My Father in Law is Lu Bu - BestLightNovel.com
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Hu Che Er had no choice but to go to battle after receiving Zhang Xiu's letter. In the end, he could only tell his subordinates to prepare to dispatch. However, Hu Che Er had already become afraid of Xu Shu's strategy and Liao Hua's ambush. So, he dispatched his troops cautiously. The first place he sent his troops to was Guangzhou.
Ten scouts went to the walls of Guangzhou and noted that Urban Army's banner and Liu Mang's banner was no longer there. The Black Flag Army was still around along with Xu Cheng, w.a.n.g Wei, Hao Shao, and two more of the Urban Army's generals, Huang Xu and Cheng Yu. This showed that Liu Mang had truly left the city.
However, Hu Che Er was still not relieved as the banners could be set up or taken down at will. For example, the Urban Army and the Black Flag Army could have already left the city to fight. Hu Che Er was not sure if Liu Mang was actually courting death. If they were ambushed by ten thousand heavy infantries, he would not even have enough men for them to kill.
So, Hu Che Er had the Hans in his army take off their armor and leave their horses to enter the city as a common citizen. Hu Che Er initially thought that this would be a difficult task but Guangzhou's gates were wide open. After Liu Mang had left, Hao Shao gave the order for Guangzhou's gates to be open at all times, unless there was an invasion. He did this simply to tell Hu Che Er that he is allowed to spy on them as much as he wants.
When the spies entered the city, they were immediately observed as Yangzhou currently had little population. On top of that, Guangzhou was a small city with only about a few hundred citizens. Now that there was war everywhere, the common people would not be running around everywhere. Most of them would simply wait for the war to end before coming out. This was why the few spies were extremely obvious.
Hao Shao was also very tired. Not only did he need to let these people in. He also needed to make sure not to hinder them. He even needed to have people pretend to be greedy and take bribes to bring them to look at the main camp. It was to the extent that Hao Shao felt like a turncoat. Fortunately, the scouts went back in less than a day.
"Milord. The rest is up to you!" Hao Shao muttered after he saw the spies leave in satisfaction.
"What did you say? The Black Flag Army and half the Urban Army is still in the city?" Hu Che Er asked while playing with his sword. The Black Flag Army only have five thousand men and the Urban Army also have five thousand men. This was confirmed information. However, if the spies' words were right, this meant that there were seven thousand and five hundred men in the city. This also meant that Liu Mang truly took only two thousand and five hundred men with him.
If this was the case, Hu Che Er was no longer afraid. After all, he was only afraid that it might be a trap. If there were really seven thousand and five hundred soldiers in the city, Hu Che Er would quickly dispatch his Xiliang Cavalry to fight against Liu Mang and earn merits. He would not let this chance go. However, Hu Che Er calmed himself down and said, "Go to the city and spy on them again. If this is truly the case, you will be rewarded heftily!" Hu Che Er wanted to know everything before he dared to act.
"Yes!" Although the spies were not too willing to go again as they had already spied on the enemy, they once again did as instructed because Hu Che Er commanded them to and also promised them rewards, giving them motivation.
Before these people re-entered Guangzhou, the gates of Guangzhou suddenly opened. A group of heavily armored soldiers began to line up at the moat outside the city.
Taking the lead was the Black Flag Army with Xu Sheng and w.a.n.g Wei at the front. At the rear was half the Urban Army with Cheng Yu and Huang Xu amongst them. These seven thousand five hundred troops encircled the plains of Guangzhou.
"Good! I knew there was a trap! These two groups should be moving out to the promised location to ambush us!" Hu Che Er said with disdain. He then thought highly of himself for being cautious enough to dispatch his men to spy on the enemy a second time.
"General is wise!" The Qiangs were not good at flattering but the Hans were smarter at such things. Although flattering was derogatory, there is no one who doesn't like hearing words of praise. Those few words placed Hu Che Er in a good mood.
"Come! Bring me a pen!" Hu Che Er asked for a pen while feeling pleased with himself. Hu Che Er was of Qiang descent. Although he knew military strategies, he was still not as good with texts. He could read but not write. One Han soldier stood beside Hu Che Er and wanted to give praise that Hu Che Er had good handwriting. However, those words remained stuck in his throat. After a long time, Hu Che Er asked, "How do I write this word?"
A few of the Hans became helpless. Fortunately, there were a few that could write. They helped Hu Che Er to write a reply to Zhang Xiu. Zhang Xiu had written a simple letter with one word. "War". Hu Che Er returned Zhang Xiu with a simple reply. "It's a trap."
Zhang Xiu wanted him to dispatch to show the might of the XIliang Cavalry but since that there was a strap, he could not dispatch. Hu Che Er dispatched someone to send this information and was prepared to lead his troops back to his main camp. However, he was soon pulled to the side by one Han 1000-man commander. The man looked at the troops at Guangzhou and asked, "General. Don't you feel that something is wrong?"
"Wrong? What is wrong? These are all heavy infantries. Have you not seen them before? Have you never seen the Left General's White Eared Soldiers? Making a fuss over nothing!" Hu Che Er replied to the Han 1000-man commander with disdain.
"No, General. I know of the things you speak of but did you not notice that they have been standing there for a long time now?" The man asked again. Quite some time have pa.s.sed since the time he dispatched scouts to the time he was troubling over how to write the letter. However, the troops remained standing outside Guangzhou City.
"Haha. They are making a battle formation in fear that we would attack them during the journey!" Heavy infantries needed to be in formation to fight against heavy cavalries. If not, they would easily be torn apart.
"Really?" The Han 1000-man commander was in doubt. Would it really take that long to make a formation? Even the White Eared Soldiers did not take that long. Was the White Eared Soldiers of higher grade than the Black Flag Army and the Urban Army?
Just as Hu Che Er was about to leave, something big happened.
"General!" The Han 1000-man commander called out again. Hu Che Er was now very agitated. Had this Han 1000-man commander not praise him earlier, Hu Che Er would have already slapped him. "What now?" Hu Che Er asked while feeling vexed but the moment he turned around, he was also stunned. The Urban Army and Black Flag Army that he believed would ambush him turned around and returned to the city. What was going on?
"General! They are withdrawing?" The Han 1000-man commander was in doubt but the reality in front of him showed him this. The heavy infantries that had lined up went back inside the city.
"There is definitely a trick!" Hu Che Er said as he watched "That's right. They must enter from this gate and then exit from another! They do this to confuse us!" Hu Che Er finally reasoned.
"General is wise to even be able to see the Fake King's schemes! Truly a G.o.d of the military!" The flattering came again.
Just as Hu Che Er felt pleased with himself, two soldiers that have once entered Guangzhou replied, "General. Guangzhou only has two entrance. Our scouts are also placed at the other side. If the enemies leave from that side, we would be informed." Hu Che Er had already sent spies in. Those people soon gave the report that the soldiers did not use any misdirection tactics and had returned to their main camp.
"They should be preparing to set out at night!" Hu Che Er continued to be cautious but he was no longer in a hurry to return to his main camp. They cooked, ate, and slept. Hu Che Er asked to be called when there was movement.
Hu Che Er had slept very soundly until a soldier entered his camp and woke him up.
"Who is it?" Hu Che Er had slept soundly but his reaction was still quick. He was a warrior and quickly pulled out his sword. The guard that went to wake up Hu Che Er ducked out of the way quickly. Otherwise, he would have been cut down by Hu Che Er.
"I knew it! I knew that the Liu Mang's Army could not resist to quietly leave at night and ambush us when we weren't looking! Good strategy!" Hu Che Er said as he nodded his head.
The guards looked at the general and did not know whether to laugh or cry. Hu Che Er have already become paranoid. He was so cautious that it was already on the level of an illness.
"General. The enemy did not leave." The guard explained.
"Did they fight their way here? Let us leave quickly! We have horses and cannot afford to have them raid us. If not, it would be hard to get away!" Hu Che Er exclaimed as he wanted to leave his camp.
"General. It is not the enemy. It is already morning!" The guard laughed bitterly and shook his head. It was already morning. They would not have bothered waking up Hu Che Er otherwise. Other than the change in s.h.i.+ft on the walls of Guangzhou, there were no other movements made by the enemy.
"There were no movements at all?" Hu Che Er was really stunned. 'Are they really not going to set up an ambush? Is this really a decisive battle? Are they really courting death? Isn't the information coming by too easily?' If this was true, Hu Che Er really felt shameful. He suddenly remembered the letter he sent to his Lord and slammed the table. Liu Mang truly wanted a decisive battle and not only did he not go but even sent such a letter to his Lord. Even if he was Zhang Xiu's trusted subordinate, it would be difficult to make Zhang Xiu not suspect him. He wanted to dispatch someone to retrieve the letter but then realized it was too late. The messenger had left in the evening. On top of that, he had been given two horses so that he could arrive faster1. How could they chase him down now?
Hu Che Er was right. Liu Mang's Army in the walls had mobilized simply for Hu Che Er to see. If they did not dispel Hu Che Er's doubts, Hu Che Er would not take the Xiliang Cavalry to go and fight Liu Mang.
"Sigh!" Hu Che Er stamped his feet in self-hatred. After that, he became happy and said, "Capture Liu Mang! Capture that Fake King!" Hu Che Er now thought that it does not matter whether the letter arrived. As long as the decisive battle was real, he had the confidence to defeat Liu Mang. Once he obtain Liu Mang's head, the letter no longer matters. His own words would be the first-hand testimony.
"Men. Have the horses return to camp!" Hu Che Er shouted to his guards. Soon, his war horse was by his side. Just as he was about to leave, he turned and said, "You, you and you! Take one thousand troops with you and stay here. Once you see movement in Guangzhou, you are to report to me immediately!" Even at this moment, Hu Che Er was still not rea.s.sured.
"Understood!" One of the Han 1000-man commanders cupped his fist towards Hu Che Er.
Hu Che Er nodded back. He left one thousand troops behind to monitor Guangzhou. In the event that the troops in Guangzhou moved out, the one thousand Xiliang Cavalry would be able to stall them while the message is being delivered, earning time for Hu Che Er.
Hu Che Er led his guards back to his main camp. He then issued the order for food to be made so that the men and horses could eat and fight. He then ordered for the troops to mount their horses after eating.
"Brothers! In front of you is a group of extremely arrogant people! They laugh at us, saying that we are weaker than the Wolf Cavalry! They call us despicable cowards! They call us women! Are you willing to take this insult?" Hu Che Er shouted.
"No!" The seven thousand Xiliang Cavalry roared loudly. They already knew about the decisive battle but did not dare to act as Hu Che Er did not act. They simply kept their resentment in their hearts. Now, their resentment had burst out and transformed into killing intent, raising their morale.
"Good! So let us go and kill them! Let us tear off their mouths and cut off their heads! Let their heads be evidence that we are not cowards and women!" Hu Che Er finished his speech that raised the spirits of the troops. The men were now very spirited unlike before.
"Let us move out!" Hu Che Er took the lead and left the main camp. Following right behind him were his guards and a few generals of a thousand men. Thousands of men on horses rushed along the plains with their swords out.
The place Liu Mang had promised to meet them was not far away. The Xiliang Cavalry found them in about half an hour.
"Ziyang. Do you think Hu Che Er would really come?" Liu Mang frowned and asked. They had already been here for two days. All the preparations had also already been done. As the Xiliang Cavalry did not come the previous day, they all slept outdoors. As they were at the plains, it was very uncomfortable at night.
"Haha. Do not worry Milord! Even if Hu Che Er does not want to come, he would be forced by someone else to come!" Liu Ye laughed as he looked at his Lord. He believed that his Lord was good at everything but is a little too anxious. He was very hurried during the time they set up the trap. Liu Ye had sent the letter of challenge because of Zhang Xiu who placed importance in his own reputation. Such a person would set aside everything to save face and may even act in an extreme manner. For example, the Battle of Wancheng. Zhang Xiu had initially surrendered and Cao Cao had accepted him. Zhang Xiu was allowed to retain his control of Wancheng, was given provisions and Cao Cao did not even disband the XIliang Cavalry. This was very generous of Cao Cao and Zhang Xiu would have future prospects.
However, Cao Cao almost slept with Lady Zou2 and took her as a concubine. This would have only brought Zhang Xiu with benefits as Cao Cao would become his uncle, a relative. However, Zhang Xiu would become a person that was favoured because of connections. As a person who cared about saving face, he did not listen to Jia Xu's advice and killed Dian Wei, Cao Ang and destroying Cao Cao's Army with tens of thousands of troops.
Liu Ye did not believe that such a person would be able to endure this.
Just as Liu Mang wanted to inquire more, the earth suddenly shook from the movement of a cavalry. A lot of enemies have arrived. Their numbers were almost three times more than his own army. Liu Mang's eyes twinkled. He did not have the expression of panic but the expression of one who just found a nice surprise.
'They are finally here!'
__________Something to do with switching horses when one gets tired but I don't really get the logic since Horse #2 would also be running alongside Horse #1. Yes, Horse #2 doesn't need to carry the rider but it probably needs to be pulled along (so that it doesn't simply run away). When switched, tired Horse #1 would not be able to run anyway. That is not even counting the difference in stamina which adds a whole new jar of stuff to think about. Lady Zou. Zhang Xiu's distant uncle's (Zhang Ji) widowed wife. For those not particular about family trees, Zhang Xiu's aunt.