My Father in Law is Lu Bu - BestLightNovel.com
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When Yuan Shao dies, the large Hebei would no longer be a single ent.i.ty. It would also no longer be a match for Cao Cao. To Cao Cao, Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang were useless people, just like Tao Qian's two children. Otherwise Tao Qian would not have surrendered so easily. In other words, Hebei was about to fall into Cao Cao's lap. Cao Cao could not help but smile as he thought of this.
"Does Military Advisor Guo believe that Xu You is right?" Cao Cao laughed as Xu You turned his objective towards Guo Jia.
Guo Jia was slightly distracted as he had been slacking off. As a loafer, he had no regards as to where he could slack off. When Xu You entered the Cao Cao's Army, the happiest person was Cao Cao himself. The second happiest person would be Guo Jia. This is because there is now an additional person sharing his burdens. This meant that he had more time to slack off and drink wine. He never expected Xu You to now target him. "Haha. Mister Ziyuan. Your words are reasonable." Guo Jia laughed in reply.
However, Xu You refused to drop the matter. He joined up with Cao Cao because there was no future with Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao was furious at him after Shen Pei made him a fool. If anything wrong happened, he would be the first one to be looked at. Naturally, he would not stay and defected to Cao Cao. In the Yuan Shao's Army, he had been a disposable piece as he refused to join Yuan Tan or Yuan Shang. Both brothers would not allow this. Now that he is with Cao Cao, he carried himself with arrogance. As Cao Cao's good friend, he should be the number one subordinate. As Guo Jia was Cao Cao's number one subordinate and the army's Military Advisor, he was targeted by Xu You. "I still have many aspects of which I am lacking. Can the Military Advisor dispel my doubts?"
"Mister Ziyuan have already done well. I have nothing to add!" Guo Jia was a lazy person. He was too lazy to compete against Xu You for rank and position. Cheng Yu always gave Guo Jia a hard time but Guo Jia did not care. He would be happy to let you have the rank and position if it meant he would be able to relax more. Cheng Yu who was unable to accept Guo Jia's slacker att.i.tude always tried to give him trouble but would only find himself in an awkward position every time.
"Haha. Military Advisor Guo is too kind." Xu You looked at Guo Jia with a content expression. He wanted to show off to everyone, especially Cao Cao that he was better than Guo Jia. He wanted Cao Cao to remove Guo Jia and then take on Guo Jia's position.
However, Xu You did not understand the current Cao Cao. Cao Cao was no longer the Cao Aman that he knew but the overlord of Hebei.
Xu You did not know that Guo Jia did not like to compete with others. Although Xu You seemed to have placed pressure on Guo Jia on the surface, the others in the Cao Cao's Army knew Guo Jia's nature. To aggressively compete against a person that doesn't compete only made him look more repulsive. Cao Cao frowned at Xu You's performance. Xu You was not like Guo Jia who could act as Cao Cao wished and also act as a friend. This is because Cao Cao knew that Guo Jia was lazy and not ambitious. Guo Jia would not go and show off. On the other hand, Xu You was extremely greedy. It was his greed that made him get caught by Shen Pei. This also caused Xu You to defect. Cao Cao acted polite but once Xu You has served his purpose, he would be met with tragedy.
Xu You did not notice Cao Cao's feelings. He also treated Guo Jia's actions as though Guo Jia had conceded defeat. Now that he felt as though he was number one, he stopped pestering Guo Jia.
Cao Cao then asked another question to attack Xu You's ego. "Fengxiao. Have you delivered the provisions to Shouchun?" This question made Xu You stunned. Shouchun was Lu Bu's territory and Lu Bu was Cao Cao's mortal enemy. Why would Cao Cao give them provisions? When Cao Cao captured Wuchao, he gained over two hundred thousand provisions. Half of what he earned had been given away to Lu Bu. He initially thought those provisions had been sent to Xudou but now he realized that he had been mistaken.
"Milord! It has already been delivered!" Guo Jia replied. If they were in private, Guo Jia would have replied that he had delivered the provisions a long time ago as he drank wine. His current actions had gave Cao Cao face which was as expected as Cao Cao's favourite advisor.
"Good. This is good!" Cao Cao nodded. The first thing he thought of when he obtained the provisions was Shouchun.
"Aman! Why did you give others your provisions? On top of that, that territory belongs to Lu Bu!" Xu You was puzzled. That was a lot of provisions that not everybody could just fork out. "Is this the Military Advisor's actions?" Xu You glanced at Guo Jia. For no reason, Guo Jia was suddenly looked at as a spendthrift.
"Haha. Ziyuan. You really would not know this! I did not give away these provisions without proper thought! People have already paid for the hundred thousand provision!" Cao Cao laughed as he stroked his beard.
"Is it a reconciliation?" Xu You could not understand and asked.
"Fengxiao. Explain this to Ziyuan!" Cao Cao called out Guo Jia directly. He wanted Guo Jia to bring Xu You back down, as a message to Xu You that he is not the only intelligent guy around. 'How could you show your face if you cannot even think of this?'
"Milord?" Guo Jia was stunned. He looked into Cao Cao's eyes and understood Cao Cao's intentions. After all, they had worked together for many years. Cao Cao also knew that Guo Jia did not want to fight against Xu You. Guo Jia felt as though Cheng Yu was enough. He had no reason to offend Xu You and give himself more trouble. However, now that Cao Cao had called him out, he had no choice but to act.
"Mister Ziyuan. You might be unaware of this but when Milord said that Lu Bu had already paid for the provisions, he was talking about the battle at Guandu." Guo Jia replied as he glanced at Cao Cao. His expression towards Cao Cao seemed to say 'please spare me' as he knew that Xu You would come after him for this. However, Cao Cao feigned ignorance and Guo Jia ended up remaining silent.
"Mister Ziyuan. This is what is meant by part of it being paid for already!" Since he was unable to retreat, then he could only push forward. After all, Guo Jia also found Xu You as a disagreeable person. Cheng Yu had also went against Guo Jia a lot but Cheng Yu was an old and obstinate person. Despite that, Cheng Yu's actions was for Guo Jia's good. For example, Guo Jia had a weak body. Drinking wine would only worsen his condition and provided no benefits. Cheng Yu wanted Guo Jia to stop drinking and live a healthier life but Guo Jia refused to change. On the other hand, Xu You only thought of climbing up the ranks. Although Guo Jia did not want to look for trouble, he don't have any qualms doing it after he was forced to.
"The battle at Wuchao was half the price sent by the Lu Bu's Army!" Guo Jia impolitely dropped this huge information.
"What?" Xu You was no longer calm. He joined the Cao Cao's Army and acted proudly because he believed that he had made a huge contribution. When he arrived, Cao Cao left the camp and said, "Ziyuan has arrived. We can do great things now!" Xu You then sat down and discussed with Cao Cao.
"How long can be provisions last?"
"We can last for a year."
"How could there be so much more? Speak truthfully!"
"We can last for half a year."
"Do you not want to defeat Yuan Shao? Why do you not speak the truth?"
"I am just joking with you. We only have one month of provisions left."
"You have no support and no provisions. This is a critical situation. Right now, Yuan Shao's Army has provisions at Wuchao. Although there are soldiers, they lack a proper defense. As long as you attack Wuchao and burn their food, the Yuan Shao's Army would be defeated within three days."1
This was a big contribution but Guo Jia now said that this contribution belonged to the Lu Bu's Army. Even if one wants to lie, at the very least, the lie needs to be a properly made one.
"Haha. I wonder if I have offended the Military Advisor somehow that my contributions ended up belonging to others!" Xu You coldly replied. He believed that Guo Jia only wanted to supress him as he was superior to Guo Jia.
"Sigh." Guo Jia shook his head. Since he was already the man's enemy, he would no longer hold back. "Mister Ziyuan. We were already told about Wuchao by the King of Shu, Liu Mang while you were still Yuan Benchu's advisor. We were only uncertain about this information during that time. We were only made more a.s.sured of this after you came." Guo Jia explained that Xu You only made them more certain about Liu Mang's advice. In other words, the contribution did not belong to him.
"Haha. Military Advisor. Do you think I would believe this? Why did you not speak of what would happen five hundred years from now before that battle at Guandu?" Prophecies are only a legend. Even skilled tacticians would make mistakes. How could a person thought of a way to defeat the enemy before the battle start?
"Mister Ziyuan. I also had difficulty in believing this. You can ask the others and even ask Milord!" Guo Jia waved his hands. Xu You was afraid of losing face and asked. After all, Cao Cao had rewarded him generously after the capturing Wuchao.
"That's right. We already knew about Wuchao." All of Cao Cao's trusted subordinates replied but Xu You refused to believe them. He believed that all of them were either jealous of him or was taking into account of Guo Jia's position. In the end, he waited for Cao Cao's words. Cao Cao simply raised his hand when he saw that Xu You was still unwilling to give up.
"Ziyuan, do not be discouraged. The King of Shu is an extraordinary person. Not even Fengxiao and the others could have thought of the things he could think of!" Cao Cao seemed to console him on the surface but was actually telling Xu You that he was inferior and to stop comparing himself with others.
"This…" Although Xu You was unwilling to believe this, Cao Cao did not seem to be lying. Xu You could only clench his teeth and groan. He had always been a proud person. He believed that Cao Cao would not have achieved this without his help. He believed that Cao Cao would be driven out of Yanzhou by Yuan Shao without his help. Now, he was being told that all this while, he only played a supporting role while someone else was the main actor. This made him feel ashamed.
"King of Shu, Liu Mang! I want to see what kind of person you are!" Xu You gritted his teeth in anger. Liu Mang also did not know that he had accidentally offended a first rate advisor. With no face left to remain at camp, Xu You told Cao Cao that he had a headache and excused himself.
After Xu You had left and the Yecheng stratagem was made, Cao Cao waved his hand and had his generals make the preparations to capture Hebei. Only Guo Jia was left behind. Once Cao Cao saw that only Guo Jia was left, he no longer held back and immediately laughed loudly. Fortunately, Xu You was already far away. Otherwise, he would have regretted joining Cao Cao's army.
"Milord! You truly made me miserable!" Guo Jia looked at Cao Cao and also laughed. However, his laugh was bitter as he had become Xu You's enemy. Based on that man's nature, there was no longer any chance for them to reconcile. He had completely been used by Cao Cao as a borrowed knife. Although he knew this, he had no way to refuse.
"Fengxiao. Stop pretending. Don't tell me you did not want to see Xu You's face turn ugly? I will not believe you. Aren't you laughing in your heart?" Cao Cao teased. When Cao Cao pointed this out, Guo Jia also remembered that Xu You's initial expression was prideful and annoying. After that, it red in anger and pale in disbelief and shame. When Guo Jia thought of this, he could not help but smile.
"Milord. No matter what, I will not leave until you compensate me!" No matter what was said, Guo Jia had been used by Cao Cao as a borrowed knife. Although Guo Jia was quite pleased with the results, he had still been used. He would not be angry but would also naturally extort something from Cao Cao.
"How about a jar of Dukang2 wine?" Cao Cao raised a finger.
"A jar? Haha. Milord, it seems that I won't be leaving!" Guo Jia negotiated. Cao Cao laughed bitterly and shook his head. "Is two jars enough?"
Guo Jia did not reply but walked to the couch by Cao Cao's side and took off his shoes.
"Three jars! Is that still not enough?" Cao Cao raised another finger but it was obvious that Guo Jia was still not satisfied. "Alright. Feng Xiao. Just tell me how many jars of wine you want!"
"Haha! Milord, do not be like that. Don't say that I want wine. You are simple compensating me." Guo Jia replied as he stretched out both hands.
Each hand had five fingers which totalled up to ten. "Ten jars? You might as well sleep here!" Cao Cao replied. The Dukang wine were not ordinary wine. Even if Cao Cao were to gather up all the Dukang wine from all the land owning cla.s.ses, he would only be able to obtain ten jars at most.
"Tch!" Guo Jia looked at Cao Cao in disdain. Guo Jia knew Cao Cao well. Cao Cao had three interests. Those three interests are authority, poetry, and his l.u.s.t. Right now, Cao Cao was a subordinate of the Han Emperor. He was in a position where only the Han Emperor had the authority to command him. However, in reality, the Han Emperor had to conduct himself according to Cao Cao's needs. As for poetry, he was one of the reasons for the Seven Scholars of Jian'an3. However, poetry was not something that could just appear from nowhere. Highly skilled people would need inspiration from the heavens. Finally, he had l.u.s.t. This was normal for any man but Cao Cao had more l.u.s.t than them. During the Battle of Guandu, he was so nervous that he could not sleep, much less have fun with women. However, now that he had defeated Yuan Shao, Yuan Shao was about to die, and Yuan Shao's children would not be able to cooperate with each other against him, Cao Cao's mood improved. Guo Jia could see that Cao Cao would want to have fun for a few nights. People have even sent beautiful women to him from within Zhaoge.
If Guo Jia were to stay, Cao Cao would not be able to have s.e.x!
Guo Jia's actions caused Cao Cao to raise seven fingers. Cao Cao naturally knew how to compromise. "My good Fengxiao. My good Guo jia. Seven jars. I can't go any higher."
"Seven jars?" Guo Jia licked his lips. He continued to watch Cao Cao and fought a psychological battle. This was something he was an expert in.
"If you want more, you might as well sleep here!" Cao Cao was helpless. He only had ten jars Dukang wine. He did not know how Guo Jia found out about it. However, seven jars was the limit Cao Cao could give. This is because Cao Cao would need good wine for the guests when it was time to celebrate heroics. So, he would not be able to give more to Guo Jia and can only say he was helpless.
"Alright. Seven jars it is!" Guo Jia replied with a regretful expression but he was actually cheering in his heart. He actually only wanted five jars. When he showed ten fingers, he was telling Cao Cao that he knows how many jars of Dukang wine Cao Cao had. However, Cao Cao a.s.sumed that Guo Jia wanted ten. Now, Guo Jia received two jars more than the minimum amount he wanted. Naturally he was so happy that he could not conceal his smile. When Cao Cao noticed this, he realized that he was caught by Guo Jia's psychological trick and gnashed his teeth. "Guo Fengxiao! You even scheme against your own Lord!" Although Cao Cao was angry, he could not take back his words and could only have his sergeant present Guo Jia with seven jars of Dukang wine.
"Alright then. We should now discuss about the actual business. How is the matter regarding the provisions given to Lu Bu?" Cao Cao asked. Although Cao Cao did not show it, he also felt his heart ache from giving away a hundred thousand provisions. Cao Cao was not a person that would just give away provisions to Liu Mang. In the original timeline, the credit for Wuchao went to Xu You but Cao Cao still got rid of Xu You in the end. As the unscrupulous hero, Cao Cao was brazen. Cao Cao rules by control as he play the guise of a loyal minister. If he had been a loyal minister, he would not have tried to replace the Han the Emperor. Liu Bei was also not a loyal minister. When Cao Pi forced the Emperor to abdicate, instead of attacking Cao Pi, Liu Bei proclaimed himself Emperor.
In other words, they were all people that spoke with empty words.
Cao Cao provided aid to Shouchun not because he was a charitable person but to have a safeguard against Liu Bei. Although Cao Cao had captured Guandu, he would still need a long time to pacify Hebei. He had enough provisions to pacify Hebei but not enough to also guard against those from the Central Plains. He knew that Liu Bei joined up with others to defeat Lu Bu. Sun Ce would then be able to focus on Liu Biao, reducing the number of compet.i.tors for the Central Plains. One of them would be able to control the Central Plains by the time Cao Cao pacifies Hebei. That was why, Cao Cao could not let Lu Bu be defeated yet. He needed Lu Bu to slow down both Liu Bei and Sun Ce so that none of them would be able to control the entire Central Plains. As Cao Cao lacked troops, he could only send provisions. He also knew that Shouchun was lacking in provisions.
"Milord! I have already sent men. I believe that Lu Bu will not refuse this!" Cao Cao and Guo Jia also sent the provisions to obtain the ballista. Cao Cao had the simple ballista made by Liu Ye and that itself was enough to make him extremely happy. It also showed Cao Cao the might of the ballista. In a naval battle, Cao Cao's army of thirty thousand ordinary navy could fight against a hundred thousand of Yuan Shao's navy. Although the navy on both sides were weak, the results made Cao Cao extremely shocked. Especially the unforgettable scene where the enemy army was devastated before they could even approach. If it was not for the fact that the ballista could only shoot twice, they may not have been completely routed. This was because they ran out of arrows. If they could shoot continuously, even Yuan Shao would be hiding like a tortoise.
Cao Cao was truly anxious about the ballista that could shoot repeatedly. He knows that his luck was terrible if he comes across this. The ballista was not only good for naval battles but could even be used for defending against a siege. This was why Cao Cao wanted the ballista urgently. Lu Bu refused to sell the technology while both Liu Biao and Sun Ce kept the secret guarded closely to the extent that they would gather the sc.r.a.ps of the ballista after the battlefield.
Cao Cao had now helped Lu Bu in his hour of need. He would not believe that they would be so heartless and not feel touched. If he could obtain the technology for the ballista, he could speed up the unification of Hebei.
__________The entire conversation belonged to Xu You and Cao Cao before Wuchao got captured. It was also crammed together into one paragraph along with Cao Cao said : " " Xu You said: " ". I simply spread it out to make it easier to read (personal opinion). Also the pointlessness of Cao Cao giving wrong information only serves to fuel my headache. Dukang is the inventor of alcoholic beverages in Chinese legend. Just think of it as a brand name. The Seven Scholars of Jian'an is a group of scholars. The name was coined by Cao Pi. Cao Cao isn't one of them. However, Cao Cao himself is an accomplished poet, whose poetry style, along with others, developed into the Jian'an style.
Chapter 327 (Long chapter, 10k words)
Hefei and Guangzhou were hundreds of miles away from each other. On foot, they would take at least four days. However, for the heavily armored Xiliang Cavalry, the journey was only two days.
Hu Che Er took eight thousand Xiliang Cavalry straight to Guangzhou. Guangzhou not only has a few thousand injured after being attacked by Liu Bei. Although the Guangzhou had not yet been repaired, it also has about ten thousand heavy infantries.
At the gates Shouchun, the arrival of the Xiliang Cavalry did not seem significant but at this small Guangzhou, the people started to lament. The quake caused by the stampede of the Xiliang Cavalry caused the gates of Guangzhou to shake as Guangzhou was just a small county town. Its walls was made from the earth and had almost been destroyed by rams. The vibration could be felt from the walls and this made the troops concerned. They quickly went and inform their superior officers.
"Enemy attack!" A loud horn came from Guangzhou as the soldiers quickly gathered at the walls. Amongst them were about several hundred soldiers in heavy armors. These were the Urban Army and the Black Flag Army. Standing between them was the King of Shu, Liu Mang.
"Milord is right. The Fake King Liu Mang is really at Guangzhou!" Hu Che Er was not an idiot. He only showed his straightforward nature for his enemies to see. Those that underestimate him would pay for their mistakes with their lives.
"The Xiliang Cavalry?" There were not many troops from the Urban Army and the Black Flag Army. This is because the walls from Guangzhou is too small for that many people. Liu Mang was simply up there just so he could see who the enemy was. From their banners to their appearance, it was evident that they were foreigners.
"This must be the Xiliang Cavalry!" Liu Mang said to himself. He had seen many heavy cavalries such as the Wolf Cavalry, Tiger Cavalry and the Yuzhou Cavalry. Except for the Wolf Cavalry, Liu Mang had confronted them before.
Now, Liu Mang was going against the Xiliang Cavalry. He had very little information of the Xilliang Cavalry but he knew that his father-in-law's Wolf Cavalry had fallen into a trap set by the Xiliang Cavalry and were badly defeated. Even then, Liu Mang did not underestimate them. He had sent a messenger to Shouchun using the river. This was how the message reached Shouchun so quickly. However, the Xiliang Cavalry reacted and arrived in just two days. This demonstrated the speed of the Xiliang Cavalry.
"Little Lord. Let Hao Shao defend this city! As long as these hundreds of soldiers are here, nothing will happen to Guangzhou!" Hao Shao cupped his fist at Liu Mang. He wors.h.i.+pped Liu Mang for being able to stop a hundred thousand soldiers with ten thousand at Wancheng. He wanted to show his idol that he was also not an ordinary person.
"Hao Shao." Liu Mang glanced at the man. He had truly underestimated Hao Shao. He would probably not even notice this man if it was not because of Zhang Liao's recommendation. For what reason would Hao Shao follow him to Shouchun if he was not even given the chance to fight against the Xiliang Cavalry. As Liu Mang already had Zhao Yun and the White Horses, Zhang Liao's recommendation put him in a bind. Liu Mang had already given the others positions. He was not able to create a new position just for Hao Shao or even provide Hao Shao with troops. As a result, he had Hao Shao become the governor of Guangzhou as a favour to others despite the fact that he had already given up on Guangzhou because it would not be able to stop the enemy unlike Gus.h.i.+ and Anfeng.
However, Gus.h.i.+ and Anfeng fell in less than a day. One had its leader killed by Zhang Fei while the other surrendered to Chen Dao and the Liu Bei's Army. It could be said that the two gates of Yangzhou had already been opened. However, Guangzhou lasted for four days before Liu Bei gave up on it as it was too small. Guangzhou now became the city a.s.sisting Shouchun. This was an unexpected surprise.
'Hao Shao…' The name sounded familiar to Liu Mang. He could not help but ask. "Hao Shao. Where are you from?"
"Hm?" Hao Shao froze for a moment. Why would Liu Mang ask him this question at this moment? "Little Lord. I came from Taiyuan."
"Taiyuan? Hao Shao? Hao Shao!" Liu Mang's eyes suddenly lit up as he received an insight. "Are you Bodao1?"
"Hm? Little Lord. How do you know?" Hao Shao felt that this was strange as he never told Liu Mang his courtesy name. When men call each other in their courtesy names, it was a show of respect and intimacy. Although Hao Shao was Liu Mang's subordinate, he was not Liu Mang's direct subordinate. So, Hao Shao was not able to tell Liu Mang his courtesy name. The hundreds of Hao Shao's surviving troops also would not call him with this name as they were mere underlings and did not have the qualifications to know. After a while, Hao Shao 'understood' that it must be mentioned in Zhang Liao's recommendation letter.
In truth, when Liu Mang received Zhang Liao's letter, he had skimmed through the letter instead of thinking about things deeply. On top of that, Liu Mang felt like grumbling to Zhang Liao. 'What is the meaning of sending me men that you do not want?' As Liu Mang did not want to have a falling out with Zhang Liao, he had to make arrangements for Hao Shao. Now, Liu Mang thought of this as a treasure.
Two thousand defenders stopped an enemy army of twenty thousand and even caused a few thousand of the enemy to perish. They even captured hundreds of prisoners and obtained four hundred of the White Eared's heavy armor. When Liu Mang saw the moat, he laughed bitterly noting that he himself would have send troops down the middle if he did not have any catapults.
"Hao Shao Hao Bodao!" Liu Mang's eyes flashed. This was truly a treasure. In the original timeline, Hao Shao ended up working for Cao Cao after Lu Bu got defeated and became a high ranking general. Liu Mang could not remember much about Hao Shao. There was also not much written in the records. However, Liu Mang could remember the name as it was one of the people that gave Zhuge Liang trouble.
After the Battle of Jieting, Zhuge Liang changed his target to Chencang Zhuge Liang heard of Hao Zhao's might and believed that attacking would be a difficult task. So, he sent Hao Zhao's friend, Jin Xiang, to persuade Hao Zhao to defect. Hao Zhao replied to his friend, "You know me and the laws of Wei. I have received much from the state and my family is important. There is no need for you to say anymore as I will die defending this place. Go back and tell Zhuge Liang to attack." After that, Jin Xiang came back with another message from Zhuge Liang, "You are outmatch. There is no need to seek death." Hao Shao replied, "My decision is set. I know you but my arrow doesn't."
Zhuge Liang had more men and Hao Zhao's reinforcements would not arrive. So Zhuge Liang's army marched towards Hao Zhao. The ladders used to climb the walls were burned down by fire arrows. Zhuge Liang filled up the moats and sent siege towers but Hao Shao build another wall behind behind the outer wall. Zhuge Liang tried many other methods but Hao Zhao foiled them. After more than twenty days, reinforcements came, forcing Zhuge Liang to withdraw.
This was truly an impressive feat. Hao Zhao may not be an expert in sieges but he was still able to make a person feel invincible. Some say that Chencang was a place that was easy to defend but hard to attack. Even then, Hao Zhao's was still formidable at defending. It could even be said that one could rest easy as long as they place Hao Zhao at the borders. They would only need to listen to reports of the number of enemies and the number of enemies defeated.
Liu Mang felt regret. If he knew that this person was so good at defending, he would have given Gus.h.i.+ or Anfeng to him. After all, Hao Shao managed to hold out for four days with only two thousand soldiers and also earn precious time for Xu Shu at Shouchun. If Liu Mang had let Hao Shao be in charge of all the cities, it is possible that Liu Bei would not have even entered Yangzhou.
"Bodao. It is fine to have the men just be a little bit more alert. There is no need to be too fl.u.s.tered!" Liu Mang wanted to see Hao Shao's defensive tactics with his own eyes but he could not find the opportunity. The enemies outside the city would also not be able to provide him with that opportunity.
"Hm?" Hao Shao could not understand his Little Lord. Liu Mang had suddenly asked about his courtesy name and then his eyes s.h.i.+ned as he laughed. Fortunately, Hao Shao knew that this was his Little Lord. Otherwise, he would have thought that he came across a person with mental disorder when he was asked not to be fl.u.s.tered with the enemies below the city.
"The Xiliang Cavalry would not attack the city!" Liu Mang replied as he looked at them.
Sure enough, one of the men in the Xiliang Cavalry asked Hu Che Er. "General. Are we going to prepare to attack the city?"
"Siege the city? No need!" Hu Che Er shook his head. He would only do that once he became r.e.t.a.r.ded as his heavy cavalry was not suited for attacking cities. The only time when a cavalry would be used to attack cities was when they lack infantries.
Hu Che Er will not do this even if Guangzhou was worn out and its walls were made of soil. At the end of the day, Guangzhou was still a city with walls and gates. If his men were to climb the walls, they would have to abandon their horses. At that time, they would be no match for the ten thousand heavily armored defenders. Besides that, capturing Guangzhou would not bring him any benefits. They were only here to protect the provisions and kill those that went out.
"Alright. There is nothing worth seeing here. Let us go back." Liu Mang shook his head and said. There was no city tower at Guangzhou and a person would be able to feel the cold wind blow just by standing on the walls. Rather than feeling the cold on the walls, it was better to drink wine below it.
"General! Look at that!" Liu Mang leaving could be seen by the Xiliang Cavalry below. One of the thousand men generals saw this and told Hu Che Er.
"All units, take precautions." Liu Mang had already descended the walls but Hao Shao did not dare to be careless.
"Is this the King of Shu, Liu Mang?" Earlier, Hu Che Er had said Fake King. Now, he said King of Shu. Hu Che Er saw that Liu Mang had knowledge and courage to know that he would not attack. It was a person that had a kind of contempt for his enemies while also having self-confidence. "Let us go!" Hu Che Er took his men and left as he had achieved his purpose. His actions made Hao Shao increase his opinion of Liu Mang.
Guangzhou had become a resting place for Liu Mang after it was occupied.
"Military Advisor. This is truly a good stratagem! We have cut off Liu Bei's supplies from the Wei River to the borders of Yuzhou and Yangzhou, making him unable to attack Shouchun with all of his strength and force him to split his forces. It seems that we have been successful!" Xu Sheng was the first to speak. He truly admired Liu Ye. Although Liu Ye had been tricked by Sun Qian's empty fort strategy, he later sowed dissension in the Liu Bei's Army. Unfortunately, the provisions at Ruyin had already been burned and they no longer had the strength to attack Runan. Liu Mang and Xu Sheng had initially thought of returning to Shouchun for a decisive battle against Liu Bei but Liu Ye claimed that this would only delay Shouchun's fate with the possibility of dying together with Shouchun. He then advised to cut off Liu Bei's provisions. Now, it would seem that the strategy had been a little successful. The appearance of the Xiliang Cavalry was proof that Liu Bei had divided his forces.
"No. It is not successful yet." Liu Ye shook his head and did not accept Xu Sheng's compliments. This is because his strategy was not successful yet. "Xu Sheng. Our strategy was to cut off Liu Bei's provisions and to divide his forces. However, this soldier is not one of Liu Bei's." Liu Ye wanted Liu Bei to send his own troops. If only a little troops came over, they could be wiped out while Shouchun could be saved if a lot came over.
However, the ones that came was the Xiliang Cavalry from his ally Zhang Xiu. This was a problem for Liu Ye's stratagem as the eight thousand cavalry would be able to escort the transports carrying provisions, solving Liu Bei's problems with provision.
With this, Liu Bei could continue his siege on Shouchun while not having any problems with his provisions. On the other hand, Liu Mang's Army would just be stuck at Guangzhou.
"The Xiliang Cavalry must be removed!" Liu Mang said as he lightly hit the table. If the Xiliang Cavalry remained, they would be able to send supplies to the Liu Bei's Army. At that time, Shouchun would be closer to being captured.
Although it was easy to say that the Xiliang Cavalry needs to be removed, it was hard to actually pull off. After all, cavalries were the strongest in the cold weapon's era as they were mobile and powerful. On top of that, the Xiliang Cavalry were heavy cavalries.
"Milord. I will see if we can ambush the Xiliang Cavalry!" When dealing heavy cavalries, ambushes was the best method to be used. Even the Wolf Cavalry suffered a lot because of an ambush.
"No. An ambush would be useless!" Liu Ye shook his head. The borders of Yangzhou and Yuzhou were plains. It was the best place for cavalry's charge while being a terrible place for ambushes. There were barely any locations to set an ambush and even when an ambush is sprung, the cavalry could quickly escape. There would be problems if the ambush failed. Besides that, they would not be able to finish off the Xiliang Cavalry if they dispatched too little people for the ambush. However, Guangzhou would become vacant if they were to dispatch a lot of people for the ambush. The Xiliang Cavalry did not attack the city simply because there were ten thousand heavy armor infantries in the city. If these soldiers were to leave and prepare the ambush, the Xiliang Cavalry would simply enter and capture the city. As the provisions for the Liu Mang's Army were all in Guangzhou, they would starve if the city gets captured.
"How about we just strike at their supplies?" Huang Xu gave his opinion. He thought of ignoring the Xiliang Cavalry and go straight for Liu Bei's supplies. It would cause Liu Bei to have a shortage of supplies for a time.
"This is also not possible." Liu Mang stopped this idea from going further. This is because they only had heavy infantries. They could attack light infantries but had to fight defensive battles if they were fighting against heavy cavalries. They may be able to attack the supply troops but they would lose a lot of soldiers to the heavy cavalry. Liu Mang could not afford this as the loss would be too great. He only had that ten thousand troops. He could not lose them even if he could take down the eight thousand heavy cavalries.
"Sigh. This won't work. That won't work. It would be great if we could get them to attack us!" Xu Sheng said resolutely. Heavy infantries was at its most formidable when it is able to take battle formation. Even the heavy cavalries would avoid engaging recklessly with them. If we can use the ballista, we would be able to put holes into their bodies!" The Xiliang Cavalry would only court death if they were to attack the city.
"Have the enemy attack us?" Liu Ye thought for a moment and then said, "Milord. I have a strategy!"
"Ziyang. Tell us what you have thought of!" Liu Mang finally realized the benefits of having an advisor. They could think of things that you could not and could even improve your ideas. This was the time for the military advisor to solve their problems.
"Milord. Just as Xu Sheng had said earlier, we would need to make them attack our city if we want to defeat them. With the ballista, we would be able to defeat as many of the Xiliang Cavalry that comes as long as they do not enter the city." Ever since the invention of the ballista, it has been used in both naval battles and siege battles. It made Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu experience bitter hards.h.i.+ps. If it was not because of Ma Jun and his catapults, Liu Bei may not even get to touch Shouchun or fill up the moats.
"But we would still need to get them to attack us!" Liu Mang laughed bitterly as he shook his head. The problem how to make them do that. If they were to come, Liu Mang was confident enough to force them to stay at Guangzhou.
"We cannot make them attack Guangzhou but we can get them to attack us outside the walls!" Liu Ye replied with a smile.
"Ziyang. Are you saying we should fight the Xiliang Cavalry outside the walls with the Urban Army and the Black Flag Army?" Liu Mang could not understand. Why would the Xiliang Cavalry attack them if they do this? The eight thousand heavy cavalry and the ten thousand heavy infantries would be evenly matched. If the Xiliang Cavalry appeared and attacked them, there would be a lot of casualties on both sides. Both Liu Mang and Zhang Xiu could not afford such casualties. The person that would be the happiest from this is Liu Bei. Not only would his problems with provisions be solved but he would have used Zhang Xiu's men to dispose of Liu Mang's main force.
"Haha. He would not appear if ten thousand soldiers were dispatched but what if it was five thousand or even two thousand?" Liu Ye replied. In that situation, the Xiliang Cavalry would definitely appear as they outnumber the enemy. It wouldn't matter even if they were in formation as they cannot fight outnumbered. The two thousand soldiers would be completely routed.
"That would bring them out but how would we defeat them?" Even if you use a bait, you must still be able to catch the fish. Otherwise, it would be a huge loss.
"Milord. Have you forgotten that we have a weapon that could deal with the heavy cavalry?" Liu Ye laughed.
"You mean…?" Liu Mang's eyes also lit up.
"Yes. If we want to annihilate the Xiliang Cavalry, we only need to have them attack us. As we do not have walls outside the city, we build the walls with our body. The ballistae can be carried. The heavy infantries can form the front lines to withstand the enemy. The ballistae at the rear would attack them."
There were only two things that could rout a heavy cavalry on a large scale. The first one was another heavy cavalry. For example, the Wolf Cavalry had defeated the Yuzhou Cavalry and also the Tiger Cavalry. The second one was Liu Mang's ballista. The ballista was powerful enough to pierce through wars.h.i.+ps much less heavy cavalries. Having heavy armor would not make a difference as the armor was like paper. On top of that, Liu Mang's ballista can now shoot rapidly. As long as the heavy infantries can withstand the attacks from the Xiliang Cavalry, the Xiliang Cavalry would be slaughtered by the ballista.
"Let's do it!" Liu Mang shouted excitedly.
The strategy had been set. Now, they simply need to prepare. They also had to pick the soldiers for this operation. This was a bad a.s.signment as they would need to act as bait and fight face to face against the Xiliang Cavalry.
"Milord. Xu Sheng volunteers to fight!" Xu Sheng knelt and cupped his fist at Liu Mang.
With Xu Sheng taking the initiative, the three behind him, w.a.n.g Wei, Cheng Yu and Huang Xu also followed. Hao Shao then arrived and also joined in.
"Xu Sheng, w.a.n.g Wei, Cheng Yu, Huang Xu and also Hao Shao! Your courage is commendable but you are all not allowed to partic.i.p.ate this time!" Liu Mang replied as he looked at them. This was a very dangerous operation. Two thousand heavy infantries would face against heavy cavalries that has four times the number. Liu Mang had fought a similar battle at Mount Bagong. He fought against two thousand Yuzhou Cavalry with one thousand of his Urban Army. The enemy was only twice their number but they were badly defeated. If Lu Bu had not arrived in time, the Urban Army would be completely routed.
Now, the enemy was four times their number. They would not only need to protect themselves from the enemy's blades but also from the cavalry's charge. If they could not withstand it, they would be completely routed. Once that happens, the ones operating the ballista would also suffer. It was extremely dangerous which is also why the generals were rus.h.i.+ng to do it.
"Milord. Are you…?" Liu Ye heard Liu Mang's words and frowned. This is because he had a bad feeling.
"Ziyang. Do you think two thousand heavy infantries would be enough to serve as bait? It is definitely not enough!" Liu Mang laughed. Although it was an attractive bait, it would not work if the Xiliang Cavalry's general had a little bit of patience. After all, they would not gain much from defeating two thousand heavy infantries. This meant that there was no need to take risks. They simply need to continue escorting provisions and complete their mission. Once Liu Bei captured Shouchun and gains control of Yangzhou, they could come back to Guangzhou and get rid of Liu Mang without any risks.
"And so, I will personally lead the troops this time!" Liu Mang stood up and said. There was a possibility that the Xiliang Cavalry would not take the bait with only two thousand heavy infantries but it would be a different story if Liu Mang led them. Liu Mang could be said to be the master of Yangzhou. He was the Little Lord in the Lu Bu's Army. Lu Bu had given Liu Mang his foundations and also his own daughter. In the Lu Bu's Army, Liu Mang was the second most important person. It was even higher than Chen Gong.
Once Liu Mang is captured, Shouchun will fall. The master of Yangzhou would be determined in a single battle. Liu Mang's life can also be used to threaten Lu Bu. His t.i.tle as a Sage King could also be used. This t.i.tle was not an empty t.i.tle and even gave him the right to found a country. If Yuan Shu had taken Liu Mang as a son in law earlier, he would not have lost his 'righteousness' and get attacked from all sides. Liu Mang was so valuable it would be worth the risk.
"Milord! Please reconsider!" Xu Sheng, w.a.n.g Wei and the others did not dare to let Liu Mang act as bait. It would be a miracle for him to survive. Once Liu Mang is dead, there would be no meaning. After all, to them, Lu Bu was not their Lord but Liu Mang.
Xu Sheng had surrendered to Liu Mang at Wancheng as Liu Mang was ferocious and generous to use others without doubting them. He was accompanied with three thousand Black Flag soldiers as he helped defended Wancheng while awaiting reinforcements from the Wolf Cavalry.
w.a.n.g Wei had simply been curious about Liu Mang which was why he went to Hefei. However, he got dragged into a fight by Wei Yan. Liu Mang who later found out about his ident.i.ty sent a letter to Liu Biao which prevented w.a.n.g Wei from returning. Initially, w.a.n.g Wei was not pleased about this but he eventually relaxed. This is because w.a.n.g Wei was only a small time military officer in Jingzhou with only about ten subordinates. On the other hand, Liu Mang made him a deputy general. Although that was not a particularly high rank, the Black Flag Army were heavy infantries and were also one of Liu Mang's elites. He was treated as one of Liu Mang's trusted subordinates. Naturally, he felt like repaying Liu Mang.
Cheng Yu was a veteran from Xuzhou. He had become acquainted with Liu Mang from long ago. He was also one of the first few people Liu Mang got to know in this era. On top of that, Cheng Yu had almost killed Liu Mang. Afterwards, Cheng Yu had no choice but to admire Liu Mang as his Little Lord for a.s.sisting Lu Bu, sowing dissension and almost getting Cao Cao killed and giving horses to Lu Bu. Cheng Yu was initially Liu Mang's guard but eventually became a deputy general and now, the general of the Urban Army. It could be said that Cheng Yu would always follow Liu Mang as long as Liu Mang does not betray Lu Bu.
Huang Xu was rescued by Liu Mang from Huang Zu's son, Huang She. His pneumonia was also treated by Liu Mang, allowing him to once again pick up a weapon. He became a warrior and was no longer a sick person awaiting death. It could be said that Liu Mang gave Huang Xu a new life. This was why he would never leave Liu Mang.
Huang Zhong was also originally Lu Bu's enemy. Huang Zu sent Huang Zhong to fight against Lu Bu as he after Sun Ce used Lu Bu as a borrowed knife. Huang Zhong was very strong and almost gave Lu Bu a serious injury. If it was not because of Huang She, Huang Zhong may have even won as he was cautious. However, Huang She was jealous and wanted to take power from Huang Zhong. Huang She then kidnapped Huang Xu and forced Huang Zhong to kneel. Huang Zhong could endure this because he believed that everything he did for his son was worth it.
It was Liu Mang that saved Huang Xu and defeated Huang She. It was also Liu Mang that accepted Huang Zhong. Liu Mang cured Huang Xu, allowing Huang Xu to become great. That is why Huang Zhong became loyal to Liu Mang turned down the offer to become a general so that he could remain as Liu Mang's guard.
"I have thought of this plenty. It must be me!" Liu Mang was also afraid of death especially when he just arrived. When he first arrived, he even thought that he would never return. He also underwent situations of life and death when fighting against enemies. Now, he had some military power but even if he was afraid of death, he had to continue. To lose would be to die. To win would be to live. He had no choice but to continue such a life as he now has a family.
"But Milord!" Liu Mang's subordinates continued to try and stop him. However, their words was rejected by Liu Mang. "Do not worry. I will not go and court death! I have Huang Zhong by my side. Who can take my life? I may not succeed but with Huang Zhong here, I will survive!" Liu Mang replied as he pacified the fears of his generals. He knew that they were simply worried that he would encounter an unexpected event.
_____Exactly there, the name used is 伯通 Later on, it became 伯道 Bodao. Since there is an entry on Baidu with Hao Bodao, also from Taiyuan, I believe Botong to be a typo error.
Also, Hao Shao (used very consistently in the past) became Hao Zhao before changing back. 郝邵 -> 郝昭 They are the same person. I do not know what happened to his name. On a side note, Hao Zhao Bodao is used on Wikipedia.
(TN: Liu Mang believe that he should have put Hao Zhao at Gus.h.i.+/Anfeng? He would just get murdered by Zhang Fei.)