Chapter 147 - An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth (1) Translated by Bloodfalcon, Edited by Krayto
Surrounded by so many soldiers; Liu Mang had seen this scene twice before. First time, when he was surrounded by Cao Cao in Kaiyang and this is the second time. However, at that time, the commander-in-chief was Lu Bu, so he was free to do whatever he can and even express his emotion. But right now, he is the commander-in-chief, his every action and movement will affect the morale of Wancheng city and his decision will be what determines the fate of these 8,000 troops.
The enemy is big in numbers and in Wancheng city, adding the Urban Army and the Liu clan private soldiers, their forces only numbered 8,000 troops. The Lu clan, Xu clan and Han clan also provided their private soldiers but their number is so small it only equaled only 500. So, Liu Mang now only had 8,500 troops in his hand. This is the first disadvantage that Liu Mang had.
The second one is the size and condition of this Wancheng city. This city is really big and worthy of its title as the capital of Lujiang. However, due to its size it will be very difficult to send reinforcements if one of the gates is attacked.
For the third disadvantage, the wall are in a bad state due to the battle with the nobles. So Liu Mang had no choice to assign the Lu, Xu and Han clan’s private soldiers to repair the walls returning the number of troops from 8,500 to 8,000 again.
If Liu Mang had 20,000 troops, he can repel them and even open the gates for a direct assault. Regarding grain and provisions, there are still a lot left inside the now ruined Administration Office’s granary that was “hand-picked” by Lu Bu. It still can feed 100,000 people with normal meal rations for at least 6 months.
Liu Mang with only 8,000 troops had to withstand an assault of 100,000 troops. Winning the battle with this kind of number is not an impossible feat, but he would need a very grand strategy. Liu Mang now is focusing on defense instead of attacking. Nobody can handle the pressure that Liu Mang felt right now.
The only other thing that he needed was reinforcements. Even defending the city to the last man will not stop Wancheng city will be broken. Once broken, Lu Bu’s army’s grain and provisions will be gone and will be routed in a matter of days, so Liu Mang sent a messenger to Shucheng County to request for reinforcements to turn back the condition right now to favor Lu Bu’s army.
Those Cao troops who specialized in ground warfare are not Lu Bu army’s match, let alone this Jiangdong army whose army strong point focuses on naval units.
“LIU MANG THE BUTCHER, SHOW YOUR FACE!!!” A scholar from Sun Ce’s army started to provoke Liu Mang in order to do battle, and then he said “Liu Mang the butcher. You are one of Han Dynasty clansmen and a prince. You should work for the benefit of people, govern the people with benevolence, but you colluded with the slave of three surnames and frontier hungry wolf Lu Bu, occupied our city, killed our subjects and committed a great sin. Surrender now and I will make sure that Milord spares you!!! If you wait until our army breaks the city, your blood will be spilled in this city!!!” That scholar spoke those words in a confident tone, even without scripts.
“Hahaha, surrender and we will be spared?! Is this scholar out of his mind?!” Liu Mang thought in his heart. Lu Bu’sarmy and Sun Ce army already a mortal enemies and this scholar is actually asking for him to surrender? Lu Bu’s army will not be able to live if they surrender, not a single one, including Liu Mang.
Moreover, at Wancheng city, there are Zhou Tai and Zhou Cheng’s heads hanging which already started to decompose. Zhou Tai was one of Sun Ce’s beloved general and Zhou Cheng is Zhou Yu’s relative and both of them were killed by Liu Mang. So, one can see the enmity between Liu Mang and Sun Ce and adding by Da Qiao’s “death”, this young scholar should know that they already past the point of reconcile.
“What is your name?!” Liu Mang asked this confident scholar his name. This man’s tongue is really good, able to speak every one of his “sins” in one breath, is able to speak about how Liu Mang should behaved and also able to say things that can be deciphered as “alas, reality is a cruel bitch to you, Liu Mang!!!” for staying with Lu Bu.
“My name is Lu Su, Lu Zijing. Your Highness Prince of Shu, this Lu Su suggest for you to surrender!!! You already lost in numbers. Milord has 100,000 troops and you only have a meager 8,000 troops, you will spill meaningless blood. This Lu Su again advises you to surrender and offer Wancheng city now. I will make sure that Milord Sun Ce guarantees your safety and delivers you to Xu Du, so you can govern together along with His Majesty!!!”
“Lu Su?!” Liu Mang stunned. He is a celebrity in Three Kingdoms history. Lu Su, Lu Zijing hailed from Dongcheng County in Linhuaiguan. He is a very outstanding strategist and diplomat. He was born in a good noble family. Not long after he was born, he has lost his father and was raised by his grandmother. His appearance is big and tall, he is known for his straightforward comments and honesty. He loves to study and an expert equestrian.
When he came into age at the years of the Yellow Turban Rebellion and Dong Zhuo, he saw that government officials were corrupt and chaos was everywhere, so he bore a big ambition in his heart to restore order. He is also often went home to Linhuaiguan in order to train youngsters in martial arts.
One can see, that this Lu Su is a very respectable statesman. His emergence is when Zhou Yu occupied Juchao County. At that time, Zhou Yu was very lacking in grain and provisions, Lu Su took this initiative to donate and send 3,000-shi of grain and provisions to him. From that moment, Zhou Yu and Lu Su became fast friends and often discussed important matters.
That honest man is intimidating Liu Mang now, forcing Liu Mang to a dead-end. Lu Su is truly worthy as an honest and straightforward person. But all that Lu Su said was a way of no return. If Liu Mang surrendered now, will Sun Ce possibly not injure Liu Mang? Also regarding going to Xu Du, Cao Cao of Xu Du and Sun Ce of Jiangdong, both of them harbor big hatred toward Liu Mang’s existence.
No, without Liu Mang Cao Cao have already gotten Diaochan and possibly already killed Lu Bu. Because of Liu Mang’s existence, he Cao Cao was almost killed by Lu Bu in Xiapi. Without Liu Mang, no one would have insulted him in Kaiyang. Without Liu Mang, it would have been impossible for his Ferocious Cavalry to be annihilated and his senior general Cao Chun and major Li Dian to die. One can see Cao Cao’s hatred for Liu Mang is also very big.
So, in other words. To surrender is die, to not surrender is also die. This Lu Su truly has a ways to smooth his words.
Liu Mang can only show off his title and rank again and responded to Lu Su “Lu Zijing, I want to ask you. Whose subjects are you?!”
Liu Mang does not want to bully the honest and straightforward person but there is no choice. The Liu clan’s private soldiers has been shaken by Lu Su’s words. If we surrender, then they won’t have to go to battle. Going to battle will claim their lives. Moreover the number of enemies is too many, this kind of view will make any person fluster.
“Um?! What does this Prince of Shu want to say?” Lu Su’s brow wrinkled. Although Lu Su is unable to discern his motive, he said “I am a subject of the Han Dynasty!!!” Although these are the times of war the real power lies on the warlords and although the Han Emperor is only a figurehead, they are still subjects of Han Dynasty.
The 400 years of prestige of the Han Dynasty is not to be underestimated. It is still upheld by all of the warlords and they are openly saying that they are the Han Dynasty subjects. Only Yuan Shu, Yuan Gonglu was the one who violated this rule by proclaiming himself as emperor, having received the Imperial Seal from Sun Ce. As a result, everyone joined up to attack him together and Yuan Shu can only suffer defeat after defeat after defeat and finally becoming stranded in Shouchun.
“Oh, then I asked again, is your Wancheng city the capital of Lujiang Prefecture? Is this Lujiang Prefecture a part of Yang Province?!” Liu Mang asked again.
“Yes!!!” Wancheng city from Lu Kang's time has been always Lujiang Prefecture's capital and Lujiang Prefecture is one part of Yang Province.
“Well said!!! Lu Su Lu Zijing, in case you have forgotten, this prince was given by His Majesty not only as Prince of Shu, but also General of the Southern Expedition!!! This prince's territory consists of Yang, Yu, Yi and Jing Provinces and you dare come to me to speak that this Wancheng city as your lord's territory? Also regarding murdering the people, are not those nobles also my men? They dared to be ruthless in my domain, so it is right for me as the ruler to punish those evildoers by annihilation. I am the Prince of Shu and this Wancheng city is under my jurisdiction. Your lord is only a mere Kuaiji governor but when he saw this prince, not only did not kneel down but he also had intentions to kill this prince. It is very apparent that Han Dynasty to your eyes, is already a big pile of trash!!!”
With those words, the war between Lu Su and Liu Mang reached a stalemate! Lu Su is pressing Liu Mang with the principle of righteousness in order for Liu Mang to surrender, but Liu Mang is accusing Lu Su and Jiangdong’s army of treason for not being loyal Han subjects and he, Lu Su, is disrespecting the Han Dynasty. Liu Mang also accused that Lu Su kept saying that this Wancheng city is theirs, it is questioning the Han Emperor of his decision to seal Liu Mang with title of General of the Southern Expedition. And with Lu Su's lord dispatching troops to kill him, it can be said that they are rebelling against Han Dynasty.
Honestly, in this times of war, all of the warlords are doing offenses toward the Han Dynasty and busy expanding their own territory. So nobody paid attention whether the Han Emperor is still in charge or not. If Liu Xie is a stern, authoritative and powerful emperor, then Cao Cao did not need to dispatch troops to do battle and pacify one region. The Han Emperor could just write an imperial decree in order for them to not get out of the line.
This is the unspoken rule in order for all to respect the Han Dynasty at the front. Liu Mang is now playing this in order for all to see that he is a loyal and upright subject of the Han Dynasty and all of Lu Su's words are meaningless toward him.
Now, with those words, one can see that this General of Southern Expedition who commands four provinces is an earnest, just, loyal and upright character.
“YOU!!!!” Lu Su is not a good debater naturally he is not able to counter Liu Mang's argument. He is only able to debate base on facts, when encountering people who are good in debate like Zhuge Liang, he is speechless. Regarding scheming, Lu Su did not have any shortcomings at all and was able to cover all angles. This trait made Zhou Yu choose Lu Su as his successor and become a viceroy in Wu country after he died historically. Although his schemes are small in regards with Zhou Yu, they were still very good.
Suddenly from behind Lu Su's, there was a familiar voice is speaking loudly “When the Prince of Shu does a mistake, naturally we will need an official that is directly under the Emperor to rectify the mistake!!! Is not that right, Your Highness Prince of Shu?!”
“SUN CE!!!” Liu Mang narrowed his eyes. From behind Lu Su's came a man who was wearing purple armor in the same design with Lu Bu's original flowery patterned armor.
“Your Highness Prince of Shu, How is Su Fei?!” Sun Ce asked while looking at Liu Mang at the city gate tower with mocking smile.
“Su Fei!!!” Liu Mang’s heart rend when he heard Su Fei’s name. That valiant naval general was destroyed by Sun Ce. Turning him into a “human swine”!!! A GODDAMNED “HUMAN SWINE”!!! THIS IS UNFORGIVABLE.
“Oh, General Sun Ce, thank you for showing your concern. But, first let me ask you one thing. How did that meatloaf taste? Really good right?!” Liu Mang replied back. Liu Mang knew that this is not a time to be sad. “This time is the time to take revenge for Su Fei and these 100,000 troops will become food for my anger” Liu Mang’s thought in his head.
“HUMPH!!!! Your Highness Prince of Shu, do you remember that Your Honorable Father-in-law, when he wanted cross my Lujiang Prefecture, offered a cart full of jewellery and 3,000 taels of gold for toll fee. But this Sun Ce refused his toll fee and gave him a free passage to Jiangxia. Not only that, I had also ordered for every cities and counties in my domain to provide you with hot food for your army.
I also did not do anything when you insulted both of my advisors. Furthermore, I also invited you both, a complete stranger, to my wedding and celebrate together. But, with what, how did your Bing Province Army pay this Sun Ce back? You seized my Wancheng city, killed my wife and senior general and finally you destroyed many lives of my subjects in Wancheng city. A Total 10,000 families buried in just one night. Oh, Your Highness Prince of Shu, why did you get rid of those people, while they are also subjects of the Han Dynasty?!”
Sun Ce’s words were full of righteousness. In his words, Lu Bu and Liu Mang were ungrateful villains that after been showered by kindness, stabbed people in the back. They took other people’s territories and killed the owner’s wife and senior general.
If people do not know the whole details of the problems, they may side with Sun Ce.
“Oh, Sun Bofu, when did you become a hypocrite?!” Liu Mang showed his disdainful look and said “When have you let us pass your Lujiang freely?! You just merely changed the currency to Huangzhou city in order for you to advance to Jiangxia. Using hot food and grain and provisions for Jiangxia, is not that right Sun Bofu? As for killing your senior general, are you referring to this thing?!”
Liu Mang quickly unsheathe his long sword and cut down Zhou Tai’s head. The city wall had at least a height of thirty feet, so Zhou Tai head was quickly crushed when it reached the ground. Liu Mang then said “You sent a powerful general who can command an army as an assassin!!! This is very apparent that you do not appreciate talent at all!!! Sending a valuable person for an assassination on weak women, that was really thoughtful of you, General Sun Ce!!! Clap, clap, clap!!!” Said Liu Mang while clapping his hands mockingly.
Sun Ce’s face paled. Sun Ce indeed regretted sending a first-class general for a mere mission of assassination. A first-class general can lead a division and was able to strike fear in the enemies’ heart, but Sun Ce treated him like an expendable person.
Gongsun Zan is also like this Sun Ce. His Penetrating White Horsemen with Zhao Yun as the leader was able to destroy any opposition. After that, Zhao Yun was transferred by Gongsun Zan to Qing Province in order to help Tian Kai. With Zhao Yun’s departure, the Penetrating White Horsemen lost an able leader and when they were fighting with Yuan Shao’s Great Halberd Soldiers of the Ji Province and Skirmishers of the Ji Province, they were quickly beaten and never recovered again; resulting in Gongsun Zan’s death.
While Sun Ce is expressing sadness and regret, the other person beside him showed big rage toward Liu Mang.
“DAMNED BRAT LIU MANG!!! COME DOWN AND FIGHT WITH THIS JIANG QIN FOR 300 BOUTS. YOUR HEAD WILL BE MINE FOR BROTHER YOUPING’S TRIBUTE!!!” Jiang Qin comes out from the line and pointing his broadsword toward Liu Mang while insulting him. This broadsword is Jiang Qin’s primary weapon.
“JIANG QIN’S OUT ALREADY!!! GOOD THEN!!! THIS BASTARD COMES OUT FINALLY!!!” Said Liu Mang in a low voice. Even if Jiang Qin stay in the army and not insulted Liu Mang, Liu Mang would have searched for him relentlessly. Liu Mang said “Jiang Qin, I will hold memorial service for General Su Fei with your Jiangdong army’s blood today!!!”
Liu Mang called out one of his men while staring at that insulting person “Is Huang Zhong present?!”
“This general is in!!!” Huang Zhong steps out, and responded while helding his fist on the other hand.
Liu Mang said his order “Old General Huang. Under the city there is the bastard who killed Su Fei. I want you to lead 2,000 troops of Urban Army to do the first skirmish. TAKE THAT ASSHOLE’S HEAD!!!”
“This general complies with the order!!!” Huang Zhong accepted the order. Huang Zhong also is in very good terms with Su Fei so he also wanted to kill this Jiang Qin who harmed Su Fei in a very cruel way.
“BUMP, BUMP, BUMP!!!” The battle drum was struck. The main gate of Wancheng city had been opened. One by one the Urban Army soldiers flushed out from the city and formed a phalanx formation that was taught by Liu Mang, leaving only dozens of cavalry soldiers to guard Liu Mang.
“Preparing for a skirmish?!” Sun Ce looked at Wancheng cities direction. “So, you want to die quickly, eh? I will grant you that wish!!!” Sun Ce has gotten information from his scouts. The information is that the entirety of Wancheng city only had less than 10,000 troops. Even defending the entire city is a big problem and now he ordered a fifth of his troops in order to do battle? Heh, this Prince of Shu Liu Mang is truly a death seeker.
What Liu Mang did just now was the same as Huang Zhong in Huangzhou city. Doing battle in order to increase morale and courage of his troops. Huang Zhong was currently Liu Mang’s trump card, his strength is the pinnacle of super-class generals and only Lu Bu is his match. Ten years ago, when all 18 warlords joined in a coalition and fought Dong Zhuo in Hulao Gate, Dong Zhuo had nothing to fear because he had Lu Bu.
During the first skirmish, Lu Bu challenged champions from each faction and cut them down one by one, even charging toward them alone. This particular action painted fear inside those 18 warlords and demoralized them. So, even if Dong Zhuo’s military strength was half of the coalitions’, they did not dare to go on the offensive due to fear of Lu Bu.
Now Liu Mang needed the victory of the first battle. It can destroy enemy’s morale as well raise one’s morale. These 6000 private soldiers needed their morale roused in order to do battle, their morale had been dropped due to the enemy numbers. If morale fell again, then there is no point on doing battle. What Liu Mang needed now, was to rouse their morale to make it as good as his Urban Army.
“Jiang Qin, Jiang Gongyi is here!!! Enemy general, you will receive a quick death!!!” Jiang Qin hits his warhorse to go in front of the moat, provoking the enemy general.
From their formation, there is a valiant general wearing dark yellow armor with golden curved dao on his back.
When he saw the general, Jiang Qin smiled disdainfully “Hahahahaha, looks like Lu Bu’s army only has nobodies!!! They even resorted to sending out this toothless veteran!!!”