Translated by Gamer @ endlessfantasytranslations.com
(TN: Because describing a person as ‘xxx’s Elder Daughter’ like the direct translation is a pain when trying to get the sentence to flow right, I will just call then Lady xxx like google or w/e names Wikipedia and Koei decide to give me like from here on. Lu Lingqi. I am looking at you.)
The Jiangdong Army is fast and Zhang Zhao is also afraid of long delays. Their ships were also more developed. That is why when Zhang Zhao sent the letter back, the whole of Jiangdong started to move. The family of the Danyang soldiers and the dead soldiers were all gathered into several hundred ships. The ships went back and forth several times as there were over 70,000 people from different areas to transport.
The 19,000 gold have also arrived and was transported to the government office. The 4,000 craftsmen were also sent over already. The Jiangdong Army was very fast but now they were also hungrily waiting for Lu Bu’s reply.
The Lu Bu’s Army under Yang Hong’s command did not disappoint Zhang Zhao. Lu Su and the nobles were already freed. They could go back to Jiangdong whenever they want. The same was not applied to the normal soldiers. This was Zhang Zhao’s loss as Yang Hong said they could leave if they want to. The unwritten rule was if they were unwilling to go, nobody would force them to go. In the end, Zhang Zhao was only able to bring back 5,000 soldiers. Among the 5,000 soldiers, 1,000 soldiers were seriously injured. Zhang Zhao could on endure it as he placed the 5,000 soldiers in the boat. The more important thing was the ballistae blueprint!
The Lu Bu’s Army did not go back on their words. As soon as everything from Jiangdong was sent over, they took out the blueprint and gave it to Zhang Zhao. He quickly took it as if it was a precious treasure. Lu Su looked at the blueprint from the side. He immediately studied the mechanism. The blueprint also contained all the spare parts and the description of the parts. Lu Su was extremely fascinated.
“So it was like this!” Lu Su’s eyes glinted. This is because it is written on the drawings as how to make the ballistae shoot rapidly. At the bottom of the ballista was a place that was filled with arrows. These arrows were all drawn beforehand, allowing each shot to be done easily with the help of the mechanism.
“How is it? Zhang Zhao and Lu Su. Is this blueprint wrong?” Yang Hong asked while smiling.
(TN: I really wished the blueprint was done on a really fragile piece of paper that will immediately tear when it gets wet from the rain of miraculous timing.)
“Not wrong! Not wrong! This is it! This is it!” Lu Su was now eager to go back to Jiangdong and make the craftsmen build this weapon. With this weapon, the capture of Jingzhou would not be far away. They would gain full control of the Yangtze River.
“In that case, then Zhang Zhao and Lu Su, this Yang Hong will take his leave now!” Yang Hong then left.
“Many thanks to Yang Hong for the past few days of your hospitality.” They were very happy when they got the weapon. Zhang Zhao’s mission went better than expected. All there is now was to leave Wan Cheng City. At the water camp of Wan Cheng, there were no ships. Zhang Zhao felt it was somewhat strange as he received news that Gan Ning’s navy has indeed withdrawn from Jiangxi and was not anywhere near Jiangdong. Zhang Zhao was not clear as to where Gan Ning disappeared to but it was not his problem. In another half month, all of it would no longer be a problem. In fact, he hoped that Gan Ning would appear again at that time.
At that time, the Jiangdong navy would happily drop all of them into the river.
The Jiangdong ships recovered their anchor and left one by one. They slowly left the Yangtze River. In this war, Lu Bu has earned 20,000 gold, 4,000 craftsmen, along with soldiers. Given enough time, the surrendered soldiers would eventually become elites as well.
“Have they left?” After the Jiangdong ships left, a youth in magnificent clothes suddenly appeared in the vicinity of Yang Hong. This person is a ninja Lujiang’s Little Lord and Lu Bu’s son-in-law Liu Mang Liu Hanyang! He came to accept those 70,000 civilians and 4,000 craftsmen.
“Yes, they are gone!” Yang Hong nodded his head. Yang Hong was now a middle-aged man who has seen a lot of things and understood a lot of things. He was able to see through a lot of people except the person in front of him. Right now, Liu Mang is one of Yang Hong’s superior. Even then, Yang Hong is very troubled because he was not able to see Liu Mang’s character. It could be said that Liu Mang was a person with strong mind and body however, Liu Mang does not bother to hide his expression. Everything that was in his heart could be seen from his face. Grief, anger, joy, and the other human feelings were all there.
It could also be said that he was an ordinary person but there are no ordinary people who could fight back an invasion from Sun Ce. Ordinary people would also not be able to obtain the allegiance of warriors. Good examples were Huang Zhong, Gan Ning and Xu Sheng. Although these officers were all serving Lu Bu, their true allegiance is with Liu Mang. Fortunately, Lu Bu does not have a son. If he had one, there is a chance for Liu Mang and Lu Bu’s son to fight each other and split up the Lu Bu’s Army.
There was also the invention known as the ballistae. Yang Hong has also seen its power and its rapid fire capabilities. Its more powerful compared to ancient warriors. Even the Mohist practitioners have to give him the thumbs up!
“I have troubled you!” Liu Mang smiled towards Yang Hong. He initially looked down on Yang Hong because in the original history, Yang Hong did not gain any respect. There were times that Yuan Shu made stupid moves but Yang Hong was still extremely appreciated by Yuan Shu. In that case, the next possible reason was that Yang Hong was a small man who needlessly praise others to gain their affection. How could Liu Mang respect that?
Yang Hong himself said that he would become a retainer to take care of Yuan Shu’s daughter. As the advisor, he was supposed to do his best but Yang Hong was like Xu Shu in Cao Cao’s camp. He did not say anything and was more a waste of food and resources.
Old man Chen Gong said that Yang Hong was responsible for the peace talks and Liu Mang did not have any confidence in Yang Hong. He did not believe in Yang Hong’s ability. However, Liu Mang was pleasantly surprised. 20,000 gold and 4,000 craftsmen was enough for Liu Mang to go to Shouchun. The construction of the docks, development of the sites and restoration of the walls of Shouchun all requires the spending of money. Liu Mang have killed the nobles in Lujiang and seized their property but those also needs to stay in Wan Cheng City as the army also requires money to spend.
This is great. Originally, the requirements were 10,000 gold and 2,000 craftsmen. Now Yang Hong has doubled that amount. These was Yang Hong’s credit. Chen Gong’s ability to recognize talent was good. He could even recognize this fatty’s skills.
“House lord! I…!” Yang Hong hesitantly asked as the question might be too sensitive. Although he is one of Liu Mang’s retainers, he did not truly enter Lu Bu’s Army. This is why Yang Hong’s question might make Liu Mang uncomfortable.
“Did you want to ask me why I gave the technology of the weapon to the enemy? Am I a prodigal or an idiot? This kind of weapon was supposed to be the final trump card against the enemy?” Liu Mang said all of Yang Hong’s thoughts in one breath.
When Liu Mang said out all of his doubts, Yang Hong’s heart felt at ease. This is because if Liu Mang knew about the problems, it would mean that he is really sure that this is business transaction is not a loss.
“Could it be that the blueprint given to the Jiangdong Army is a fake?” Yang Hong’s brow wrinkled. If the blueprint was a fake, the Lu Bu’s Army’s reputation would drop so much that nobody would believe the Lu Bu’s Army anymore. Then again, as this was a weapon, to fail to keep their own words is excusable.
“How could I give them fake blueprints? The blueprints were real. As long as the guys in Jiangdong aren’t idiots and followed according to the blueprint, their ballistae could be equipped to the Jiangdong military as well!” The blueprints given to the Jiangdong Army was the same as the one given to Gan Ning. Gan Ning was asked to find part time craftsmen to build the ballistae. Jiangdong would definitely be able to create it. The only reason they have not done so is because they did not have the knowledge to do it.
“Why!?” If it was the real blueprints, why give it to others instead of using it as a deterrent. Even the Lu Bu’s Army expect to fight Jiangdong and Jingzhou again. If not, they would not require any craftsmen for build ships! They wanted Jiangdong which is why the craftsmen are making ships at Shouchun.
“I am willing to give the technology away because we have something better!” Liu Mang looked at Yang Hong and smiled. “The ballistae right now can only shoot 300 steps away. Although it is capable of penetrating the warships, it is because the warships are made of wood!”
“What else can you build the ship with!?” Yang Hong was confused. Since ancient times, ships were built with wood. This is because the wood has the buoyancy to float on the water while other things like iron would just sink into the water.
Liu Mang did not bother explaining to Yang Hong on what he plans to build the ship with but continued. “When the hull is changed, even the ballistae would not be able to penetrate it so easily. Although the ballistae can shoot rapidly, it can only shoot up to 5 arrows. After that, it would lose its capabilities to shoot rapidly and would take time. Besides that, the bowstring is too costly.” The bowstrings were currently made out of animal tendons and were very troublesome to make. Each time the ballistae fires an arrow, a bowstring would be used. Even Jiangdong would not be able to afford using it especially since the battle on Yangtze River would use a lot of it.
“We also have a better one right now!” Liu Mang smiled again.
“A better one!” Yang Hong did not dare believe it. He did not dare believe that the ballistae that was capable of shooting rapidly from 300 steps away and could destroyed an entire enemy army could be improved! To what extent was the improvements?
“The ballistae could shoot from 300 steps away and could suppress the enemy! But now our new ballistae could shoot from 400 steps away or even more than 500 steps away. It would be the same like the confrontation with our ballistae weapon! With our new weapon, before the enemy could even reach us, we can already hit them! What do you think will happen during the battle, after Jiangdong’s strenuous efforts to build that ballistae?” Liu Mang smiled happily.
Yang Hong felt a chill down his spine. This Jiangdong really made a big loss. As the ballistae was a weapon, it requires a lot of resources and money to build it. With the personality of those in Jiangdong, they would waste all their resources to outfit every ship with the ballistae which would be no less than 500 ballista frames. As they were fighting the Jingzhou navy, they might accelerate the construction to 600 or 700 frames. At that time, the ships would no longer fight using the traditional method but by using the ballistae. As a result, the destruction of the warships would be great and more money and resources would be used to repair or build a new one. Even if the Jingzhou Army and the Jiangdong Army were rich, they would soon become poor.
On the other hand, the Lu Bu’s Army would be watching at the side and delay them even longer while waiting for one side to obtain victory. With enough time, the Lu Bu’s Army could wipe out the two armies as they had a better version of the ballistae.
“Mr. Yang Hong!” Because of Yang Hong’s amazing efforts, Liu Mang has started to respect him. It was an age where anyone with talent is respected. This is why Liu Mang also changed the way he addressed Yang Hong.
“I do not dare!” Yang Hong was Liu Mang’s retainer. All this time, Yang Hong believed that he knew how to greet his superiors. Even Yuan Shu was comfortable and happy with Yang Hong. However, Yang Hong did not know how to please Liu Mang.
“Haha. Although you are my retainer, you are also her elder. Therefore, it is appropriate even if I address you with Mister!” The person Liu Mang was referring to is Yuan Shu’s daughter. Liu Mang has discovered that he was cold to Lady Yuan and it was also not because he wanted to. It was because Liu Mang do not know how to deal with women, especially the beautiful ones. Lady Lu was a careless person and just following her temperament was good enough. He Yu was already Liu Mang’s person. She was a good traditional wife that knows about the 3 obedience and 4 virtues of a wife. Lady Yuan was one of Liu Mang’s future wives and needs to be treated kindly.
“Old servant! Old servant!” Yang Hong did not know what to say. In a sense, he is the servant and Liu Mang is the boss. But now Liu Mang does not consider him a family servant but as an elder in the family. How could Yang Hong not be moved?
Liu Mang also did not say this deliberately. As Liu Mang came from the present era, he does not have a sense of classes. For him, everybody is equal. The only difference is the job they do! However, it was this thought process that made everyone pledge their allegiance to him like Huang Zhong. Liu Mang thinks of Huang Zhong as an elder and respects him. This made Huang Zhong moved. The ancients have a saying that if the king treats the populace as people, the people will eventually repay the king.
As Liu Mang treats both Huang Zhong and Yang Hong like family, they would be willing to die for Liu Mang.
“Mr Yang Hong. You better not slack off! There is another discussion waiting for you!” Liu Mang did not want to look at Yang Hong’s grateful expression! The scene of a fat man crying in front of you is too weird! This is why Liu Mang quickly interrupted him.
Yang Hong stopped the wave of emotions in his heart as he understood that Liu Mang was talking about the representative of Jingzhou’s Liu Biao. When Jiangdong sent out the messengers, Liu Biao also did the same. The results of the battle at Wan Cheng could not be hidden from others especially Liu Biao. This is also because the Lu Bu’s Army revealed a powerful weapon with high combat effectiveness. It was a nightmare for the towered ships. As a result, the Jiangdong Army sent out their messengers. Liu Biao also could not sit still and sent out messengers as well.
The representative this time was from a large family in Jingzhou and was sent by Cai Mao. Kuai Liangzi Zi Rou. Similar to Jiangdong’s Zhang Zhao, this Kuai Liang was the main person in charge of Liu Biao’s political issues and also assisted Liu Biao’s business industry. He and his younger brother, Kuai Yue, are Jingzhou’s two advisors. They are the ones that affect the situation and events in Jingzhou the most.
As Liu Biao sent Kuai Liang, it proves that the discussion is of great importance!
“Do you really want to sell off those warships?” Yang Hong hesitated. This is because the bargaining chips that Liu Mang gave him were the warships with the ballistae installed. It was the warships used to defeat the Jiangdong Navy.
“This Kuai Liang would also want the ballistae. You can promise Zhang Zhao that you would not sell the blueprints to Liu Biao for a month.” Liu Mang told Yang Hong. This month can be used to obtain more craftsmen. In that one month, the battle between Jingzhou and Jiangdong would also take place. The Lu Bu’s Army must also keep their word.
“Even then you do not need to sell them the warships! You can just give them the ballistae!” Yang Hong replied. Liu Mang has decided to sell off the warships and the ballistae as one package. If the warships were sold, Lu Bu’s Army would have no warships. Even if there were craftsmen, the construction of ships was not done in 1 or 2 days. What would the navy be doing then?
“Just give them the ballistae! Luckily, Yang Hong also knows how to think like that!” Giving the Jingzhou Army the ballista would allow them to figure out the construction methods while bypassing the oath. It can also increase the effectiveness of Jingzhou’s naval combat.
However, this was not what Liu Mang wants. If Liu Biao was not able to figure out the method, what would happen then? Even if they figured it out, they also need time to construct it. At that time, if Jiangdong’s navy has brought out the ballistae, there would no longer be any battle!
This is why Liu Mang plans to sell them the warships and the ballistae together. Liu Mang does not even want those warships anymore. Those ships can only be used on the river when there is not much wind and waves. If there was a storm, the ship may capsize. This was also because the structure on the towered ship was too big. It also slowed down the ship.
These warships would only be dismantled by Liu Mang and it would be time consuming. It is better to sell it off to Liu Biao for a higher price.
Liu Mang wants Jingzhou’s Liu Biao to take out the ballistae earlier than the Jiangdong Navy. At that time, they would attack Zhou Yu at Jiangxia. As the Jingzhou Navy lack warriors, they were initially weaker than the JIangdong Navy. But now 1/3rd of the army was already destroyed. If Zhou Yu’s Navy was also destroyed, or incur heavy losses, the Jiangdong Army would have no choice but to start defending.
To remove the teeth of the Little Conqueror was Liu Mang’s main objective. Although Liu Biao may become more powerful, at the end of the day, Liu Biao is still a sheep. The sheep was now given weapons to remove the teeth of the wolves. The scenario is starting to become more interesting.