looked like and if the ballistae were properly hidden. He could see that something was different with the telescope in his hand. This is because the earth had been overturned when digging up a hole. However, this is with a telescope in hand. On top of that, Liu Mang already knew that an ambush had been set up there. This is how Liu Mang noticed the oddity. If the person was the general of the Xiliang Cavalry who does not have a telescope, it is likely that he would not notice it.
“Do not worry Milord! I have already done that part.” Liu Ye nodded to Liu Mang and replied. When Liu Mang was still busy leading the troops out of Guangzhou, Liu Ye had already dispatched the scout and the bait along with him. All they need to do now was wait for the Xiliang Cavalry to take the bait.
‘Scouts again.’ As the deputy general of the Xiliang Cavalry and Zhang Xiu’s trusted subordinate, Hu Che Er not only loyal and excels in martial arts but also had something other other men from Qiang did not have. Intelligence. He knew how to think and plan strategies. This is how he distinguished himself from the other people of Qiang. There were also people of the Han that were brainless like Zhang Fei. For example, Zhang Fei was one of the few that had difficulty leading an army in history. Other similar men were Dian Wei and Xu Zhu. These people acted as guards and not generals.
This meant that Hu Che Er could understand strategies and the art of war. Naturally, he was proud of it. However, this fact had now given him a headache. This is because he did not know whether the information he obtained from the captured scout was true and was placed in a difficult position.
The information told him that the Little Lord of the Lu Bu’s Army had left the city with a few thousand troops. If that was all, it would not be much of a problem. He had already went to Guangzhou with his Xiliang Cavalry as a warning for the Liu Mang’s Army not to interfere. Everybody could just mind their own business and he also did not want to fight against Liu Mang for Liu Bei’s sake. On the other hand, it would be a problem as Liu Mang left the city looking for him. If Liu Mang had little troops, they would be defeated. If they came with a lot of troops, he could just attack Guangzhou and cut off Liu Mang’s supplies.
He had even received a letter from Liu Mang. “Barbarian child of Xiliang. You have no etiquette. You have no brother or father. This Sage King of the Han will take over their duty to teach you how to be a man!”
It was a challenge letter insulting Hu Che Er. The time, place and number of people was also written on it.
“Guys. What do you think of this?” Hu Che Er asked as he handed the letter to the others serving under him for them to read. The others around him were also not fools and Hu Che Er liked listening to their opinions.
“Beat him up! Beat up his mother!” One of the 1000-man commander from Qiang cursed in rage. He was illiterate but a high ranking Han military officer read it for him. Although he did not understand the grievances of the Han people, he knows it was not good when it involves one’s family members such as the brother and father. To the people of Qiang, the little brother inherits the elder brother’s wife. So the letter was something he was unable to ignore.
Although the Han officer did not act like that man from Qiang, he was also angry and was on the verge of pulling out his sword.
“Hm?” Hu Che Er frowned, realizing that allowing his generals to read the challenge letter was a mistake. In fact, he actually did not want to go as he was a cautious person. He also acted this way when he was attacked by Liao Hua. Unfortunately for him, Liao Hua was even more cautious than him. Otherwise, the one that lost would have been Liao Hua and Liu Pi.
Although Hu Che Er’s Lord, Zhang Xiu, was allies with Liu Bei, he did not want to work for Liu Bei’s sake. His current task was to protect the provisions. As long as the provisions remain protected, he would not take the initiative to find trouble with Liu Mang. He would not be generous enough to help Liu Bei as the ones that would suffer the most losses would be his Lord Zhang Xiu. The only thing that Liu Bei gave was provisions. If he were to defeat Liu Mang, Yangzhou would fall but it had nothing to do with him. This is because Zhang Xiu only wanted the provisions at Yangzhou.
However, the most important point was that Hu Che Er himself was afraid. The people of the Han were used to playing tricks. Previously, he had also arrested a scout from Xu Shu. The information he obtained was that Lujiang was sending provisions to Shouchun. At that moment, Hu Che Er felt happy. Not only would he obtain the provisions that they wanted but he could also contribute to the fall of Shouchun. Without him, Shouchun would have held out longer, costing Liu Bei precious time. As a result, Liu Bei would have to reward him even if he was stingy. However, the results was him losing two thousand of the Xiliang Cavalry and even believed that Liu Bei attacked them with the intentions of absorbing the Xiliang Cavalry.
Hu Che Er was afraid of such things happening. He truly regretted what happened last time and tried being more cautious.
Hu Che Er ma.s.saged his head for a while and then said, “Let us discuss this next time. Right now, our task is to deliver the provisions to the Left General. For now, let us ignore everything else!” Hu Che Er made a decision that this challenge was not his business. He simply needed to deliver the provisions safely.
Hu Che Er did not expect his words to cause an uproar. The first to stand was a Qiang 1000-man commander. “General Che. The enemy have already written to us a challenge. This is a provocation to us warriors of the plains. However, you refuse to accept it. Are you a coward?” The man questioned Hu Che Er.
Hu Che Er narrowed his eyes. If the person that said this was a Han, he would have been executed the man or be more careful of this person. This is because a person who said such things would either want to stop working and change allegiance or to seize military authority. However, the man from Qiang under him was someone he knew as a person who speaks his mind.
“General. The enemy only has two thousand men. Allow me to go and take the enemy’s banner and head for you!” The Qiang general spoke rudely and spoke his intentions of taking Liu Mang’s head. When both the heavy cavalry and heavy infantries were compared, the heavy cavalry would win more as they had mobility and would be the ones taking the initiative to attack. If they cannot win, they can run. On the other hand, the heavy infantries could only rely on their battle formations to stop the cavalry’s charge. Even if they could win, it would be hard for them to wipe out all the enemies. As a result, the Qiang general was very confident.
‘Haha. Take the enemies banner and head? It would already be good if you do not leave your head with them!’ Hu Che Er thought as he sneered in his heart. “It is not that I am a coward but have you forgotten what happened to our two thousand elites? Have you forgotten the deceitfulness of the Han?” When Hu Che Er said this, his Han generals felt awkward but they were used to it. “They only used a few thousand worth of provisions but it caused us and our allies to fight amongst ourselves. Two thousand of our brothers perished, leaving us forever!” Hu Che Er coldly replied to his subordinate. His words caused the Qiang general to turn silent although still a little bit dissatisfied.
“If you guys intend to go, I will not stop you. However, when you die, do not blame me!” The Qiang soldiers felt a lingering fear. In that one battle, Xu Shu did not lose a single men and only used a few thousand provisions to take out two thousand Xiliang Cavalry elites. If they were to count Liu Bei’s troops as well, it would be about five thousand men. This also almost made Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu have a falling out. The strategies of the Han could easily determine the victor.
“Hmph! Once you die, the women and wealth you fight over with great difficulty would be given to others!” Hu Che Er gave one sentence to completely dispel the thoughts of fighting against Liu Mang from their minds. They were Qiang and did not have the sense of honor of the Han. Even if they had one, they have already thrown it away. They worked under Zhang Xiu for women and wealth, so that they live an even more decent life. However, they would no longer have any of this once they are dead. The Xiliang Cavalry was not like the Lu Bu’s Army where they could be worshipped after a heroic death at the Hall of Heroes. Zhang Xiu was also not as magnanimous as Liu Mang and would not give the family of the dead with death gratuity. On top of that, unlike the Hans, once the elder brother dies, the little brother would take and sleep with their wives. The acc.u.mulated wealth would also be used by their younger brother. This was a crucial point for the Xiliang Cavalry.
The Qiang people finally became silent. The Han 1000-man commander had some sense of honor but understood that there was no benefits to dying. As the task would be unrewarding, there was no reason to go. The cake was large but one would need to risk their lives to eat it.
Just as Hu Che Er felt satisfied from supressing the opinions of everyone else, another Han general spoke up. “General. The Fake King Liu Mang’s letter of challenge that states that he only has two thousand five hundred men is not necessarily fake1.”
“Hm?” Hu Che Er’s eyes turned cold. He already said that he would not go and that was the final decision. The Han general also felt Hu Che Er’s killing intent and quickly replied. “General. Look at this seal on the letter. This is truly the Fake King’s letter!” The letter was truly sent by Liu Mang and his seal was even placed on it. If it was during times of peace, that letter was an imperial edict.
“What do you want to say?” Hu Che Er looked at the man, promising to act out if the explanation remains unclear. After all, he had just only supressed the opinions of those that opposed him and then this guy suddenly appeared. That was just courting death.
“I believe that this is truly a challenge letter and that the King of Shu would not trick us!” The Han general quickly finished.
“How do you know that he would not trick us?” Hu Che Er was still unwilling to take risks.
“This is because of the seal!” He was a strange person. At times, he abandon his pride and at times, he wanted face. With the seals he would not be able to bring more people as he would become a villain that does not keep his words. It is just like how everyone knew that the Emperor was Cao Cao’s puppet as long as the imperial edict was not too excessive.
“General. If we do not meet them in battle, the Fake King can proclaim us cowardly to the world. At that time, we, the Xiliang Cavalry would really be shamed in the world!” The Han general said this as the challenge letter had written that this is to avenge the Wolf Cavalry. It had stated that the Xiliang Cavalry was never a match for the Wolf Cavalry. The letter claimed that the Xiliang Cavalry won through despicable and deceitful means. If they do not accept the challenge, they would agree to the claims stated in the letter. The one that is afraid of the challenge would be a lowly person.
“So what? Can reputation be eaten?” Hu Che Er asked disdainfully. “I will say this again. We only need to escort the supply troops!” Hu Che Er was of Qiang descent. To them, the Han’s Book of History and etiquette were all done after eating one’s fill. The benefits in front of their eyes were more important than their reputation. They were people who were willing to draw their blades on each other for land and water. Why would they care about losing face?
The Han general’s words had been correct. The one that had sent the letter had been Liu Ye but he did not only sent the challenge letter to Hu Che Er. He even sent the letter to all the surrounding areas including to Zhang Xiu and Liu Bei at Shouchun and also to Cao Cao.
“Two thousand five hundred Urban Army against eight thousand Xiliang Cavalry? Has Liu Mang gone mad?” The first place to receive this information was Jingzhou that was the nearest. Liu Biao was experiencing a headache. Initially, he thought of watching the tigers fight from atop the mountain but now, he had lost Sanjiangkou to Sun Ce. Naturally, he could not show disregard anymore. The information he received only made him show disdain.
“Troublesome!” Lu Bu threw the letter in anger the moment he read it. Fighting against eight thousand of the Xiliang Cavalry with only two thousand five hundred of the Urban Army was something that he himself did not dare to do. He also knew that Liu Mang did this for him but did not agree to Liu Mang risking his life fighting Hu Che Er like this.
“Gongtai! Write a letter and have him return to Lujiang! We are abandoning Yangzhou. It is becoming more and more troublesome!” Lu Bu has also seen the small changes at the river. Sun Ce’s navy was slowly withdrawing. Lu Bu did not know whether he was mistaken but believed that this was good news.
“Milord. It is too late!” Chen Gong shook his head with a wry smile. They could only have received the letter a few days later. By now the battle would have already started. Even if hasn’t started, the letter would only arrive after a few days. During that time, the battle may have already escalated.
“Has Liu Mang gone mad?” Liu Bei asked feeling uncertain. To fight against the eight thousand Xiliang Cavalry with only two thousand and five hundred heavy infantries was not something his White Eared Soldiers could do. They were almost four times the number. The White Eared Soldiers could only fight up to twice their number under Chen Dao’s leadership. Even then, the White Eared Soldiers themselves would not be able to escape destruction. Liu Bei believed that this was a bluff but he did not say anything. This is because the heavy cavalry that was challenged was not his subordinate. If Liu Mang had lied, the Xiliang Cavalry would become weaker. Liu Bei would then have a higher chance of subduing Zhang Xiu. If Liu Mang had not lied and was truly courting death, Liu Bei would be even happier.
“Preposterous! That boy Liu Mang is trying to take advantage of me like this?” Zhang Xiu was bursting with rage. He knew that the Xiliang Cavalry was not a match for the Wolf Cavalry, especially at that moment. The Wolf Cavalry was the king of the cavalries. However, this is something that should just be said privately instead of being used to humiliate others. Might makes right!2 So what if they won using an ambush? An ambush is a valid tactic. All is fair in love and war. However, the challenge letter had singled out the Xiliang Cavalry while boasting shamelessly by challenging the eight thousand Xiliang Cavalry with only two thousand five hundred soldiers. This meant that Zhang Xiu was being looked down on. Naturally, he would not be able to accept it.
“All units, follow me! I, Zhang Xiu, will go to Guangzhou and take the head of that Fake King Liu Mang!” Zhang Xiu could not endure this and wanted to go straight to Guangzhou to fight against Liu Mang.
“General Yang Wu, calm down!” Pang Tong appeared and smiled. “General. Guangzhou is not too far from this place but it one would still need a few days to arrive there. By the time you reach Guangzhou, the battle would have been over! Besides that, there are also soldiers here at Shouchun. You cannot leave!” Pang Tong had no way of capturing Shouchun that had been defending like a turtle. He wanted Zhang Xiu to help with his Xiliang Cavalry. Liu Bei would also feel more relieved with the presence of Zhang Xiu’s Xiliang Cavalry.
“Hmph. Then tell me what you want me to do?” Liu Mang had already singled them out. If they do not respond, they would become cowards.
“Haha. General. You can have Hu Che Er fight them!” After all, Liu Mang mentioned Hu Che Er by name. “However, you must take note to see if that boy Liu Mang has played any tricks. Have General Hu Che Er dispatch scouts to check out the situation before engaging in battle!” Pang Tong also did not want Zhang Xiu to focus too much on Liu Mang.
“I naturally know this. Lord Xuande. I have other matters to attend to. Forgive me for being unable to accompany you!” Zhang Xiu said to Liu Bei.
“General, go with ease. I understand the severity of the situation!” Liu Bei also did not stop Zhang Xiu. Zhang Xiu quickly left and send a letter to Hu Che Er’s main camp at the distant Guangzhou.
When Hu Che Er received the letter, he immediately got a headache. This is because Zhang Xiu only wrote a word on it. “War!”
The ‘deceit’/’fake’/’bluff’ does not refer to ‘trap’. Liu Mang stated to only bring two thousand five hundred men. The ‘deceit’ would be if he actually brought more. Just some subtle difference.
成王败寇 Chinese idiom. Basic interpretation would be that the winner is in power (reigning of an Emperor) and n.o.body can blame him. On the other hand, failure is ‘illegal’ and those that failed becomes thieves. Mostly used in struggles. The two English saying I could think of is ‘might makes right’ and ‘history is written by the winner.’ However, in Zhang Xiu’s POV, history has not yet been written so…