Zhuge Liang then cupped his fist and said “General Wen Ping, Liang also brought two generals with him to Sanjiangkou. Hope general can accommodate them!!!” Hmm, two generals. Wen Ping already noticed those two who are standing at Zhuge Liang’s behind. He observed that their skill in martial arts is very good and looking the way their eyes flicker, they should have an outstanding ability. As of now, Wen Ping is impossible not to hear to Zhuge Liang’s words, even if they have concealed meanings. By bringing two generals with Zhuge Liang, it already implies that he want Wen Ping want military authority for himself. If before, Wen Ping will not hand over military authority to him, even if he was asked, he will dodge the request. Now it is different, Zhuge Liang had demonstrated his ability enough to make him pleasantly surprised. So, Wen Ping, although he knitted his brows, complies with a smile “Not to worry!!! I will allocate 10,000 troops to be under your two generals!!!” The very reason that Wen Ping is just easily assigned 10,000 troops is because those 10,000 troops are not trained and raised by him. Wen Ping’s direct descendant are those 40,000 troops which has been cut down by 10,000 troops from a skirmish two days ago. Those 10,000 troops that he allocated were Huang Zu’s leftovers. Their home of Jiangxia had been seized by Jiangdong, their morale is at their lowest, their only hope is for their lord Huang Zu to come back from Jing Province with reinforcements and help them to drive Sun Ce out of their home. But Huang Zu has already thought that Jiangxia has no more value in reclaiming so he just returned to Jing Province alone in shame and leaving them guiltily.
He also knows that if he took those Jiangxia troops back to Jing Province for refuge, they will not want that and perhaps will do a mutiny. It would be better to leave them to Wen Ping, and he at least can just leave behind his emotions and sentiments toward them. Wen Ping is now the new rising superstar in Liu Biao’s eyes, much like Huang Zu in the past
. At that time, Huang Zu is the shining star of Jing Province. He is one of Liu Biao’s first generals who commanded all of Jing Province soldiers, even Cai Mao and Zhang Yun are under him and call him general. His greatest achievement is killing Sun Jian of Changsha Commandery. After that, Huang Zu grew old, lost that courage, lost Jiangxia that was his award for killing Sun Jian, as well lost Cai Mao’s and Zhang Yun’s respect. And come Wen Ping to replace him. They are both generals, and Wen Ping did not treat Huang Zu coldly, therefore they strike a quick friendship with each other. Therefore, Huang Zu can hand over his troops to Wen Ping. But friendship is just a friendship, that is all. So Wen Ping throw those Jiangxia troops to Zhuge Liang unhesitantly. Zhuge Liang then said to those two generals “Quick, kneel down and thanked General Wen Ping!!!” Zhuge Liang really surprised that Wen Ping comes out with such big numbers. He initially thought that Wen Ping will only assign 3,000 troops at most and he need to negotiate with him as the number is the minimal needed to slowly overtake military authority from Wen Ping.
Instead, Wen Ping unexpectedly provided them with 10,000 troops. He got more than he had bargained for. So Zhuge Liang made his subordinate to thank profusely. Those two generals quickly knelt, cupped their fist and said “We, Huo Jun and Li Yan, would like to express our thank you toward General Wen Ping for providing us chance to shine in this army!!!” Wen Ping then said “Please, dispense with the formalities!!! You are military adviser’s recommended people, naturally you are all outstanding person in our Jing Province. We worked under one lord. If you must give thanks, please direct it to our lord!!!!” Wen Ping said those words smoothly. Otherwise he will not obtain Liu Biao’s trust.
Regarding those two, we will provide brief trivia now. Huo Jun, his styled name is Zhongmiao. He is a native of Zhijiang, Nanyang. His older brother Huo Du, rallied a several hundred man to perform militia. After Huo Du’s death, Liu Biao, the Governor of Jing Province, put Huo Jun in command of the militia and in responsibility for several hundred people. Unfortunately, he is unable to gain Liu Biao favor and did not entrusted with heavy responsibilities. The reason Zhuge Liang liked this person, is even though his men only numbered several hundreds, he managed to train them into becoming elites. Also he is a very pleasant person and able to see everything from Zhuge Liang’s point of view. (TN: Most of Huo Jun’s biography were taken from kongming.net and Rafe De Crespigny’s translation. Its raws also wrote the same. THANK YOU BOTH OF YOU!!!!)
And now Li Yan. He is also known as Li Ping, his styled name is Zhengfang. He is a native of Nanyang and can be said that he is one of Zhuge Liang’s fellow hometowns mate. Why I said hometowns? Because Zhuge Liang got two hometowns, one is Xu Province Langye and the other is Nanyang. (TN: FUCK YOU AUTHOR!!!!)
Li Yan worked as a civil clerk in Jing Province under the provincial governor Liu Biao, and had earned himself a reputation of being competent. However, his time as a clerk did not last long, as he is later was reassigned to become sheriff. And with Zhuge Liang now worked as Liu Biao’s subordinate and was assigned to Jiangxia as military adviser, naturally he resigned from his post and follow Zhuge Liang. With his own trusted friends on board, they become his left arm and right arm. Huo Jun is good at defense and Li Yan is good at offense and they are complementing each other. Also they are of similar age, and share common tongue. They are Zhuge Liang’s first men in order to obtain Jing Province military authority.
After the banquet, Zhuge Liang did not return to rest, instead he went to his military camp as there lies the 10,000 men provisioned by Wen Ping. Zhuge Liang knows that these men are remnant of Jiangxia’s army. Their state now is really pitiful, their hometown was seized, they are beaten, their lord is abandoning them as Huang Zu is retreating toward Lingling commandery alone. Their morale is at the lowest, and they have an innate fear of Jiangdong army. No wonder Wen Ping quickly reassigned them to Zhuge Liang almost immediately. But this is still good!!! Zhuge Liang then took a deep breath and thought decisively Fine, since nobody wants you, I will let you be my first army. These army is the one called sorrowful army. A sorrowful army’s battle efficiency is none, their morale is very low and its personnel possessed innate fear of battle and once they are dispatched, the result is annihilation. Out of those 10,000 people maybe one-third can fight, can become his trump card as they are familiar with Jiangxia and its waters, also if Zhuge Liang said that he is fighting to reclaim their home, they will invigorated. Zhuge Liang then ordered “Zhongmiao, Zhengfang, I will assign each of you 5,000 troops. Zhongmiao is the general while Zhengfang is the deputy!!! Take your time to train them, I want to see a different Jiangxia army next time we convene again!!!” Since Huo Jun is more calmer out of those two, Zhuge Liang appointed him as general.
“Yes, military adviser!!! We will not disappoint military adviser!!!” Those two cupped their fists and go to their respective position. Both of them were very grateful toward Zhuge Liang, if not for Zhuge Liang, possibly they will work as sheriff until old age and thanks to Zhuge Liang again, that they are leading 5,000 troops at this age. “I hope so!!!” Zhuge Liang replied. However even if these two cannot make Jiangxia Navy into their hoped trump card, Zhuge Liang still have another plan to snatch military authority from Wen Ping’s hand and that one is really ugly. Zhuge Liang thought Defecting to Jiangdong is not such a bad idea and The Handsome Zhou will become buddy-buddy with me.
The news of Sleeping Dragon become an official will quickly reach Fledgling Phoenix ear as he still reign supreme in Jing Province. Right now Fledgling Phoenix is already serving his chosen wise lord, which is The Escapist Liu in Runan. In terms of origin, Fledgling Phoenix’s origin is much bigger than him. He is Lord Pang’s nephew and Pang clan is a very big clan in Jing Province. Since Pang Tong was small, he had been engaged in scholarly education, so he is well versed in literature. Unfortunately Pang Tong felt an inferior complex due to his stature. He is black, fat and very short. However he is able to be confident as he is still had ability. When Zhuge Liang came, that complex come out again as Zhuge Liang can be said surpassing him in all abilities, in stratagem, in literature, even when playing Go!!!! He can be considered as a GaoFuShuai character. So when they are under Master Shuijing’s tutelage, Pang Tong always looking trouble with Zhuge Liang, in order to insult him for having lower views than him, when they are studying he always said how do you view that? How do you view this? Zhuge Liang is only a bit older than Pang Tong, so he treats Pang Tong, and it infuriates him more and tried to outwit Zhuge Liang more and more, in order for Zhuge Liang to treat him as equal. However Zhuge Liang knows about his complex and usually compliant to his every inquiries in order not to agitate him further and ruining their relationship. However, Zhuge Liang’s compliant nature made Pang Tong felt that he is feeling sorry for him. So at that time, Pang Tong who had chosen Escapist Liu, made a bet with Zhuge Liang with a wager that whomever wise lord lost, the loser must work as a servant for the winner one. While Zhuge Liang did not really care for the result, Pang Tong is really fired up with Zhuge Liang acceptance of the bet and determined to win at all cost.
In historical timeline, after Pang Tong had joined Escapist Liu’s roster, he took the same post as Zhuge Liang as a military adviser and a General of Household. How can an army had 2 military advisers? This is already one of Zhuge Liang’s patience. After that, Pang Tong, in order to eclipse himself over Zhuge Liang, proposed 3 stratagems for Escapist Liu to obtain Sichuan and of course Escapist Liu heard and prepared to go with his plan, it made Pang Tong really happy. However, due to Pang Tong aggressiveness in order to eclipse Zhuge Liang, he made rash decision and finally died by volley in Luofengpo. Really, rushing to prove yourself can only make you a dead man. And now, in this alternate universe, he had chosen Escapist Liu again. This time Escapist Liu without Xu Shu and Zhuge Liang, Pang Tong can be considered as chief strategist. He really felt flying as Liu Bei is depending himself so much, this feeling is a first time to him.
(TN: FUCK THE AUTHOR, SAYING LIU BEI WITH ONLY LIU PAOPAO, RUNNING LIU HERE, RUNNING LIU THERE, ESCAPIST LIU HERE, ESCAPIST LIU THERE. FROM NOW ON, RUNNING LIU, ESCAPIST LIU, IS CALLED BY HIS OWN REAL NAME LIU BEI!!!! AND FUCK YOU ALL SJW WHO DID NOT LIKE MY TRANSLATION!!!!!) “Master Pang, what is our next course of action?” Asked Liu Bei. His eyes is glittering with hope toward Pang Tong. This person is really had great ability, he just joined his Liu Bei army and he already proposed to him a lot of strategies. One of them by dispatching a messenger toward Fort Wan and shows good will to Zhang Xiu who occupied Fort Wan. Fort Wan is actually located in Jing Province however he is more near to Yu Province rather than Jing Province and Liu Bei’s Runan is very near to Fort Wan. Runan had four neighbours. One of those neighbours were Lujiang who was occupied by Lu Bu army. Lu Bu played Liu Bei, he snatched Xu Province from his hand. Liu Bei played Lu Bu, almost killed him in Xiapi. Also in original history, when Lu Bu tried to pledge his allegiance to Cao Cao, Liu Bei intervened and said “Brother Mengde, please remember what happened to Ding Yuan and Dong Zhuo” Those words alone, made Lu Bu passed away and missing in the ocean of history. So, it can be said Liu Bei army and Lu Bu army are arch-enemies and want to tear apart both skins. If Lu Bu was in Hefei, he will explode immediately and do fight to the death with Liu Bei, fortunately it is Liu Mang who was here as he is not so hot-headed like Lu Bu and will definitely succeed in Chen Gong’s plan for opening up territory.
The second neighbor, is Cao Cao, Cao Mengde. This is also an enemy as Liu Bei had signed his name on a manifesto proposed by Dong Cheng, the manifesto allegedly written by Emperor Xian with his blood. However, the real reason Liu Bei pit himself against Cao Cao is pretty unclear. Cao Cao believed him to the max. Guo Jia and the others had proposed Cao Cao for God knows how many times to cut him down, as this person is ambitious and not a quiet person, but Cao Cao rejected their idea. He kept thinking that his worthy brother Xuande is a good person. During their discussion over hero, Cao Cao knew that Liu Bei is a rogue, a thorn on his side. But Cao Cao kept trusting Liu Bei, even providing him with 20,000 Qing Province elites and made sure that Liu Bei’s provision is always fulfilled even if his own is lacking.
But even with that overtly good treatment, Liu Bei still stabbed Cao Cao in the back. Liu Bei abandoned his benefactor all this time and killed Cao Cao’s general Che Zhou, snatching back Xu Province from his hand. And that was the final straw on his patience, Cao Cao then gathered his army and expel Liu Bei out of Xu Province. And if Guandu is not raging, Cao Cao will chase Liu Bei even to the ends of earth, therefore Liu Bei and Cao Cao is unreconcilable. Even when Liu Bei was expelled, Cao Cao still did not feel any better, so he assigned Cao Ren as a guardian of Yingchuan Commandery and Wuping Commandery and had Xun Yu oversee everything in Xu Du. Cao Cao is afraid that if he let his guard down, Liu Bei will come and end everything about him. The third neighbour is Liu Biao of Jing Province. Although Liu Biao of Jing Province and Liu Bei shared the same Han ancestor, Liu Biao looks down on this Liu Bei. He had no good impression on Liu Bei and historically when Liu Bei goes to Jing Province, he only provided him with small town of Xin Ye. Liu Biao’s impression of Liu Bei is that Liu Bei is a charlatan and a hoodlum that must be killed at any cost.
Regarding Liu Bei, one of his nickname is lord killer with his first victim is his own teacher Lu Zhi. Liu Bei is Lu Zhi’s subordinate during Yellow Turban Rebellion, and later because he refused to give bribe to a young eunuch called Zuo Feng, Zuo Feng slandered him in front of the court and Lu Zhi was quickly arrested when he entered Luoyang. If Liu Bei has a bit shred of conscious remained in him, he should see his teacher almost immediately and at the very leaast, helped his teacher. But Liu Bei feigned sickness in order not to be implicated in his teacher’s misfortune. Only Gongsun Zan is the one who see his own teacher. The second lord of Liu Bei is Gongsun Zan. They are fellow schoolmates and brother-in-arms during Yellow Turban Rebellion and Gongsun Zan had unconditional friendship with him, even he send a lot of his soldiers and allocate a lot of his provisions to Liu Bei when he was still in Qing Province. And what Liu Bei did to Gongsun Zan, his “brother”? By being a snake. And he leeched out Gongsun Zan till he died!!! His poison is targeted toward Tian Kai and Zhao Yun. Zhao Yun being a pure person, held Liu Bei in the highest esteem. However Tian Kai is much more experienced and had already seen through the slimy nature of Liu Bei. He quickly notified Gongsun Zan but was rejected and in the end, he is hated by his own lord. When Gongsun Zan is defeated and in need of help, he naturally send an envoy to Liu Bei, but what Liu Bei’s response? He just said he had no provisions and unable to send any troops to him. Real nice, eh? After that, second lord Gongsun Zan, died.
Third lord is Tao Qian, Tao Gongzu. Before his death, his will toward Liu Bei is to take care of his sons. However, beside mentioned in the early history, their names disappeared altogether in history books. One could imagine what is happening to them after that. Fourth lord is Lu Bu. Liu Bei deceived Lu Bu and almost died on White Gate Tower, were not Liu Mang’s intervention. Fifth boss is Cao Cao. Cao Cao trusts him so much to the extent to give him soldiers and very friendly toward him. He also with Liu Bei engaged in heroes discussion. However, he betray Cao Cao almost immediately after the last battle with Lu Bu. Liu Bei being a rogue like that made Cao Cao literally vomit blood endlessly out of hatred.
In historical timeline, Liu Bei still have one more lord and that is Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao sheltered Liu Bei, he suffered a very devastating defeat as both of his strongest generals Yan Liang and Wen Chou were cut down by Guan Yu just because of a word that his brother able to cut them down. Both Wen Chou and Yang Liang in terms of strength, is not weaker than Guan Yu as both of them are pillars of Yuan Shao’s Hebei Army strength. Even Zhao Yun was able to fight only to a draw when fighting them. But Guan Yu able to cut them down, even a fool is able to notice there is something wrong with that.
So, those three neighbours, Liu Biao hate Liu Bei, Cao Cao want to chew Liu Bei and Lu Bu want to behead Liu Bei. The last remaining neighbour is only Zhang Xiu of Fort Wan. He and Liu Bei had no hatred between each other, so it is logical assumption to ally with him. And also it is because Zhang Xiu’s strength is not weak. He had 20,000 Xiliang Cavalry troops as well as infantries numbered more than 10,000 troops. It made Liu Bei drooling a lot just by imagining it. With the only option left, Pang Tong quickly take it and send a messenger to Zhang Xiu to ally with Liu Bei as his first stratagem. Zhang Xiu is a military commander, so he likes gold and women. Liu Bei had several expendable beauties (wives), but he cannot do that as it is too conspicuous. So, he can only provide money as a tribute to him. Liu Bei’s savings is really a lot, no, it should be said it is Liu Pi’s. Liu Pi is a former Yellow Turban, when he occupied a place, he naturally did burning and plundering with his first target are nobles. In Yu Province there are a lot of rich nobles with the most richest ones are Yang clan and Yuan clan. Those two’s influence is great enough for them to be called the fourth dukes out of 3 dukes of Han court. However all of them were snatched when Liu Pi conquered Runan. So, since Liu Pi is rich, Liu Bei is also rich. It is because Liu Bei when he took refuge with Liu Pi, he become good friends with him and even swore another oath of brotherhood and placed him as the fourth brother of Peach Garden sworn brothers.
Liu Bei first give gifts of 500 taels of gold the first time to Zhang Xiu. The second time he gave 1000 taels, the third time 2000 taels. And right now it is already the fourth time, so he send 4000 taels. Liu Bei felt really sad, spending so much money. But, currently it cannot buy anything from Lu Bu army and Cao army. Liu Biao don’t have anything to sell as everything is already provisioned for his defense against Jiangdong. With these amount of gold, the three of them can only sell a pocket of fart to Liu Bei, as gold are meaningless for them. Fortunately, regarding provisions, Liu Pi managed to store them a lot in Runan. Liu Pi was born hungry, so he afraid to die hungry too, so in regards of food, Liu Pi will manage them all good. Also as summer is closing, they will receive a lot of harvest, so Runan is not lacking in food. Pang Tong then smiled toward his lord and said “This time, is the last time we send gifts toward Zhang Xiu!” Pang Tong then comforted Liu Bei “Milord, rest assured. Our expense this time will be returned by a lot!!!” In Pang Tong’s front lies carts filled with 4000 taels of gold. Shiny and shimmering, made Liu Bei heart ache. In fact, everyone’s heart will ache when they see this amount of gold, easily spent just for gifts and tributes and right now it is about to be sent to Fort Wan. Total 7500 taels of gold were sent for just allying with Zhang Xiu. With 7500 gold, how many warhorses can be bought? Now such amount is given just to claim the heart of other people Thought Liu Bei.
“This time, assign for General Zhang Fei to deliver them!!!” Said Pang Tong again to Liu Bei. Zhang Fei is not only skilled in martial arts, his drinking prowess is also invincible and drinking wine is the best way to familiarize with someone. In 5000 years of China history, a lot of things is discussed on the dining table. Therefore, drinking wine prowess is a highly valuable skill, and Pang Tong had gotten information that Zhang Xiu of Fort Wan’s subordinate is also like to drink wine.
Carts full of 4000 taels of gold were quickly disappear along with Zhang Fei and 1000 Qing Province soldier. With them guarding the money, no one will dare to rob them. Readers, you probably asking why Pang Tong go to such lengths for Zhang Xiu!!! The answer should be very obvious to you, it is to charm Zhang Xiu!!! When a person start giving you gifts and praise you, it is naturally he/she is trying to charm you. Even more when they are trying hard to find out what is your likes and dislikes, similar to two people in love, similar to when a boy want to pursue a girl.
What Pang Tong did is the same like that mentioned above!!! He want Zhang Xiu or to be exact those mouth-watering 20,000 Xiliang Cavalry troops. When they gave gifts for the first time, Zhang Xiu will be politely decline it because he and Liu Bei are not familiar with each other. Zhang Xiu never done anything for Liu Bei, so how can he accept the gift? Also 500 taels of gold is not that many, Zhang Xiu will not care too much!!! But Liu Bei insisted that Zhang Xiu accept the gift, and said that he want to build a good relationship with Zhang Xiu and give Zhang Xiu a jug of finest wine. If Zhang Xiu accepted it, it is only 500 taels of gold. If Zhang Xiu rejected it, Liu Bei still receive back those 500 taels of gold. Even it become hostility between them both, Zhang Xiu and Liu Bei had started a relationship.
When the first time gift has been accepted, what is the second step? Of course, double the gifts!!! So the second time, Liu Bei sent out 1000 taels of gold. 1000 taels of gold is already a lot for commoner. But regarding nobles and warlords, it is not the same. When the second time is rejected, those people already had idea. Give me gifts two times? What is it you want? You want me to dispatch my troops or want to form an alliance with me? Zhang Xiu did not want to form an alliance with Liu Bei, as he had been coveting Cao Cao for a long time even though he killed Cao Ang, Cao Cao’s eldest son. However, is not being a prime minister, one should have a broad mind and a forgiving heart? This is the idea that was planted by Jia Xu that poisonous scholar to Zhang Xiu, he also said that Liu Bei’s reputation is not good!!! A lot of people who formed alliance with Liu Bei did not have a good ending. Also although Liu Bei had 40,000 troops with 20,000 elite troops. They are only infantries. But when Zhang Xiu received the second time, he was intoxicated from the first wine. Wine can dull your senses and deprived you of your clear consciousness. Therefore, the second time, Pang Tong sent Jian Yong and gave him otherworldly praised, saying that his lord admires General Zhang Xiu a lot and now he come to give him 1000 taels of gold for General Zhang Xiu to buy wine. And thus, under the influence of wine, Zhang Xiu received it again. The third time, Zhang Fei accompanies Jian Yong and bring 2000 taels of gold. At that time, Zhang Xiu raised his vigilant a few level. With this, Liu Bei’s gift totaled 3500 taels of gold. 3500 taels of gold is not a small number, it can pay his troops salaries as well providing some rations to them.
The most essential issue here is actually the relations between Zhang Xiu and Liu Biao of Jing Province, is not good or can be said stagnant!!! Liu Biao who faced a lot of defeat by Jiangdong Navy, naturally he prioritizes every provisions and every money into defense expense. Therefore, he had yet to give Zhang Xiu’s gifts. And the very reason, Liu Biao treated Zhang Xiu well is because he need a guard dog to help him against Cao Cao’s threat, blocking Cao Cao from stepping to this pure land of Jing Province. So, he give anything that Zhang Xiu wanted from provisions to weaponry. Liu Biao wanted Zhang Xiu to be very strong as his vanguard against northern threats. Liu Biao did not even fear in case Zhang Xiu turn his fang against him. Zhang Xiu only had cavalries, and cavalries is useless in his Jing Province wetlands. But recently, Zhang Xiu of Fort Wan’s act made Liu Biao raged very much, because Zhang Xiu said he want to surrender to Cao Cao. That act made him enraged because basically Zhang Xiu spits on Liu Biao’s kindness toward him. It can be said that all of Zhang Xiu’s troops equipments and even rations came from Liu Biao’s gifts toward him. The amount is so big that it can form 50,000 troops and the provision can feed 100,000 troops without issue that it will ran out.
Now unexpectedly, Zhang Xiu want to surrender to Cao Cao. A dog that was raised by Liu Biao to protect him from Cao Cao, bites him in the hand. Liu Biao does not fear Zhang Xiu, but he feared Cao Cao greatly similar to how Cao Cao fears Lu Bu, but his was greater as he doesn’t dare to oppose him even a bit. Even in the original historical timeline, when Cao Cao vs Yuan Shao in Guandu, he did not dare to hit Cao Cao’s rear out of fear of the repercussion that Cao Cao will dishes out to him. When Zhang Xiu want to surrender to Cao Cao, Liu Biao truly panicked. But Liu Biao’s luck is really good. When Cao Cao saw Lady Zou, his married-woman lover instinct came out and seduced Lady Zou, Zhang Xiu’s aunt. Lady Zou is Zhang Xiu’s uncle Zhang Ji’s wife. Zhang Xiu’s most prominent family members is his uncle Zhang Ji. Zhang Ji helped Zhang Xiu a lot by giving a lot of meritorous deeds to him. Zhang Ji even gave up Guanzhong for the sake of Zhang Xiu as Zhang Xiu had offended Li Jue and Guo Si. It can be said that Zhang Ji has been like a father to him. Now, his beloved uncle’s wife is being seduced, how can he not enraged? The feeling of being cuckolded is the most unbearable and Zhang Xiu being a man, being a soldier, being a Xiliang Cavalry commander, cannot took that insult anymore, therefore Zhang Xiu assaulted him. Even Jia Xu who repeatedly counseled him against rebelling for a sake of a woman and that woman can be used Old Cao’s trust, he will not listen to those advice and cannot help feeling similar to when Lu Bu killed Dong Zhuo.
So Zhang Xiu stand up to himself and do battle. First he asked Hu Che Er to make Cao Cao’s bodyguard Dian Wei drunk. Then he made Xiliang Cavalry to leave from South Gate to go to North gate to kill Cao Cao. Even though there is a big movement like that, Cao Cao did not notice it, because he is extremely happy. He just got 20,000 Xiliang Cavalry troops and a beauty without him lifting a single finger, how can he paid any attention to his surrounding and without any instruction from him or Dian Wei, Cao army just rest for the night. So Zhang Xiu’s sneak attack is succeeded and he gain big victory. Dian Wei died in the battle, Cao Cao’s nephew Cao Anmin also died in battle and Cao Cao might become a casualty too if not his eldest son Cao Ang gave his warhorse and life to stall Zhang Xiu’s men and finally Cao Cao escaped with only less 2000 troops. For Liu Biao himself, no matter whether Cao Cao’s son was killed or Zhang Xiu’s aunt was cuckolded, both are still good news. It also gave him a lesson, not to overfed his dog, instead give him so little food, that he is hungry but not so hungry that he starved to death. Therefore Liu Biao reduced 80% of his gifts to Zhang Xiu. At that time, Zhang Xiu can only practice thrift as he had offended Cao Cao to the max. If he offend Liu Biao, it is a dead end. The profit is lesser than the loss. Moreover, at least Liu Biao did not let him starve, so he chose the better out of two worst options. And now, even the gifts really gone with Jing Province kept battling against Jiangdong Navy.
Liu Biao of Jing Province almost unable to make ends meet. Construction of warships and ballistae exhausted his resources, before ballistae even arrived, he had to pay for a bail money for Huang She!!! If nothing happened, Liu Biao will kept allocating portion to his fund to Zhang Xiu continuously!!! And also because Lu Bu army’s attitude, Lu Bu said he gave up their water superiority and right now they are coveting Shouchun which will attract Cao Cao’s attention. With that, Lu Bu army has taken up Zhang Xiu’s initial role. Therefore, Zhang Xiu had sent out a messenger to Xiangyang, asking money, but he was ignored by Liu Biao. Moreover because Cao Cao is also fighting in Guandu, his eyes is not coveting Jing Province. Well, a dog who did not realize himself a dog can die now for all I care Thought Liu Biao.
Therefore right now, Zhang Xiu is in a very destitute state. So when this happened, Pang Tong quickly send a messenger and quickly deliver gold. And the third time now, made Zhang Xiu truly excited. With 3500 gold, he can pay his troops’ salaries, and provisions is no longer an issue. After Zhang Xiu finished thinking, he met with Jian Yong. Jian Yong said please General Zhang Xiu don’t look down upon his lord, as his lord is a hero who fight against Traitor Cao. Zhang Xiu respected Jian Yong by not talking that he killed Cao Cao’s eldest son and said that he also respected Liu Bei very much and thanked for these 2000 gold. Now, in his hand there is 3500 gold. With another 4000 gold, he can lived extravagantly again after practicing thrift for so long. But Zhang Xiu does not know, that this is Pang Tong calculate everything when giving him money. If all goes well, their fifth visit will give him 8000 taels of gold. It meant that Liu Bei is rich and Zhang Xiu will definitely send troops to rob him, not to mention Cao Cao or Liu Biao.
With 8000 taels of gold, he can restore his military prowess, solved his financial problems and even buy provisions several thousand-shi. Therefore Zhang Xiu is really anticipating for 8000 gold to be sent to his mansion as this is the fifth time. However, this time Pang Tong’s sent out messenger, did not bring any gifts with him, he instead asking a reward from Zhang Xiu. Pang Tong sent out a bruised, broken, battered and fearful men in order to tell Zhang Xiu that on the way to Fort Wan, his lord’s gift of 8000 golds was robbed. They said there are a group of bandits ambushed them, killing the messenger squad one by one and throw down their corpse into the river. And only with great difficulty they managed to run. With such scene appeared in front of him, what will Zhang Xiu think? He want to retaliate of course. Those 8000 taels of gold in Zhang Xiu’s mind, they already belonged to him. Right now, let’s calculate those loss shall we? 8000 taels of gold, one tael equal to 500 grams. There are 4 ton of golds, and with today’s rate 1 gram of gold is 300 RMB!!! There is 1,2 billion RMB loss, who can bear such loss? So Zhang Xiu must discover who rob him and must rob him back!!!
But during this time of chaos, who had enough strength to rob me of those 8000 taels of gold? Is it Liu Biao of Jing Province? No, it cannot be. He is busy fighting with Sun Ce, no time for such things! Liu Bei? No, it is also not possible. He is the one who send out the money, how can he rob himself! Was it Zhang Lu who rob me? Not possible, that ascetic hermit is impossible love earthly things again. Thought Zhang Xiu, trying to investigate by himself. The only person that is possible is Lu Bu of Lujiang!!! Those Liu Bei messengers also agitated him by saying that the robbers was using cavalry soldiers and speaking northern accent. Those words made Zhang Xiu 100% sure that Lu Bu is the one who robbed him. All of you must know that Xiliang Cavalry and Bing Province Wolf Cavalry always in conflict, even when they are under Dong Zhuo. Similarly his uncle Zhang Ji also always arguing with Lu Bu. At that time, Zhang Xiu was still a young man and since he is not convinced that the god-of-war is Lu Bu, he challenged him and was beaten by him.
And now unexpectedly, Lu Bu dared to steal Zhang Xiu’s money. How can Zhang Xiu bear this humiliation? Since you dare to snatch mine, I will snatch yours. My Xiliang Cavalry is not a match against your Bing Province Wolf Cavalry, that is a fact. However my number is bigger than yours 4 to 1, and if still cannot win, I will put down my arms and retire. I want to see how you die now!!! Thought Zhang Xiu, full of rage. So, as long as Zhang Xiu dispatched his troops and capture Lu Bu army’s city and snatched Lu Bu’s ordnance, can that Lu Bu bear to stay silent? When they make war, Liu Bei will collect every spoil that they dropped. Now, unknowingly Xiliang Cavalry being used by Liu Bei army. When that time comes, when Zhang Xiu and Liu Bei properly make alliance, those 20,000 Xiliang Cavalry will be free for Liu Bei to use and with his 40,000 infantries. He will rock this Yang Province and Yu Province and when that time comes, Zhang Xiu will become Liu Bei’s subordinate. Now Cao Cao is fighting Yuan Shao in Guandu!!! Liu Biao is fighting a decisive battle as well with Jiangdong Sun Ce. Right now we all can say that Huainan is Liu Bei, Lu Bu and Zhang Xiu’s staging ground. Now no matter who win the battle, Liu Bei army is the one who will get the most spoils. Those 5000 Bing Province Wolf Cavalry will unavoidably fight with 20,000 Xiliang Cavalry. If Xiliang Cavalry lost, Zhang Xiu will fear Lu Bu’s counterattack and naturally will request reinforcements who came from himself. If Lu Bu lost, Xiliang Cavalry will storm into Lujiang, and there will be fire everywhere, but still the one who gain the most is Liu Bei.
At that time, his Liu Bei army will definitely develop much, and he can just rest watching political trend from Yang Province and Yu Province. If Cao Cao won against Yuan Shao, he can just send troops to directly occupied Xu Province and Qing Province. If Cao Cao vs Yuan Shao is draw, the damage will be pretty severe, that he can only defend his own territory Yan Province and Zhili. If Cao Cao lost, then it is better. Liu Biao will attack Cao Cao and make Yan Province and Zhili his. And finally Liu Bei will face Yuan Shao in Guandu and after a difficult battle, Qing Province and Xu Province will be his. If that transpires, Liu Bei will become the strongest warlord who can make Emperor his puppet or can anoint himself to be the Emperor.