“Not letting you shoot another arrow!” Sun Ce’s eyes twinkled. As a military commander, he knows the might of that iron arrow. It was an arrow that has surpassed the limits of people. Sun Ce has also surpassed the limit to become a superclass general. He knows exactly how terrifying that arrow is. The siege tower may be close to the wall but it is still at least a 100 feet away. Besides that, the siege tower was constructed with giant wood. That arrow did not only pierce but completely shattered the giant wood. The parts that were near the arrow became powder and the arrow went underground.
This kind of arrows can be shot by people! Sun Ce shuddered. Sun Ce cannot allow Huang Zhong to shoot another arrow. Fortunately, he knows that shooting arrows this way cannot be done often. It also requires a lot of air. As expected, Huang Zhong is panting heavily on the city walls.
Fighting the siege tower is more tiring than dueling with Lu Bu. Duelling with Lu Bu requires high mental concentration. On the other hand, penetrating the siege tower requires a huge force. If the force is too small, it would not be able to harm the colossus siege tower.
When Huang Zhong is pulling the iron arrows, all his veins were exposed. Now he is breathing heavily to replace his energy. His arms were also aching.
“Zi Jing, I will let you handle this!” Sun Ce patted Lu Su’s shoulder. The warm temperature coming from his hands made Lu Su restless.
“Milord!” Lu Su looked at Sun Ce.
“I am going!” Sun Ce’s eyes once again looked fanatical again. This time, it was not a crazed look but a look of excitement. A little while ago, he was confused and insane. That was why he was full of fury and headstrong.
Now he was sober. Jiangdong’s Little Conqueror is back.
“Jia!” Sun Ce prompted his horse to advance towards Wan Cheng.
“Dong Xi, quickly follow the lord!” Lu Su does not know why he is worrying about Sun Ce again. At first Lu Su does not feel any attachment to Sun Ce and calls him ‘lord’ just as a professional worker. He was one of Sun Ce’s men and Sun Ce is his boss. It was that sort of relationship. Now, Sun Ce is making Lu Su’s heart throb.
Sun Ce is impulsive and easily irritated. This is because that kind of genes is in his body. His father Sun Jian was such a person. During the coalition against Dong Zhuo, when no one was willing to save the Han Dynasty and when everyone was preparing to withdraw, only Sun Jian went to fight with Dong Zhuo.
Only Sun Jian made Dong Zhuo unable to sleep. It is even possible that Dong Zhuo moved to Chang’an because of Sun Jian. Dong Zhuo even wanted to marry off his daughter to Sun Quan, one of Sun Jian’s son to build a relationship. Unfortunately for him, Sun Jian did not take this offer. If they were to ally with each other, they would have no match under the heavens.
When Sun Jian died, Liu Biao was so happy that he did not sleep for 3 days. This is because the tiger would have eaten him and leave nothing left.
Inheriting his father’s courage, Sun Ce rose up to take over his mantle. This is why Sun Ce gave people the impression of brave but impulsive. If he was alone, Guo Jia would regard him as one of Cao Cao’s biggest threat. The thing that really scare Guo Jia is Sun Ce’s ability to recognize talents.
Sun Ce is not Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao may be a genius that is born once every 3 generations, but he is not able to tolerate his men.
Tian Feng and Ju Shou are both first-class advisors. As they are also quite old, they are capable of predicting things quite far ahead compared to Guo Jia and Xun You. Unfortunately, the two of them are too upright. Every time Yuan Shao propose a stratagem, the two strategist would quickly correct him. Yuan Shao also knows that he is wrong but he is too prideful to admit it. The two strategist did not understand, or refuse to understand that and would always argue with Yuan Shao in front of others.
Making Yuan Shao lose face once or twice may be okay. After three or four times, Yuan Shao began to hate them.
Tian Feng came from Jizhou, Julu. They are full of knowledge and trickery. Unsatisfied with the monopoly and abuse of the eunuchs, he abandoned his home. After that, he was invited to help save the royal family joining Yuan Shao’s coalition against Dong Zhuo.
Using Tian Feng’s intellect, Yuan Shao defeated Gongsun Zan and surpressed Hebei. He then held absolute power over 4 provinces. He then advised Yuan Shao to become emperor and take political initiative but Yuan Shao refused.
About 4 years later, during the battle between Yuan and Cao, Tian Feng also proposed a firm and decisive strategy but Yuan Shao refused to expand anymore to the south. He then proposed another time. At that time Cao Cao is fighting with Liu Bei but once again Yuan Shao refused, this time because his son was ill. Yuan Shao missed a lot of opportunities. During the Battle of Guandu, Tian Feng proposed to build up defenses and strip away their food supplies while conserving their own. As a result, Yuan Shao locked him up in prison because he thinks Tian Feng is afraid of death. After 5 years of reign, Yuan Shao is defeated in Guandu. Feeling shameful, he executed Tian Feng.
Yuan Shao’s other advisor, Ju Shou, came from Guangping during the Three Kingdoms Era. From a young age, he is ambitious and likes strategy. At first Jushou was just a scholar and applied to become county magistrate at Jizhou. The ruler of Jizhou, Han Fu, gave him a military post. Soon, Yuan Shao captured Jizhou and Ju Shou defected to Yuan Shao.
When the Battle of Guandu began, Ju Shou proposed a certain victory strategy. His strategy was a war of attrition. Yuan Shao’s supply of food and soldiers were much more than Cao Cao. Just by holding on to their position, Cao Cao’s Army would eventually be in chaos. After that, Yuan Shao can effortlessly defeat Cao Cao.
From a certain point of view, Sima Yi used a similar method to defeat Zhuge Liang . But at that time, Yuan Shao is snobbish. How can he listen to this rubbish advice? At last, Ju Shou was also locked in prison.
Eventually, Yuan Shao is defeated and Ju Shou was arrested by Cao Cao. Cao Cao admired the merits of Ju Shou and treated him with respect but Ju Shou vowed to fight to the death.
Until the time Yuan Shao who controlled the 4 provinces of Hebei was defeated by Cao Cao, Guo Jia has never once considered him an obstacle to Cao Cao. He is just another dead person that is now in the grave.
Sun Ce is also not Gongsun Zan. Gongsun Zan was a sore loser that competed with Yuan Shao for Youzhou only to be defeated. He did not rise back up until they started to siege Yijing. He attempted to resist Yuan Shao using a highly defensive strategy.
But in this universe do you win by going on the defensive? No! Gongsun Zan can only burn to death in Yijing.
(TN: Some history said Gongsun Zan DID try to go on the offensive by laying an ambush and then charging out when they spring the ambush. Yuan Shao spotted the ambush and it failed.)
Sun Ce is also not Liu Biao, Tao Qian, Kong Rong, Zhang Lu and Liu Zhang. Liu Zhang is like a guard dog for his province. He has strong soldiers and plenty of land but he lacks ambition. On the other hand, Tao Qian is too old and lack the energy to go to war. His two sons are also ‘good-for-nothing’ (A/N: Not referring to their characters but ‘good-for-nothing’ as a leader. Just like Li Yu of Southern Tang who is not emperor material but a good scholar.) This is why Tao Qian only asked his two sons to continue the family name.
Zhang Lu and Kong Rong are both righteous but are ultimately using Taoist beliefs. They would be great teachers but terrible rulers. They are suitable for teaching but not suitable for war. Kong Rong is Confucius’ 20th generation son. From young he was ‘filial’ and honorable in the eyes of the world. (TN: Raw used KongRong Rangli, a phrase for the moral story of Kong Rong giving up bigger pears to his elder brothers while he took the smaller pears.)
Zhang Lu founded The Way of Five Pecks of Rice. It urges people to bring themselves up by being kind and gentle. In times of peace it would be admired by everyone and have disciples everywhere. However in times of chaos, people of pay attention to the one with has the biggest fist as the boss. (TN: Wiki said Zhang Lu’s grandfather founded it.)
Liu Biao and Liu Zhang never intended to conquer the land. On the surface, Liu Biao places priority in Jingzhou. However, Liu Biao did not have the final say in military affairs. That right belongs in the Cai, Jia, and Huang family. Liu Zhang also have a similar situation.
Because Sun Ce is in his prime, he can claim himself as a ruler. Even for verbal arguments he can endure the old people while making them die trying to tolerate him. Sun Ce is also ambitious. If he was not ambitious, how could he win Jiangdong? How else would he be willing to trade the Imperial Seal to Yuan Shu for horses and soldiers?
Compared to the Big Eared Liu Bei, Sun Ce may not have his kind heart or his weeping skills but why would Sun Ce want it? While Liu Bei was drifting from place to place, Sun Ce has already build a foundation at Jiangdong. He captured Eastern Wu in less than a year. Sun Ce is the head of a country while Liu Bei is just a villager.
Sun Ce is fearsome not just because of his youth, ambitions and bravery. He also possess a lot of brave and talented soldiers such as Zhou Yu, Lu Meng, Jiang Qin and Zhou Tai. All of these people are like man among men. He is also a valiant general that is willing to admit his mistakes. All of this is a symbol of a brilliant master.
He made use of Lu Bu. Sun Ce also took in Yuan Shu’s son as a court physician to receive his favor. His capability to love is also superior compared to Cao Mengde. How can someone not be afraid of him?
While Lu Su is dumbfounded, Sun Ce rushed to the walls.
“Huang Zhong!” Sun Ce shouted as he approached the frontlines. Both he and Lu Bu were alike in the sense that they are both warlike figures. If both of them had lived through the era, the God of War title could have belonged to one of them. Huang Zhong who was also a super class general should be stronger than Sun Ce. Unfortunately, Huang Zhong may be stronger in terms of experience but he does not have a strong and young body like Sun Ce.
“Sun Ce!” Huang Zhong has also felt Sun Ce’s presence. He has felt it the moment Sun Ce has climbed up the walls. This is because Sun Ce’s imposing presence is too powerful and he did even try to cover it up. He immediately knew this was Sun Ce. (TL: Presence/Aura. Kind of like Dragon Ball characters and their power levels)
Sun Ce unleashed his presence to draw Huang Zhong’s attention. He cannot let Huang Zhong shoot anymore iron arrows. Out of the 4 siege towers, two has already fallen. He can probably shoot down the remaining two siege towers.
Huang Zhong also knew Sun Ce’s thought process. If he had shot the iron arrows at the siege tower, he would be able to destroy it. What about after he destroyed the siege tower? He would be weakened while trying to confront the superclass Sun Ce. There would absolutely be no good results from that confrontation.
“Donglai Taishi Ci has arrived! Who dares to fight me!” Taishi Ci has also arrived together with the 3,000 Danyang soldiers.
Two!? Huang Zhong frowned. If it was just Sun Ce, he could probably win. Sun Ce alone is not good enough to defeat him but both of them would be troublesome. Huang Zhong has also fought Taishi Ci. While he has not reached the peak of refinement, he is by no means weak. He was just one step away from being a superclass general. Two of them attacking him at once would force him to defend himself.
At that time the remaining two siege towers will become a nightmare.
“Donglai Taishi Ci?!” Xu Sheng cut down a Danyang soldier with his spear and saw Huang Zhong surrounded by two warriors. Donglai Taishi Ci! Xu Sheng heard that this is one of Sun Ce’s men. Taishi Ci was abnormally valiant and good at fighting. Xu Sheng was also confident of his fighting skills. He is also confident that his Black Flag Army is the strongest existing army. Losing to Liu Mang’s Urban Army was the fault of Zhou Cheng.
Hearing Taishi Ci’s voice, he would like to challenge him. How could he let this chance pass by?
“Old Huang, Xu Sheng is here!” With his spear he killed his way to Huang Zhong.
“Huang?!” Huang Zhong smiled a little. This Xu Sheng. If you are coming just come over. Why speak so much nonsense? They two of them together still might not win but at the very least it evened the field. Seeing Xu Sheng so energetic, Huang Zhong cannot help but worry a little.
“Old General Huang. Sun Ce is yours. I will handle Taishi Ci” Xu Sheng licked his lips. Xu Sheng was not a fool. He knows that Huang Zhong is very strong. He can also see that Sun Ce is emanating the same level of imposing presence as Huang Zhong. These two people are untouchable. His only option is Taishi Ci.
“Good!” Huang Zhong nodded his head genuinely. He must quickly and thoroughly defeat Sun Ce so that he would be able to destroy the siege tower.
“Mt.Lang Xu Sheng?!” Sun Ce was surprised for a moment. Since when did Lu Bu’s Army have so many warriors? Sun Ce’s eyes was good and could see that Xu Sheng is also in the process of refining. Only refining! When did Lu Bu’s Army became of little worth?
In addition to Lu Bu, there is Zang Ba, Zhang Liao, and now there is a Xu Sheng. On the other hand, Sun Ce’s Army has himself, Taishi Ci, Zhou Tai, Jiang Qin, Han Dang and Huang Gai!
Han Dang and Huang Gai is already old and can only exert as much as someone who is at refining level. Stronger than second class generals but not as strong as first class generals. But the two formidable generals have retired. Zhou Tai has also died. Dead strong people are also useless! Jiang Qin has broke an arm and even if he recovers he would never reach the peak of superclass generals. All that is left is Taishi Ci and himself. Now not only does Lu Bu’s Army have two superclass general, Lu Bu and Huang Zhong, two first class generals, Zang Ba and Zhang Liao and now an addition of Xu Sheng.
This son-of-three-surnames. How can so many strong generals follow this man. Is he, Sun Ce, inferior to Lu Bu?
“No!” Sun Ce shook his head. His willpower rose. He has one area where he is superior to Lu Bu. That would be his age. If he has already reached superclass general at a young age, what would happen when he reached Lu Bu’s age?
Taishi Ci has also almost reached superclass general. Besides that they still have Lu Meng, Ling Cao and a few other young generals that are at the stage of refinement. For these young generals, breaking their limits and becoming superclass generals is just a matter of time. He also recalls his good friend Zhou Yu, Zhou Gongjin. He has not seen Zhou Yu fight but he knows that Zhou Yu is also strong and most likely inferior to himself by a bit.
By the time he reach Lu Bu’s age, he would definitely be stronger than Lu Bu. At that time, he will be praised as a hero that is not weaker to anyone.
“Milord, Milord!” As the 4 people were about to fight they heard a voice. Coming out from below the walls was someone with a large build. In his hands were two heavy maces. One hit with the mace would inevitably cause death. Rushing up he killed 3 Black Flag soldiers. Their heavy armor could not withstand the heavy blows of the mace and could not protect the user from getting their chest deflated. The Black Flag soldiers vomited blood and fell to the ground.
Dong Xi! After the death of Chen Wu, Sun Ce made him his guard. He forgot about him when rushing towards the walls. At that time, Lu Su told Dong Xi to protect Sun Ce. Although he is not smart, he understands commands. Sun Ce laughed. Alone he may not be a match for Huang Zhong. He would only be able to stall Huang Zhong for some time. Now that there is Dong Xi, the balance is broken. He can stall Huang Zhong so that Dong Xi and Taishi Ci can work together to kill Xu Sheng. After that, the three of them can gang up on Huang Zhong. Even if they cannot manage to kill him, at the very least they could injure him. At that time the siege tower will destroy the rest of Lu Bu’s Army.
Huang Zhong and Xu Sheng felt the seriousness of the matter. Xu Sheng may be arrogant but he knows that fighting Taishi Ci would already be difficult. Not to mention another monster. This Dong Xi, although stupid, he is strong enough to wield two heavy maces. The heavy mace made Xu Sheng lose his appetite. At the very least he won’t live if he gets hit by that.
Xu Sheng laughed to himself. Originally he wanted to help Huang Zhong to share the pressure but now he really need to put in extra effort. He just escaped from Wan Cheng prison but would this still be his grave?
“Xu Sheng, fall back and protect the Little Lord!” Huang Zhong gritted his teeth. If it gets any worse, he can only use that move. Either way Wan Cheng is about to fall.
“Old General Huang, what are you saying? You are the one that should go protect the Little Lord!” Xu Sheng was not afraid. He has finally found his objective in life. He has finally found a good lord. Xu Sheng also did not want to die here. If you want my life I will make you work for it!
“I will handle Dong Xi!” Just as Xu Sheng and Huang Zhong was determined to fight to the death, a calm and indifferent voice was heard.
A figure with golden armor, holding a strange weapon which was a shieldblade stood on the walls.
(TL: Author calls it a spear-combined-shield this chapter and shield-axe the next chapter. I will just call it shieldblade)