Chapter 162 – Plan To Recruit Black Flag Translated by Bloodfalcon, Edited by Krayto
The retreat of Sun Ce’s army was due to Huang Zhong’s merit. Originally Sun Ce wanted to keep persisting in occupying Wancheng city, but his Danyang soldiers were all cut down by Huang Zhong, leaving him in a very distressed state. No one was able to withstand Huang Zhong’s strike, not even the elite Danyang soldiers.
During two bouts of battle with Sun Ce, Sun Ce already could not withstand Huang Zhong’s strike. So Sun Ce can only give up and retreat. Otherwise, when Liu Mang is killed, he will also be killed. The weather also started to get cloudy, making visibility a-lot worst. In ancient times, there was no light bulb that was powered by electricity. Only the moonlight can be used as a means to illuminate the night. If there was no moon, then at night time one cannot see anything. This is the bad luck of Sun Ce, as his Danyang soldiers started cutting down each other due to zero visibility. So in the end, Sun Ce decided to return to his HQ for a spell.
When all of Sun Ce’s army retreated, all that previously fought on the city walls were very relieved, but that relief was short lived, because tomorrow those 100,000 troops will be swarming again like flies.
This day’s casualty took a huge toll. 8,000 troops were cut down severely. The Urban Army was only left with 1,000 troops. The Liu clan’s private soldier were all decimated.
“Everyone, speak your mind. What should we do tomorrow?!” Liu Mang spoke in a very bitter tone. He knew that siege warfare in the cold weapon era was very brutal, but this? This a battle of annihilation. His 8,000 troops left were dwindled down to 1,000. The Danyang soldiers and Sun Ce army also suffered major losses. Dismissing the Chu division which already left the battlefield, their casualties amounted to more than 10,000 troops and they also lost one of their commanders.
Corpses are everywhere, the city wall was dyed red by blood.
“Little lord, we must abandon the city!!!” Huang Zhong is the one who replied first. Huang Zhong based his decision with his experience being besieged by Lu Bu in Huangzhou city and his vast experience as a general, while Liu Mang is just beginning his career as a general. Wancheng city was already impossible to defend. The personnel they had amounted to 1,000 troops and all of them were already wounded.
“Abandon the city?!” Liu Mang muttered. Liu Mang unconsciously waved his arm and groaned due to the pain and making him profuse in cold sweat. That move Conqueror Destroy Cauldron is truly an inhuman skill.
“No, we must not abandon the city” Liu Mang thought. Only with great difficulty, Lu Bu’s army finally had a good domain and a home to come to. If this city is lost again, then Lu Bu’s army will return to the time where they are wandering in all four directions. If it was just Liu Mang or Lu Bu themselves that were expelled it would still be okay, but they are responsible for their soldiers, Lu Bu’s family, and Lu Bu’s soldiers family as they are0 Liu Mang family’s too. However, not abandoning Wancheng city, meant to die tomorrow.
“Father, we already cannot abandon Wancheng city, there is no other way to escape!!!” Huang Xu opened his mouth. Wancheng city’s four gates already had the enemy’s camps and they have put alarms on each gate. If one escapes, the alarm will sound and all of Sun Ce’s army will swarm on that gate, rendering the escape useless.
Moreover, Wancheng city is already devoid of warhorses and if escaping, one can only depend on one’s two feet to run, but that cannot get you very far and they also had the family with them, it is impossible to have casualties when one is walking that slow. Staying in Wancheng city can prolong one’s life for one day, if they escaped now, the end will come to them sooner.
“So, we already cannot leave!!!” Liu Mang muttered. If Liu Mang could go back to the future, the issue of warhorses can be solved easily but the CD did not give the slightest response.
“Then we die!!!” Liu Mang gritted his tooth. With him saying that words, he had resolved to fight to the end!!! More than 8,000 comrades died for him, even in death, he will not be lonely.
“Aiyah, if we have at least another 1,000 troops, we can fight again!!!” Huang Zhong also sighed. He himself can escape by brute force alone, but not his troops. If no more incidents happened, the Bing Province Heavy Cavalry will reach here in two days. As long as they have at least 1,000 troops, they still can persevere and defend Wancheng city.
Today the battle took too many lives. That is because Sun Ce use his Danyang soldiers. The Zuo division of Danyang soldiers was decimated today and Sun Ce only left with Chu division. Sun Ce will not hesitate to use them tomorrow, even if they are tired, even if they do not want to fight Lu Bu army. So, as long there were 1,000 people, the battle can be prolonged more.
“1,000 troops reinforcements?!” Liu Neng quickly opened his mouth “Little lord, don’t you remember, we still have another set of private soldiers?!”
“Hrm?!” Liu Mang’s brow wrinkled. What does Liu Neng mean? Does the Liu clan still have hidden soldiers? This damned boy, we are at a big dire strait, but he still do not want to go all out? What the hell does this mean?
Seeing that Liu Mang’s brow wrinkled in anger, Liu Neng quickly knew that Liu Mang had misunderstood his words and said “Little lord, our Liu clan’s private soldiers are already extinguished!!! All of them died in battle including our butlers and gardeners!!!” Their soldiers truly only amounted to those 8,000 troops which possessed the potential of 500 troops.
Logically speaking, the Liu clan, one of the Han Dynasty clansmen, had been deep rooted in Lujiang for more than 100 years, starting with Prince Zhongshan of Jing. A number of their private soldiers should be tenfold than those of Zhou clan who only had two generations who managed to become one of Three Ducal Ministers and one of 9 Ministers. But during Emperor Huan of Han’s rule, he issued an edict that said, all of Han Dynasty clansmen are forbidden to raise their own forces and when Emperor Huan died and Emperor Ling became the emperor, he further enforced this rule. Only Liu Zhang and Liu Biao who controlled 1 fertile province each, managed to build their own army secretly. Liu clan of Lujiang was not so lucky as those two, as every action they took was monitored by Emperor Ling and those two who are posing as “Emperor Ling’s securities” in order to get rid of their weakest enemies. Therefore, the Liu clan of Lujiang can only weep in the shadows and desperately raised their own soldiers from their own servants and butlers in secret, but due to them lacking good trainers and generals, they were unable to create elites and only able to create part-time soldiers. So, 8,000 troops that the Liu clan was able to raise secretly was already very good for a noble who was constantly under surveillance, but that force is gone now in Wancheng city.
“Little lord, yes, there are 3,000 troops in the prison. They can serve as our reinforcements!!!” Answered Liu Neng.
When Liu Mang listened to Liu Neng, his brows quickly raised!!! Yes, there are 3,000 troops. Those BLACK FLAG!!!! Thought Liu Mang. When Zhou Cheng died, Liu Mang instructed Liu Neng and Liu Kai to put those 3,000 heavy infantry troops of Black Flag into prison. And right now, it is time to subjugate them and integrate them into Lu Bu’s army.
Huang Zhong wanted to object but Liu Mang quickly held his tongue. He is truly worried when he heard Liu Neng’s words. His words definitely meant to encourage Liu Mang to subjugate those 3,000 troops of Black Flag who were imprisoned by the Liu clans. No one in their correct mind will dare to use captured enemies as their own soldiers. Hey, even Cao’s Army will make them surrender first and only after surrendering, will he use them.
Moreover, the situation for Lu Bu’s army in Wancheng city was very distressful. They only remained at least 1,000 troops and also once they released these Zhou clan’s elite army, they can be considered as half of Sun Ce’s army. At that time, those 3,000 Black Flag will quickly clean kill the remnants of Lu Bu’s army in Wancheng city.
Huang Zhong again wanted to object but was prevented by Liu Mang and then Liu Mang said “Old General Huang, this Liu Mang wants to try!!! Help me to stand up!!!” Liu Mang asked Huang Zhong to help him stand up. Both of his arms were already fractured and re set by Huang Zhong when he applied medicinal wine on it, so it is still very painful state.
Liu Kai quickly voiced his disagreement, saying “Little lord, that is too dangerous, please think thrice!!!” While he also reprimanded his son “Neng, my son, why do you spout that nonsense!!!” Liu Kai has seen those 3,000 Black Flag troops. Each one of them is a strong person and according to him, they are able to bend a steel pole by themselves alone. 2 days ago, if Liu Mang did not pull off his strategies and just attacked Zhou Cheng directly, the Urban Army would have been destroyed in an instant.
Before the Urban Army existed as the world’s first professional soldiers, all of the warlord's soldiers came from farmers and peddlers, but the Zhou clan quickly recognized the needs for a professional soldier for the fight for hegemony so they raised these Black Flag in secret. They personally picked each of these personnel when they were still children and cultivated them into the elite unit now. But what a pity, Zhou Cheng did not use them wisely and in the end these elite units are unable to show any potential at all.
If Zhou Yu, who is currently besieged in Shucheng County, was the one who used the Black Flag, perhaps Lu Bu’s army will not be so quick to regain Jiashi C1ounty and Shiting County and definitely will not be so fast to press on Shucheng County.
“Brother Bogui, I am sorry for being rude, but do you have any alternative or better way?!” Liu Mang said loudly toward Liu Kai. Liu Mang knows in his heart that this is a big gamble. But right now, there are no other options. If he maintainS this state, then tomorrow morning, Lu Bu’s army will be lost from this world and fade into history.
Liu Neng also reprimands his father “Oh, honorable father!!! The success or failure of our Liu clan now depends on this particular gamble!!!” Then Liu Neng kept a long gaze toward his old father. Liu Neng has never seen his old father, the current head of Lujiang’s Liu clan, this close before. He noticed his father’s hair has started to gray. Liu Kai’s burden as the head of Liu clan of Lujiang is the heaviest. Liu Kai tried so hard in order to maintain their existence even though he was monitored by Emperor Huan, Emperor Ling, Liu Biao, and Liu Zhang. One clan was monitored by almost ten thousand people, how can people not be stressed? But Liu Kai managed to maintain his existence by putting himself below them and maintain a good relationship with the court, Liu Biao, and Liu Zhang.
After that, during Yellow Turban Rebellion, the prestige of the house of Han was devastated by that rebellion. However during that time, when Lu clan is still in power, they were still able to live a happy life. After Lu Kang died, besieged by Sun Ce, Liu Yao held power over Lujiang but because he was very afraid of Yuan Shu, he quickly bowed to Yuan Shu and become one of his vassals. But, as Liu Yao is also one of the Han Dynasty clansmen, he treated Liu Kai and his clan with full respect. The same thing also can be said to Liu Xun, whom Yuan Shu ordered to manage Lujiang, but although he treated Liu Kai and his clansmen with full respect, he still kept surveillance on them as Yuan Shu warned them that they will be a threat to him and Yuan Shu.
Finally, when Sun Ce came to rule, Chen Duan and his clan came along and contended with the Liu clan as one of the biggest clans in Lujiang. Increasing their influence one by one by taking over their business ventures and diminishing their influence little by little. Sun Ce actually want to exterminate the Liu clan but he could not do that blatantly as it will cause an uproar in the nation so Sun Ce hoped with Chen Duan, the Liu clan will move out from Lujiang or at least be reduced to a minor noble clan.
However, Liu Kai told his clansmen that he will bear all of the burdens by himself. Liu Kai and his clansmen endured all the humiliation and licked their ass in order to survive. Whatever Sun Ce’s army required, the Liu clan will provide. Even if Sun Ce’s army forced them to eat shit, the Liu clan will still obey in order to maintain their survival. So Liu Kai endured all of his anger and despair and wait for the opportune time to rebel against this giant of Jiangdong.
But this time, Liu clan rebelled against Sun Ce and supported Lu Bu. If they lost this gamble, they will be exterminated by Sun Ce. So, Liu Neng urged Liu Kai to take another gamble for their survival once again.
“Dammit, gambling again. No choice then, if we want to be truly free from Sun Ce’s oppression!!!” Liu Kai said it while gritting his teeth, as he already unable to endure bullying from Sun Ce again.
“So, little lord. Us, the Liu clan representative, agrees to help you to go to prison and subjugate Black Flag!!!” Liu Neng said with a smile toward Liu Mang.
“Yep, I also agree with this plan!!!” Huang Zhong is in line with Liu Mang’s thought. In his mind actually, he only thought that he needed to keep his little lord safe. Even if the Black Flag rebelled, Huang Zhong will give his life in order to let Liu Mang and Huang Xu escape. Huang Zhong had been in debt with Liu Mang since he saved his Huang Xu, a debt that cannot be repaid unless he sacrificed his life for his little lord to cheat death, but with Liu Mang’s words to subjugate Black Flag, he also agreed as it meant it will prolong the fight until his lord managed to rescue everyone.
Liu Mang then placed his hand in the middle, asking for all of them here to work as a team and said “Everyone, let’s work together!!! Dead or alive, together!!!”
“Hrm?!” Huang Zhong and Liu Kai had a feeling strange, as a vocabulary to work as a team and this gesture is not yet invented at this time, but Huang Xu and Liu Neng actually smiled and quickly placed their hand atop Liu Mang’s hand.
“Father, follow my lead!!!” Huang Xu and Liu Neng said toward their fathers.
Huang Zhong and Liu Kai also followed the gesture. When their hand pressed on atop of their son’s hand, they felt the surge of fire coursing through their blood. The hot blood of these young men who dared to strive for success and those who dared to fight bravely re-emerge inside their old body and also screamed the same words with Liu Mang’s lead “Together we share life and death; Together we share riches and honor!!!”