Now only remained Wang Wei. Liu Mang did not feel any hatred towards Wang Wei and did not treat him like Wei Yan whom he showed disgusted expression in order to catch him. He was very direct toward Wang Wei. He praised him and received him on the spot. He then wrote a letter of gratitude and on the letter, he used his signature as Prince of Shu Liu Mang to address Liu Biao of Jing Province. In his letter, Liu Mang endlessly praised Wang Wei, saying that he is an outstanding talent of Jing Province, he is a model soldier and thanking Liu Biao profusely for providing order to Lu Bu army with General Wang Wei and finally saying he will announce this nation on his receiving of Wang Wei.
If a rash military general is the addressee, perhaps he will be extremely happy, after all, Liu Mang’s letter can be considered as a thank-you-for-your-recommendation letter. A prince is giving a letter of thank you to a lowly person, meaning that this person must be a talented person, a man of ability. Were it be a time of peace, Wang Wei would profusely thank Liu Mang as this thank-you letter could rise up Wang Wei a few level. But right now, it is a chaotic era. Although Liu Biao of Jing Province exchanged messengers and was in good terms with Lu Bu army, everybody is an enemy. If an enemy told you praised a person in your army, how will everyone perceive it? Won’t they think that person is probably a spy planted in his own army? If it is correct, then that person must be targeted for elimination, even if it is not correct, they will remain vigilant towards him.
Wang Wei actually did not want this thank-you-letter as he is still among Liu Mang army. After this letter crossed to Jing Province, Wang Wei would have to stay out of Jing Province forever. If he dared to return to Jing Province, he will either be imprisoned, relieved from duty and become commoner for the rest of his life. If Liu Mang were just a bit ruthless, he will have Wang Wei killed for his offence two days ago. But because Liu Mang issued job advertisement, the most logical thing that first comes out of the mind when a Jing Province general suddenly appeared to answer the invitation would obviously be because he wanted to change his job!!! Had a change of heart from Jing to Liu Mang. This is another blatant application of stratagem of sowing dissension. Wang Wei, as a general, would definitely understand that. Therefore Wang Wei could only smile bitterly.
Now, in front of Wang Wei, lies only two road. First, return to Jing Province and wait for death, the other one is leave everything on Jing Province and join Liu Mang army. Right now, in order not to ruin the relationship between Liu Mang army and Liu Biao of Jing Province, Wang Wei will join Liu Mang as his family member will not be implicated. If he returned, the possibility he and his family to vanish, is very high. Weighing around those options, Wang Wei chose the former, and quickly kneel before Liu Mang even before he spoke to join his army. Out of three generals, two received. Liu Mang cannot receive Wei Yan immediately as he needed Wei Yan’s arrogance to be completely cleaned out in order for him to submit under someone’s command.
After that, Liu Mang bump into a peculiar character called Hao Zhao. This person is not an outsider, as he is a member of Lu Bu army. To be specific, he is a subordinate of Zhang Liao’s Bing Province Wolf Cavalry who was stationed not far from Hefei. This person’s skill in martial arts is not too high, but just being inside Bing Province Wolf Cavalry is already saying that he is capable, after all his strength is second-class general. But he does not like being in Bing Province Wolf Cavalry. His reason is quite unique, as he was treated well among Bing Province Wolf Cavalry comrades and get along well. Even Zhang Liao want to put him as a company commander, leading 1,000 troops. His reason for not liking Bing Province Wolf Cavalry was Bing Province Heavy Cavalry was too offensive. What the hell is his reasoning? Thought Liu Mang while reading Zhang Liao handwritten recommendation letter. If Bing Province Wolf Cavalry did not do offense, then the name might change from Wolf into Dog. Liu Mang then read the letter again, it said “Hao Zhao does not like to attack, he prefers to defend. In his opinion, the strongest defense is the best offense.” (TN: I use Hao Zhao here, but his name in RAW is Hao Shao, but the author kept switching back and forth with Hao Shao and Hao Zhao without EVEN explaining his reasons. So, I use Hao Zhao here as it is his name and the one written in all historical records)
His principle is a direct opposition with Bing Province Wolf Cavalry. Bing Province Wolf Cavalry does not defend, they cut through enemy and kill the enemy before they even counter attack, that is the very principle of Bing Province Wolf Cavalry. If Hao Zhao wield the same principle as him, Zhang Liao will not have such a headache. If ordinary soldier did not wield the same principle with his commander, his commander can just kick him out and replace with another one. However Hao Zhao is a second-class general, if he were to be kicked out, it is a waste of his talent. Just when he is still confused, suddenly Liu Mang issued some kind of nonsense job advertisement!!! Therefore Zhang Liao quickly wrote recommendation letter and send Hao Zhao to go to Liu Mang.
Hrm, Hao Zhao?! Thought Liu Mang, while churning his brains out searching his Three Kingdoms personnel database. Liu Mang cannot find him anywhere in his memories. The one that Liu Mang can recognized are those whose abilities is very famous like Liu, Guan, Zhang, Boss Lu, Chen Old Man, Boss Cao, Genius Guo, Zhao Yun and Wei Yan. So, when those names are mentioned, he can immediately recognized them. But Hao Zhao, Liu Mang really did not have a slightest idea who he is, only vague hints in his head. If he is just an unknown guy, then Liu Mang will not pay attention to him. But HE is recommended by THE ZHANG LIAO. If he were to be ignored, then what would everyone’s opinion of him be? Liu Mang will definitely receive a low score. Ai, uncle Zhang Liao, why you did not come here and request the transfer by yourself? Grumbled Liu Mang. In the letter, Zhang Liao praised Hao Zhao to no end. Makes Liu Mang pondering If this guy is so good, why don’t you use him?
Liu Mang think more and finally nodded his head “Okay then, this is currently is the best for him!!!” and quickly opened the map. After this affair is over, Liu Mang next need to capture few cities, those are Gushi, Anfeng, Hefei, Shouchun, Chengde and finally Guangzhou. (TN: present day is Huangchuan County) Liu Mang had planned to abandoned Guangzhou as it offered no strategic value as it is located near Huai He river but the Huai He river itself cannot be used as a natural stronghold as well as too many ordinary people crossing the river. Moreover, this place’s population is not a lot and not far from it is Gushi. Gushi had more population and was surrounded with natural defense, so the logical solution is to place the defense in Gushi rather than divided them into two to defend both Gushi and Guangzhou. So Liu Mang crosses out Guangzhou and prefer to concentrate his defenses elsewhere. Now, it is very good, there is Hao Zhao. Liu Mang’s army now is not lacking in terms of generals, so Hao Zhao is considered as over-headcount. Xu Sheng’s Black Flag is currently lacking a deputy, however Liu Mang already reserved that spot for either Wei Yan or Wang Wei.
Cheng Yu of Urban Army also already had a deputy, Huang Xu!!! Naval units commanded by Gan Ning need vice general, but Hao Zhao is a non-swimmer, so no discussion!!! Liu Mang had an idea to form cavalry soldier with Zhao Yun as its commander, but his deputy is no question asked, is Zhao Yun’s own deputy general. However it is just an idea, because it only have candidates and no warhorse yet. But even if it formed, Hao Zhao’s principle is defensive. Is there any cavalry who excel in defense? NO!!!! What form of cavalry it would become? Mused Liu Mang.
Damn, why that Zhang Wenyuan did not send this Hao Zhao to Gao Shun?! Grumbled Liu Mang again. Is not that Gao the Silent’s Formation Breaker is a defensive type?! This Hao Zhao fits like glove being there, wearing great shield and machete. Grumbled Liu Mang again. In fact, Zhang Liao had actually already written to Gao Shun. When he wrote to Gao Shun he only received a one word reply. “CANNOT!!!” As the position for deputy general has been filled. It is impossible for Gao Shun to kick out that person in favor of Hao Zhao. So Gao Shun can only respond to Zhang Liao with a very firm CANNOT.
Finally Zhang Liao can only kick him to Liu Mang. Fine, fine! Grumbled Liu Mang. Liu Mang then said to Hao Zhao while smiling “Bodao, Mang understand that your general recommend you to come here and Mang should give you your own division or make you a deputy general!!! But Mang had no more division to form as of now because this army is not yet big and all of the position as deputy general are already filled!!! I cannot switch them out for you!!” Hao Zhao’s eyes goes gloomy and said “Zhao understand!!!” He really felt that this is the same treatment at the time when he went to Gao Shun. These generals are using old people out of habit rather than new recruits as new recruits will not know their generals routines and training regiment and it is not possible to make them elites in a short time. Originally when Hao Zhao saw the notice, his heart is very excited. Hao Zhao himself held Liu Mang, his little lord, in very high esteem. Not because he is respected by Bing Province Wolf Cavalry and also not because he is close to Lu Bu and Zhang Liao, it is because this little lord brought the highest quality of horses for them to use. Hao Zhao also did not expect much from Liu Mang when he sees him. He just wanted to be placed into Urban Army and have a chance to prove that the strongest defense can defeat a god-of-war like enemy. Now listening to Liu Mang’s words, made him dejected. His words meaning that he must go back to Shucheng and return to Bing Province Wolf Cavalry. That is still good!!! Back together with familiar brothers and great general is also good!!! Thought Hao Zhao. Is not returning there is the same as now? Hao Zhao then excused himself “Zhao will not both–” but when Hao Zhao not yet finished, suddenly Liu Mang interrupt him. Hearing Liu Mang’s interruption made Hao Zhao’s eyes glimmering with hope again.
“But!!!” That is Liu Mang’s word of interruption. Liu Mang also knows that Hao Zhao’s mood is certainly not pleasant, after all he came here with hope in his heart. Were not for Zhang Liao’s letter, Liu Mang will definitely put him as one of Urban Army officers. But that letter exist, and it is full of praise. If Hao Zhao were not put in an excellent position, he is afraid of Zhang Liao’s critique, therefore Liu Mang really was put in a very difficult position. Liu Mang then pointing to Guangzhou and said “Bodao, look here!!!” Hao Zhao then paid attention to the location. Liu Mang then continued “Bodao, this Guangzhou is one of cities belonged to our army and can be considered as our west border. I have already selected defenders for other cities except this one. I want you to be stationed there to guard the city!!!” Defending Guangzhou?! Thought Hao Zhao happily and in his eyes is glittering nonstop. To defend is a very sensitive word to Hao Zhao and Hao Zhao is excel in defense. In battle, defense is often not a concern, but in city siege, defense play a vital part in that war. Therefore Hao Zhao’s eyes kept flashing with excitement.
Defending a city is a task of a general or a prefect. Hao Zhao since the beginning had been following Zhang Liao and only following command or instruction. But now, Liu Mang unexpectedly asked him to defend a border city. Really can’t be helped if Hao Zhao currently seeing Liu Mang with excitement that can be perceived wrong by any person seeing it. “What is it?!” Said Liu Mang nervously. He had been scared by this Hao Zhao’s look. His excited expression really can eat people. Liu Mang had once pulled out this kind of expression before but it is only toward the prettiest girl on campus. But now, he is being stared with that kind of expression by a man no less, how can it made Liu Mang not afraid?
“For provisions, I will give you 500-shi!!! No, 1000-shi!!! And war funds is 500 taels of gold!!! And troops, I can only give you 500 troops!!!” Said Liu Mang nervously while trying to avoid eye contact. Liu Mang give provisions to Hao Zhao amounted to 1000-shi, originally he planned to give only 500-shi as Guangzhou is not a vital place. But then he remembered that Zhang Liao is the one who recommended Hao Zhao to Liu Mang. Also it is because Liu Mang felt very guilty that he is unable to give talented man a good position so he increased it to 1000-shi. Liu Mang also give Hao Zhao 500 taels of gold, a 1/40 out of 20,000 taels of gold that he was provisioned to. He also give 500 troops, and that is his limit and the one who Liu Mang give to Hao Zhao are new recruits and only the squad commanders are veteran of Lu Bu army.
“Is it enough?!” Asked Liu Mang. Liu Mang was still feeling very guilty!!! If Hao Zhao stayed in Bing Province Wolf Cavalry, he will be a company commander now, leading 1,000 cavalry troops and since cavalry soldier equal to 10 infantry soldiers, Hao Zhao can be said to leading 10,000 infantry troops. But now, 1,000 cavalry is no more changed into 500 infantry soldiers. Liu Mang’s heart felt really afraid!! Afraid that Hao Zhao will be unsatisfied, so right now Liu Mang’s expression is very not good. Who can expect that Hao Zhao is really excited and do not really care about the amount that was provided to him. All he cared is that he is assigned to guard Guangzhou and Guangzhou is still a big city. Liu Mang essentially regard him as a senior general to guard that place and that place is the one place that he had full hands-on approach on it. With Guangzhou as his base, Hao Zhao also had opportunity to test out his defensive maneuvers and weaponry such as rolling chained boulders, boiled kerosene, boiled water!!! Rockets!!!! Hao Zhao now really cannot wait to go to Guangzhou and dress up and arm his city. Hao Zhao just kept silent, made Liu Mang more guilty and made him increased his chips.
“Okay, I will give you 1000 troops and no more!!! If you ask for more, I will proceed with my initial offer!!!” Said Liu Mang. Liu Mang then choose 1,000 people out from those who came to answer his job advertisement and also that people must not be a scribe. Children from poor families, all want to make a name out of themselves and want to perform a lot of merit. Although it is like that, but some of them can be categorized as a going-to-be a general and a not-going-to-be a general. Liu Mang weeded them out through battle, if you are strong then you have skill. These people were accepted by Liu Mang personally. At that time Liu Mang is standing on the stage and throwing out gold coins toward them, and they surrender themselves to him. Liu Mang’s message is very simple: Follow me, and you will have gold, you will have food. If you don’t follow me, just go die. This Liu Mang provided simple test, go and test for a job of your own choosing. If you think you are suited to be a sergeant, then challenge every divisions sergeant, if you win, you are a sergeant. Being a sergeant, you devote yourself to a company commander. If you want to become a company commander, go challenge company commander. If you win, similarly, you become company commander and so on. If you lose the challenge, it is fine!!! You can challenge it again later for promotion.
With that kind of test, Liu Mang’s army sergeant is kept rotating and their number is around hundreds. While battallion commander had less rotation like that as being a batallion commander would require skill in martial arts, at least third-class general’s skill. Such person are Chu Zhongtian and Er Gou Zi. Black Flag is subjected more to this substitution. The Urban Army is substituted by Danyang soldiers who had an excellent reputation in one-on-one battle. For the Black Flag, the substitution only happens between recruits as the original amount of Black Flag only left 1,000 troops with most of them died in battle. It can be said that Liu Mang had assistants in order to weed out those people as they are also needed when the army began to grow and expand. These assistants are welcomed into his army immediately and will not appear in battlefield as basic officer or demoted to basic officer.
Hao Zhao then finally responded “It is enough little lord! And thank you for additional 500 troops!!!” while cupping his fist. Hao Zhao is really happy now, because he can put his notes into practice. What is more happier and more fun than this for Hao Zhao? “Very well!!!” Liu Mang nodded and continued “You go find Xu Shu, my military adviser. Pass my message and have him provide you troops and ordnance!!!” Finally Liu Mang managed to send this Hao Zhao well. People with connection is the most hardest people to handle. Liu Mang initially won’t spare a glance to Hao Zhao, but after that, he felt guilt from the bottom of his heart and provided him with a base and troops. And this event will bring him a pleasant surprise later!!! This story of that will be told later.
After Hao Zhao left, Liu Mang’s tent door is lifted and Yang Hong coming in greeting him “Master of the house!!!” and cupping his fist.
“Oh, Uncle Hong. What is the matter?” Asked Liu Mang who quickly noticed Yang Hong.
Yang Hong then reported “There are still people who refused to join.” Liu Mang just puts out indifference face and asked “How many people?!” Yang Hong continued “12 people in total!!!”
Hmm, 12 people eh?! I will visit them again, but I need to think of what to do if they kept refused Thought Liu Mang, then Liu Mang closed his eyes to think a while. After that he opened his eyes, and said this decisively in cold tone “Kill all of them!!! Don’t make a mess out of them!!!” “Yes sir!!!” Yang Hong cupped his fist and quickly retreated from his tent.
Yang Hong did not say anything to Liu Mang, that among these people who refused to join, there is a celebrity named Wang Can among them. Wang Can, styled name Zhongxuan or better known with his nickname “Wang The Iron Brush!!!” He is known as one of Seven Scholars of Jian’an period. His talent was first recognized
by a known scholar called Cai Yong. During period of Chuping Year 2 (192 AD), his native home Guanzhong was hit by unrest caused by Yellow Turban Rebellion, so he fled his home and seek refuge in Liu Biao in Jing Province for 10 years. However his talent were buried as he is not appreciated by Liu Biao. So, when Liu Mang send out job advertisement, he is really excited and come filled with hope. He is already prepared in his heart to join Liu Mang army, but Liu Mang’s words to replace nobles, grew great hatred and disgust in his heart toward Liu Mang. He wanted to leave immediately and spread Liu Mang’s ugly truth to the whole nation. But he never expected to be quarantined and controlled by Xu Shu!!!! After that, Liu Mang visited them those who refused and even had a personal conversation with Wang Can even though Liu Mang did not know who he is. Unfortunately, all of them gave one big voice “NO!!!” So, since all of you said NO, I can only send you to die Thought Liu Mang. Killing you now is much better than letting you all become my enemies. Thought Liu Mang silently. Liu Mang will treat Wei Yan the same as all of them, if he persist not to surrender, THEN DIE!!!!