Translated by Gamer @ endlessfantasytranslations.com
The battle in Lujiang has completely stopped. Sun Ce’s entire army of 100,000 was defeated and the ones retreating was only 5,000 soldiers and horses. The others were either captured or dead! Other than Taishi Ci, there were no other survivors. Chen Wu, Dong Xi and Zhang Kai were dead. It was unknown if Jiang Qin and Lu Su was still alive. Sun Ce was also seriously injured.
Two tigers fought on the plains of Lujiang and the victor was Lu Bu.
Liu Mang Liu Hanyang, Huang Zhong Huang Hansheng, and Gan Ning Gan Xingba became famous.
Liu Mang blocked Sun Ce’s Army of 100,000 with merely 10,000 soldiers. He even managed to make the enemy lose tens of thousands of soldiers, including the 10,000 Danyang troops. If it was not because Lu Bu underestimated the enemy, Wan Cheng would have even been captured.
Huang Zhong fought with Jiang Qin, Taishi Ci and Sun Ce alone. All 3 men were strong, especially the Little Conqueror Sun Ce and Taishi Ci. However, the 3 men failed to defeat Huang Zhong. It was like a repeat of the events at Hu Lao Gate. Huang Zhong also became famous as a valiant general, similar to Lu Bu. It was like a bad joke to Lu Bu’s enemies. One Lu Bu is already a headache. A second one appearing is a very big problem. When Big eared Liu and his two brothers heard Huang Zhong’s name in Runan, their eyes turned bright. Guan Yu merely held his Green Dragon Crescent Blade while Zhang Fei woke up early every day to practice his martial arts.
Gan Ning’s story was the most dazzling one! This is because Gan Ning completely destroyed Jiangdong’s navy of 30,000. Although this was only a part of the Jiangdong’s navy, the whole world was stunned. What is the Jiangdong Navy! It was the water dragon amongst the navy! Who could possibly defeat the Jiangdong navy? Even the Jingzhou navy had no choice but to retreat. The Jiangdong Navy was not inferior to the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry in strength. But now the Jiangdong Navy’s position of the strongest was taken. It was a big slap to the face! It was 30,000 soldiers!
When the Jiangdong Navy and the Jingzhou Navy fought each other, the Jiangdong Navy also had 30,000 soldiers. Although the Jingzhou Navy were also elite, the Jiangdong Navy of 30,000 was a match for the Jingzhou Navy of 70,000. But at Wan Cheng, the 30,000 soldiers were only fighting against 7,000 of Lu Bu’s Navy. Has Lu Bu fought naval battles before? Lu Bu was like a dry duck and was more likely to be seasick.
What people expected as Lu Bu’s baby navy, under the leadership of Gan Ning Gan Xingba, managed to defeat the Jiangdong Navy of 30,000. What else could this be called except a slap in the face? Even Lu Su and Jiang Qin were captured.
The weapon that Gan Ning used was also inquired about. It was mostly inquired by warlords like Liu Biao, Sun Ce, Zhang Lu and Liu Zhang as they all need to fight naval battles. Liu Biao wanted it to deal with Sun Ce. Sun Ce wanted the information to understand how did he lose. Liu Zhang and Zhang Lu just wanted to protect themselves.
Cao Cao also wanted this instrument. He is now confronting Yuan Shao at Guan Du. If he had the weapon that Gan Ning used, he could probably turn the tides of the battle. If 7,000 soldiers could defeat 30,000 soldiers, then his 100,000 soldiers could also defeat Yuan Shao’s 300,000 soldiers. They all know that it is a ballista. However, when they tried to make their own, their ballista could not shoot very far, compared to Gan Ning’s that can shoot several hundred paces away. Their ballista was also very heavy and require several tens of people to pull. All the soldiers also collapsed from exhaustion after using it once.
Naturally, Yuan Shao who used to have a navy, did not think much of it. He was the kind of person who looks down on other warlords. The Jiangdong Navy was strong only because he was not there. If he was there, the Jiangdong Navy would have been wiped out from existence long ago.
In fact, the one that was humiliated the most was not the Jiangdong Army but the people confronting Zhou Yu right now. These were Huang Zu and Liu Biao. This is because they know who Gan Ning was! Liu Biao hated him and gave him to Huang Zu. Huang Zu also hated him and only gave him a small position in the army. It was Su Fei who ended up helping Gan Ning to become a war minister. While their Jingzhou and Jiangxia Navy were getting suppressed by the Jiangdong Navy, this bandit went and destroyed 30,000 of the Jiangdong Navy. Huang Zu and Liu Biao did not know where to put their face. They were blind and could not spot talent. Even worse, they gave the talent to someone else.
Now the Jiangxia Navy has lost a good potential commander while the other overlords laughed at the blunder. Besides that, no one would go and serve Liu Biao anymore. This is because Liu Biao does not have the ability to see talent! On the other hand, Lu Bu became a person who could see talent. This is because Huang Zhong and Gan Ning are in the Lu Bu’s Army. Most of Lu Bu’s previous offiers were all dead. The only ones strong officers that used to work for Lu Bu is Zang Ba and Zhang Liao.
In other words, Huang Zhong and Gan Ning were new additions that just joined the army. Despite that, they have already made names for themselves! That is why, some people with great ambitions but did not care so much for reputation, started to become interested in joining Lu Bu.
For example, in Wan Cheng, there was a middle-aged scribe. Lu Bu has changed too much from his knowledge. He has met Lu Bu before in the palace and recognized Lu Bu as a self-willed and ignorant man. He was strong but he is an idiot and would not die a natural death. The Lu Bu that betrayed his own foster father. But now it seemed like Lu Bu has changed. He has changed so much that the scribe could not believe it.
He had intended to pledge his service to Old Cao as he saw that Old Cao has the highest chance of uniting the land. But now, this man is hesitating. Can Old Cao capture the Central Plains? After all, he is currently fighting with Yuan Shao. Jia Xu decided to wait and see.
Inside the Zhuge hut in Nanyang.
“I win again!” A youth with a feathered fan laughed as he faced a fat person. “Thanks for letting me win.”
“Don’t be so proud Kong Ming!” The black faced fatty said. The table showed the overview of the Lujiang campaign.
“Haha” Kong Ming was not offended at the impoliteness of his friend and persuaded his black faced friend not to mind victory or defeat.
“Ming. I will go to my lord tomorrow. You cannot forget our bets!” The black faced man looked at Kong Ming. He was really afraid that Kong Ming would forget his words.
Kong Ming stopped laughing and became serious. “Have you decided? Shi Yuan!” Kong Ming knew who this black faced man wanted to serve. Originally, Kong Ming also had the same opinion that this man could conquer the lands but he has changed his mind. The man had little skill and his lands were occupied. Now the Central Plains did not have any winner but he knew that the man’s chances of capturing it is low.
“N!” The black faced man nodded.
“May you be successful in aiding your lord.” Kong Ming was not being sarcastic. He genuinely wished that his friend would be happy with his new lord.
“Kong Ming!” The black faced man also felt moved. Although they fought a lot and quite aggressively, Kong Ming would usually laugh indifferently. This is because they were truly friends.
“Give me a break!” The black faced man swallowed his emotions and joked. “Are you hoping that when you lose to me you would make me show you mercy? Keep dreaming!”
“Shi Yuan, you think too much!” Kong Rong shook his head. “Go, go. Go and show your teachers and Pang Degong what you can do.” Kong Ming now looked like a brother.
“Save it!” The black faced man almost ran out of the hut. He was afraid of crying in front of this man. He was the Fledging Phoenix and was equally as famous as the Sleeping Dragon. How could he cry?
“Shi Yuan!” Kong Ming started to look at the black-faced man. Although he did not really like this person that much, he was truly one of Kong Ming’s few friends. Now that the black faced man has left, there was no one but himself. Honestly, he has every reason to be happy but he could not feel happy. With a wry smile, he looked at the hut. “It is about time to leave.” Although he was a bit reluctant, the time has finally arrived.
(TN: Stop trying to stay in suspense and just say Pang Tong already. Or is the author trying to tell us that Pang Tong died once and burned his face when he revived?)
“Shi Yuan ah Shi Yuan, I hope we do not meet on the battlefield so quickly. At that time, I will not show mercy!” Kong Ming smiled. He took some travelling expenses, send a letter, and left the hut.
“Is it okay to let Sun Ce go?” Liu Mang’s condition has improved enough for him to move around. Now he and Lu Bu was drinking tea while discussing. Sun Ce and the soldiers were allowed to escape. If Lu Bu really wanted to, he could chase them down with the Wolf Cavalry and annihilate them.
“I did not let him go.” Liu Mang smiled as he watched Lu Bu acting like a child. This Lu Bu really did not want to make enemies. After he was tricked by Sun Ce, he really wanted to tie him up and vent his anger but was stopped by Liu Mang.
Liu Mang also did not want to let Sun Ce escape. His hatred for Sun Ce is much more compared to Lu Bu. His Urban Army of 3,000 was reduced to 400. Even Su Fei has died in the hands of Sun Ce. Sun Ce has also killed so many people with the siege tower and made Liu Mang want him dead.
However, the old man Chen seemed to foretell this event and gave Liu Mang a letter. The letter told Liu Mang that he could destroy Sun Ce’s entire army but could not kill Sun Ce. He must definitely let Sun Ce escape. That is the first reason Liu Mang allowed Sun Ce to escape. The other reason was because Sun Ce did not destroy the provisions probably out of conscience. If Sun Ce had destroyed the provisions, the Lu Bu’s Army would have nothing to eat. This was Sun Ce’s good faith and so Liu Mang became a bit soft.
If only Liu Mang knew that Sun Ce did not burn the provisions because he was afraid that Lu Bu’s Army would discover him earlier, Liu Mang might not have the same opinion.
“Sun Ce cannot die!” Liu Mang put down the cup. The tea this time tasted horrible. It was like different leaves mixed together and burned. Liu Mang would rather drink boiled water and could not tolerate this type of bitter tea. (TN: Go back to the future, bring Milo, and conquer China via chocolate malt drinks!)
The thing Liu Mang was talking about was in the letter. “Father-in-law. What is the reason for us to lay a foundation in Lujiang?” Liu Mang asked Lu Bu.
“Reason?” Lu Bu was surprised for a moment. He thought for a reason. His reason was a bit weird. It was because he did not want to be a knife for Sun Ce and it was also because Chen Rui offended him. In the end, Lu Bu got angry and decided to beat up Sun Ce. He was embarrassed to say this reasoning to his son-in-law.
“Haha!” Liu Mang obviously knew about Lu Bu but he did not speak frankly. “Father-in-law did not want to be used by Sun Ce but would you rather be used by Liu Biao?” Liu Mang looked at Lu Bu and said.
“N?” Lu Bu’s eyebrows wrinkled. He was an idiot in politics. Even in Chang’an, he was being played by Wang Yun. If it was not because Diao Chan really fell in love with him, even Wang Yun would have been killed. It was lucky that the wife bailed them out otherwise Lu Bu would not have existed.
“If we kill Sun Ce, who is the one that benefits the most?” Liu Mang also admitted that he was a political idiot but he was not as bad as Lu Bu. At the very least, Liu Mang could connect the dots and know that Liu Biao would benefit the most from Sun Ce’s death. With Sun Ce gone, Liu Biao would attack and at that time, Liu Mang could only defend against their army of 70,000.
Besides that, Zhou Yu is Sun Ce’s brother. Zhou Yu would definitely withdraw the troops. Jiangxia would not have any soldiers and Zhou Yu will definitely go after Lu Bu.
Jiangdong’s army of 30,000 was destroyed and only 5,000 was left. However, this was not Jiangdong’s entire military strength. It was only 1/3rd of their strength. The first one was under the command of Sun Ce. The second portion was under Zhou Yu. As Sun Ce trusts Zhou Yu, even those soldiers were elites. The last portion of the army was under the leadership of Sun Quan which were mostly guards.
If Lu Bu killed Sun Ce, they would have to deal with the anger of the entire Jiangdong Army.
“We have already offended them so much! Do we still need to care about the other things?” Lu Bu did not understand. Could they even reconcile with the Sun Ce’s Army? Even on the surface, Sun Ce’s wife has already died in the hands of the Lu Bu’s Army. Now even their army of 100,000 was destroyed. How could they reconcile?
“Hahaha!” Liu Mang smiled again. “Father-in-law. If there was only one Sun Ce, then we obviously could not reconcile!” Sun Ce and Lu Bu’s bad temper was a common thing. If they were offended, they would want to make you suffer. When you suffer, they would feel happy! However, Jiangdong also had Zhou Yu, Sun Quan and the other nobles. They would not let Sun Ce fight. At the very least, not now.
It was not just the Jiangdong soldiers that attacked. There was even Zhou Yu to consider. Now Zhou Yu is busy with Liu Biao. Liu Biao would not just leave if he was told to. It was also a golden opportunity to capture Jiangxia. This is because if they had Jiangxia, the Jiangdong soldiers would not be able to attack Jingzhou.
Then there were the nobles. Liu Mang really had a lot of big chips. A lot of soldiers attacked the city of Wan Cheng and Liu Mang slaughtered them all. It could be said that their loved ones and other important people died at the walls of Wan Cheng. These soldiers risked their lives but they could not get anything. If Sun Ce wanted to attack again, he would need their support. If they were told that their family was held hostage, they would not agree for Sun Ce to attack again.
“This is why Jiangdong does not only belong to Sun Ce but also to the other nobles. His Jiangdong was not the same as our Lujiang. We have already beheaded all the nobles in Lujiang. However, Sun Ce needs their support to be secured in Jiangdong. This is why, even if Sun Ce does not like it, he has to reconcile with our Lujiang. At the very least, until the outcome at Jingzhou is decided, it would be impossible for him to attack us!” Liu Mang explained to Lu Bu. All these details were written on the letter that Cheng Gong gave him. Liu Mang only used his words to explain it to Lu Bu.
“If we kill Sun Ce, we would really garner the hatred of those in Jiangdong. The new lord, to obtain favors from the nobles, would definitely attack us at Lujiang. They could even give up Jiangxia and Zhou Yu would return to help them fight us. After all, Zhou Yu and Sun Ce were like brothers!” Liu Mang continued to analyze. “As for us, although we have few hundred thousand worth of provisions, and adding up all the soldiers from every division, we only have about 50,000 soldiers. The one that will lose is us! Even if we won, we would no longer be able to conquer the lands!” It was true that if they killed Sun Ce, they would have to give up Lujiang. At that time, there would be nowhere else to go except to Cao Cao or Liu Biao. Both of these men would either kill him or make use of him. In other words, Lu Bu would have permanently lost his position as a warlord. This is why Sun Ce must not die.
Lu Bu did not properly listen to Liu Mang but he heard that they would not be able to conquer lands. What does Han Yang mean? Does he want to restore the Han or start the Liu Dynasty? Lu Bu could not understand Liu Mang.
“I know!” Lu Bu stood up and looked at Liu Mang.
“You know?!” Liu Mang was dumbfounded. Lu Bu knows what?
“Next month, Gongtai would be back. At that time, there will be an official meeting! Do not be late!” Lu Bu said and quickly left. He left behind an extremely confused Liu Mang.