Liu Mang also went to rest. He did not know how touched the Black Flag Army were when he gave them hot food and let them sleep in the tower. They stopped looking at Liu Mang with unfamiliar eyes. The day before, they helped Liu Mang for Xu Sheng’s sake. Now they can see Liu Mang as someone who is steadfast and someone who has earned the loyalty of the Urban Army.
This is when the Black Flag Army truly belonged to Liu Mang. Once someone has a sense of belonging they become fearsome and loyal like Lu Bu’s Army. Until the Lu Bu’s Army arrive, they will not retreat even one step from Wan Cheng City.
Even Song Xian who once betrayed Lu Bu finally returned to Lu Bu’s side and sacrificed his life to atone for his mistakes.
The next morning, Liu Mang and Huang Zhong were already at the city walls. Liu Mang finally realized why Sun Ce had retreated. It is not out of mercy but an actual stratagem. He intends to capture all the guardians in Wan Cheng City. In one evening, Sun Ce’s army erected 4 tall structures. Each structure was taller than the walls of Wan Cheng City which was at least 10 meters tall.
On top of those structures were figures holding bows and arrows. Meanwhile on the ground, soldiers were climbing these 4 buildings.
“Siege towers!” Liu Mang clenched his teeth as he said the name of the structure. Like the rams, siege towers are also meant to capture cities. The rams whose only purpose was to destroy the city gates was already used. Liu Mang even blocked the entire passageway and so the rams have lost its role.
The towers before their eyes is different. The towers are meant for killing soldiers. The rams can only deal with city walls. In other words, the towers were like a killing device.
The siege towers were an invention of Mohism. The Chu king once used him to fight with the small Song Kingdom. Knowing that they were not able to fight the Chu Kingdom, the Song Kingdom contracted 50,000 soldiers to fight.
For a few months, the Song soldiers fought hard and pushed back the Chu. Despite the Chu Kingdom sending 200,000 soldiers, their casualty reached at least 80,000. Continuing the battle would end in defeat for Chu. Even if they were to win, their neighbors would take this opportunity to invade their kingdom instead.
The king was unable to do anything. At that moment a Mohist scholar approached him and gave him the blueprint for the siege tower. It could not be called an offensive weapon but a murder weapon. Large towers that allow soldiers to fire arrows at the city. The towers can also be moved with pulleys allowing mobile fire.
The king spent 2 days to build the siege towers. After that he ordered 10,000 archers to enter the siege towers. From the towers the rained arrows on the Song soldiers that have a harder time squeezing around on the city walls.
Originally the Song soldiers had the city walls to hide. At the time, they are able to shoot arrows on the Chu soldiers while the Chu soldiers are not able to shoot back. With the siege towers, their roles were reversed. Within one incense stick of a time, countless arrows were pouring over the Song soldiers, spelling the victory of the Chu Army.
It was an extremely tragic moment where the soldiers, city guards, citizens, maidservants and court officials died on the wall trying to repel the Chu Army. Among the hundreds of thousand deaths, the remaining survivors were less than a thousand, all sick or disabled citizens.
Ever since then, the siege towers became the killing weapon for major vassal states and the fear of every defending state.
However, the siege tower has its own weakness. It is slow and easily damaged. One light cavalry would be enough to rush underneath the tower to break it. This will not only destroy the weapon but also kill all the soldiers on the siege tower. It would be impossible to survive a fall from 10 meters high.
Now there is two important problems. First is that Liu Mang has already deployed all the soldiers he can to defend the city walls. There is no opportunity for him to split up his forces as Sun Ce would be able to break into the city.
Second, he has already sealed all the passages to counter the rams. Sun Ce would not be able to enter the city but that also means that he is not able to get out of the city to destroy the tower. Even if he had soldiers to send out of the city, it would be impossible.
“Little Lord, what should we do!” Xu Sheng himself has never seen siege towers before. During the Warring States, not many people have seen siege towers. This is because siege towers cause too many injuries. When used, either the enemies die being shot by arrows or the siege towers get destroyed and all the archers fall to their death. So unanimously agreed not to use siege towers. Who knew it would have appeared now.
“Not yesterday but today!” Liu Mang muttered to himself. This is something the Sun Ce’s Army have been manufacturing yesterday. They must have took those retreating soldiers to cut trees and manufacture the siege towers.
“What to do!” Liu Mang unexpectedly resigned. If the siege tower gets nearer, the entire city will be within its attack range and at that time the casualties will increase. Although Sun Ce is not like the Chu King that can deploy 10,000 archers, at the very least he would have 3,000 archers on the siege tower. 3,000 archers attacking and cannot be interrupted. Liu Mang shudders just to think about it.
“Attack from a distance!” Huang Xu spoke. He is someone who knows about fighting. He has been with his father for a long time and has been influenced by him. The only difference is that Huang Xu is more a scholarly type like Zhou Yu and Su Fei while Huang Zhong is a fierce warrior.
“Attack from a distance?!” Liu Mang froze for a moment. The sky is going to become bright. Once the sky turns bright, Sun Ce will begin his assault. The passage is sealed. Sun Ce cannot enter and Liu Mang cannot go out. If going out of the city to destroy the siege tower is not possible then the only option is long range attack. What Liu Mang wants to know is how far! The siege tower is taller than the walls of Wan Cheng City. If they were to compete the one that would suffer losses would be Liu Mang. Giving the Black Flag Army bows and arrows will not help much.
“Little Lord, you forget. We have that thing! Its power is strong enough to destroy the siege towers.” Huang Xu reminded Liu Mang. The threat of the siege tower is too much and must be removed. Normal arrows are unable to destroy siege towers. Only stronger weapons are able to.
“Are you saying!?”
Huang Xu and Liu Mang’s conversation started to confuse Xu Sheng. What is ‘that thing’. What could possibly have enough power to destroy the siege tower from afar. Looking at the siege tower, he would expect a person to take a while to cut it down with an axe. How would arrows be able to bring it down?
Huang Zhong looked at his own son and Liu Mang as their eyes flash brightly. That thing would really have enough power.
“That’s it!” Liu Mang mouth started to form a smile. “Soldiers! Prepare the ballista!”. Without a doubt, the weapon they were talking about is the giant crossbow. The weapon that almost shot Sun Ce to death. A weapon so powerful it could shoot through 2 horses.
It has high power but low accuracy. It doesn’t matter because the sniper Huang Xu is here!
Sun Ce’s army is currently patching up the rest of the siege tower with grass. The grass is to provide cover for the soldiers and prevent injury from arrows. Although the siege tower is tall enough, some people have really strong arm strength and can shoot that high.
“The sun is almost up!” Sun Ce got up. Lu Su has been busy the whole night. He saw the siege towers from an ancient book that belonged to his family. He read about its history and could not believe it at first but today he made the tower. Lu Su laughed. 3,000 archers taking the high ground and raining arrows on their enemies. The thought was truly terrifying.
Now the roles have changed again. The one doing the sieging is Liu Mang. The defending side would be Sun Ce. 4,000 soldiers and horses will fight against 10,000 troops. While Sun Ce’s troops were in action, Liu Mang have not been slacking. The ballista was moved out of the tower and the giant arrow has already been prepared. It is almost time for the decisive moment.
The ballista needed 10 people to carry it. To pull the bowstring, Liu Mang embarrassedly asked someone to pull it. The ballista is like the natural enemy of the siege tower. The bowstring used is the last one. The ballista itself can be reused but once the bowstring is used it will collapse. After all, the ballista was still a prototype.
What should we do! There are probably 4 siege towers and he only has one shot. After destroying one, what about the rest?
“Teach me to use it!” Huang Zhong spoke up. He walked forward and stroked the weapon. As a master of the bow, how can he not understand how terrifying the weapon in front of him is. He should not be underestimated but even then the power of the ballista was still too terrifying.
If Liu Mang were to let Huang Xu shoot the ballista arrow at Taishi Ci, he would be able to deflect the arrow to the ground. Even Sun Ce somehow managed to avoid it at the cost of his horse, Oolong.
Huang Zhong waved for his bodyguard to come. His bodyguard arrived with large heavy bags. They seem to be straining to carry those bags. He took the bags from them with one hand showing his strength. Huang Zhong put his hand into take out some kind of iron arrows.
Liu Mang is truly afraid of this arrow. This is because Huang Zhong used this arrow to fight against Lu Bu. The Lu Bu who was like a God of War was almost unable to withstand this arrow. It was a technique that consumes all your strength.
Huang Xu was also afraid his father will use this arrow. It was not a weapon that you can use on a whim. It consumes a lot of vitality and is more a last resort thing.
Lu Bu has already been refining himself to godly levels so Huang Zhong knows this is the only way to fight Lu Bu. Huang Zhong is also not looking down on Sun Ce when he did not use it. He just wanted to challenge himself. Huang Xu also admitted that he is not able to contest his father in terms of strength.
Huang Zhong is also almost at a godly level. He can pull back his bow 2 more times. The third time is his limit.
“Father! Do you truly want to do this!” Huang Xu asked hesitantly. 3 arrows is his father’s limit. Huang Xu was very worried.
“There are no other ways!” Huang Zhong smiled and patted Huang Xu’s shoulder. His son has truly grown up and is now capable of worrying about him. Now he can also take care of himself. As they are now at a moment of life and death why would they care about other things? If Wan Cheng City is broken they would all be dead anyway.
“Little Lord! This bow will imitate the ballista! The power would not be as strong but this is the only way to shoot several siege tower. Leave the other towers to me!” The only other time Huang Zhong risked his life like this is when he fought Lu Bu and even then he did not pull a second arrow. Today Huang Zhong will break this rule and go crazy.