Chapter 258 – Temple Of Heroes (End of Guandu Naval Battle)
Yuan Shao army now, closing in again, all of them had been raging all this time. Out of 100,000 original roster, only left less than 60,000 troops but they are still vastly outnumbered Cao troops who numbered only 27,000 troops and 3,000 of them were killed by friendly fire just now.
If this is a regular engagement, Yuan Shao should have retreated when 30% of his original roster were wiped out and Cao Cao would have been declared as victor from this engagement. However, Yuan Shao is already a deranged man caused by gaining more loss than gain in this battle. All that he wanted is to fight for the very last man. And it is also supported by the fact that all of Cao Cao’s ballistaes is already out of ammo.
Seeing this situation, Cao Cao tries to instigate morale again, he pulled out his Sword of Heaven and bellowed “Officers!!! This Cao thanks all of you for all of your service in upholding Han Dynasty. However, please help Cao once again, in order for Han Dynasty to stand once more. Cao beg all of you!!!” Cao Cao then knelt after saying that, cupping his fist toward all of his men. Guo Jia then thought Milord, well done. And he quickly changed his expression to helplessness and said “Milord, please don’t do this.” And held Cao Cao’s arm. Cao Cao is known to be adaptable in every situation he is in, proven when he is about to kill Dong Zhuo with Seven Stars Knife, he quickly changed his demeanor and presented it in front of him. This is one of the trait that Guo Jia liked about him and this time, seeing the situation is dire, he quickly do acting like him.
Seeing their lord and vice-lord like that, a lieutenant said “Prime minister, please don’t be like this!!!” Cao Cao then shoved that lieutenant hand as he speaks “Officers, we stood in this battle as the forefront of our Yan Province, our Xudu. We can flee from this battle if we wish and stay in Zhili or Xiliang, however… Our families and our people; those who remains of Han, shall perish under these villains’ blade. Do any of you want this?!” All soldiers in his vicinity, shouted in one voice “NO, IT MUST NOT HAPPEN!!!” Cao Cao then continued “We, soldiers, can die in battle, we can be destroyed. But our home must not be allowed to suffer our fate!!! This Cao give his words unto you. Every soldiers’ families whose died in battle, shall be taken care of. As long as this Cao lives, none of your families members will suffer hunger and cold!!!!” Cao Cao then sliced his forearm with his Heaven Sword and said “Those words are sealed with my blood!!! Also if we lose in this battle, we shall become fugitives, hunted, despised. This Cao Cao guaranteed that also.”
All those who heard were touched especially those of Qing Province Soldiers. Their lives had improved so much after Yellow Turban Rebellion. There is no way they are going to throw away their improved lives like that, and quickly they are reinvigorated.
Whilst in Yuan Shao’s side, when Yuan Shao heard that, he just sneered and thought So, you were hoping to rouse morale eh? Keep dreaming!!!! You will not see the end of this day, for I will swarm you like ants.
Guo Jia then bellowed “CAO ARMY VICTORIOUS!!!!” and lift his fist to the air. Quickly all of soldiers around also inspired and shouted “CAO ARMY VICTORIOUS!!!!” Cao Cao then bellowed “Officers, come with me, kill the enemy!!!!” While thrusting his Heaven Sword toward enemies, then he jumped down and proceed ahead, followed by his soldiers said “SHAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” All of them had been made mad by Cao Cao’s words.
Yuan Shao then said “Oh, good. Finally you are no longer being defensive!!! This Yuan Shao will now give you your last rites!!!” Yuan Shao then unsheathed his sword and bellowed “SOLDIERS!!! STRIKE BATTLE DRUM!!! ALL OUT ATTACK!!!!” Then Yuan Shao jumped down his ship and along with his men do battle. Right now, two deranged sides are finally doing decisive battle.
Above the Yangtze River the flames of war day after day, above the Yellow River slaughter unceasingly, now most peaceful instead is Liu Paopao and Liu Mang in Shouchun. The Southern Yangtze River is unceasingly fighting everyday, Central Plains is bloody. The most peaceful region which are interlocked in battle is only Lu Bu’s Yang Province and Liu Bei’s Yu Province.
Right now, Liu Mang is really busy rebuilding Shouchun, he is now inside side hall of Shouchun palace. Shouchun need to be repaired from bottom to top and he need to replace Guan Yu’s defense mechanism with his own. Also since governing such a big place, also need many personnel, Liu Mang sent his scouts as far as possible as Shouchun already had no more population. Also regarding the recruitment, Liu Mang also gave out big idea for advertisement. The ad said “Those who join Lu Bu Army, regardless of their ranks and merit, will be given 50 mu of farmlands.” And these words made Liu Mang’s civil officers and military officers roared in disagreement.
With the most disagree come from Yang Hong. Yang Hong said “Milord, although Shouchun is vast and wide, 100,000 mu divided by 50 mu for every soldiers. It is too lacking. Also don’t forget that even though this place is desolate, the moment this place is lively again, there will be nobles who will come with deeds. And as per law spoke; Milord, you as the reigning lord, will need to relinquish their lands back to them!!!” Liu Mang then said “TO HELL WITH THOSE NOBLES!!! Me and nobles are irreconcilable, if they want their lands back. They have to step on my dead body first!!!” With that words, Yang Hong was silenced. Xu Shu then said “Milord, regarding lands belonging to those nobles, we can put aside for a while. However, Milord. Did not your rewarding is a bit too generous?! 50 mu of fertile farmland, can produce 200-shi of food.”
Liu Mang stunned and muttered “Hmm, my ad is too generous eh?!” He knows that Xu Shu’s words of “too generous” meaning that those people who were given that kind of reward, will naturally lost their morale and they will be more unwilling to fight. And in this kind of time where everything is uncertain, morale of soldiers is an utmost importance.
Hmm, then how do I reward them? Thought Liu Mang while looking at his civil and military officers. Liu Mang just realized that he is now entering the phase of managing in Dynasty Warriors Empires game series by Koei. However, there is no choice or anything in his hands and there is no savepoints either.
Liu Mang then stand up and said “Urban Army!!! All of you are this Liu Mang’s personal troops. The original roster is 1,000. Out of 1,000 all died 432 troops. During Battle of Wancheng, the squadron was annihilated. All veterans who deserved to be rewarded heavily already died. And now, Urban Army comprised of new recruits, do you all think that those new recruits, deserved to be rewarded heavily?! Same with Black Flag, out of 3,000 original roster; 1,800 troops were wiped out in Battle of Wancheng! Now, all of 5,000 Black Flag, do all of you need to be rewarded the same merit as those veterans?!” All of officers said “No, the reward must be distributed accordingly!!!” Liu Mang smiled and said “Very well then. 50 mu farmland are to be given only to Black Flag veterans. Those of Urban Army who survived two battles will obtain the same 50 mu farmland. While the others will only get 5 mu farmland. But this prize is not taken for granted, for those who disobey military law, shows cowardice in battle, disobey military order. All those will be snatched back from you!!!”
“Milord is wise!!!” Praised Xu Shu. Xu Shu’s eyes is glittering nonstop for Liu Mang is able to be impartial in dishing out reward and punishment. Liu Mang then sit back down and said to Yang Hong “Uncle Hong, have you finished counting Liu Mang Army’s casualties?!” Counting casualties is needed for Liu Mang, as it is one way for remembering the dead. Liu Mang approximated his casualties to be at least 10,000 people. That meant around 10,000 families need to be managed, if Liu Mang did not do it, who would?
“Yes, this old official had counted them. Approximately got 8,000 people!!!” Answered Yang Hong while pulling out document from his pocket and squinting his eyes toward the document. “Appoximately? Where is the specifics?!” Said Liu Mang annoyed but quickly fixed his attitude, when he saw Yang Hong is repeatedly squinting his eyes. I definitely must provide him eyeglasses, later. Thought Liu Mang. When Yang Hong heard Liu Mang annoyed voice, he quickly revised “Oh, the exact is 8945 people!!!” Yang Hong as chief clerk, have a duty to count casualties and when everything is already stable, it is time to mourn the dead. Liu Mang then asked “How about the heavily wounded?!” Yang Hong read the document again and said “Heavily wounded…. Got 92 people!” Liu Mang took a deep breath and thought 92 people…. All is in a palliative care, waiting for death to claim them, that is the least I can do for them. Liu Mang then said “How about those who had family? Have you count them as well?!” Yang Hong replied ‘Yes, Milord. Out of those 8945 people, 5728 people had families, while the others are still single!”
5728 people who had families, those numbers must be Liu clan’s private army, since my own Urban Army and Black Flag were consisted of single guys. Thought Liu Mang.
Liu Neng then said “Milord, regarding our Liu’s private army. Would you please rescind your order to give their family, half tael of gold. The matter of compensating their families had been taken care of by Neng as it is our duty of Liu clan.” Liu Neng said that because no matter what Liu Mang thought, those people are his own army, therefore his clan is responsible for their welfare. Liu Mang then said “Liu Neng, those who died in that battle led by Liu Mang will be compensated whomever they are belonged to. And I only gave half tael of gold, it is because they are Liu clan’s private army!!!” Liu Neng then nodded and return to the line.
Liu Mang saw that this Liu Neng could actually predict and analyze situation. During Battle of Wancheng, Liu Kai already want to sold Lu Bu and Liu Mang to Sun Ce when they are in a dire situation but Liu Neng persist to trust Liu Mang and that trust was worth it. Later, after the battle, he visited each of Liu Mang’s generals and even Xu Shu, to chat with them. Usually, this kind of behavior is perceived as their lord as a sign of rebellion but when he is asked on why he did that, he simply replied “Neng wanted to weed out those who will be unloyal to you, Milord!” Liu Mang nodded and since then, he had shown nothing but his earnestness to Liu Mang and helped him during his most dark times, he will definitely be used by Liu Mang as Liu Mang also had an ability to control talented person. Liu Mang then said to Yang Hong “Uncle Hong, the rest of my Urban Army original roster, please give 50 mu of farmlands and one tael of gold each!” Yang Hong nodded and said “It shall be done, Milord!” With proper positioning, Yang Hong really can shine in Liu Mang’s army, in his position as internal affairs and a diplomat. He is able to perform extremely well in that field and as he is no longer young, Liu Neng quickly assigned to assist him.
Yang Hong then asked “Milord, how about those who are single out of those severely wounded?! There are 45 person out of all them!” Liu Mang then replied “They are to be given the same reward, 50 mu farmlands and 1 tael of gold each. If they want to pension from the army, let them go. However, if they want to follow me, I will use them to the end!!!” However, how can I reward the dead? Thought Liu Mang silently and said “Yuanzhi, bring me Shouchun inner palace blueprint!” Xu Shu then picked up the document and handed over to Liu Mang.
Here is Shouchun and it once the capital of Chu Kingdom and once again used by the moronic Father-in-law Yuan to build his dream kingdom. A magnificent castle made of white marble, with five main building, ten pavilion. Hmm….. Thought Liu Mang.
“Very well then.” Said Liu Mang and pointing to one place in the blueprint and continued “Uncle Hong, you call artisans to my office later. I want to build a big pillar and they will etched those soldiers’ name who died in the battle and if can, I want their ashes to be buried under the pillar!!!” Yang Hong who sees the place immediately said “Milord, NO!!! You cannot do this!!!” The place Liu Mang pointed is the main hall, where Yuan Shu used to govern. Yang Hong had been dreaming about Liu Mang sit in that throne as The Emperor with himself at his side.
“Why not?!” Said Liu Mang while turning his head toward Yang Hong. Yang Hong replied “Milord, the place is main hall. It is a place where official business took place. The face of the nation and dynasty. How can you let that palace turn into mausoleum?!” Liu Mang said “Oh, the face of the nation and dynasty, eh? Which country, uncle Hong? Is it Han Dynasty or Zhong Dynasty?!” Yang Hong then showed pained expression. The word of Zhong Dynasty pained Yang Hong so much, as it is the country created by his former lord Yuan Shu. No matter how foolish Yuan Shu is, he had been Yang Hong’s lord and he had been treated very well by him.
Liu Mang then hold Yang Hong’s shoulder and said “Uncle Hong, the past is the past. It is up to us, the one who still survive to correct his deeds. Father-in-law Yuan is an imperfect person and he left a tarnished legacy to Fang’er and me. But this Liu Mang believed, it can be corrected!!!” With that words, Yang Hong’s face lighten up. No one in this world, is loyal to a dying tree and Han Dynasty is a dying tree. Thought Liu Mang and Yang Hong who sees that glitter, silently nodded to his argument.
“Hmm… This main hall is where court were held. Hmmm…….” Thought Liu Mang while holding his chin. Next he bellowed “Very well then. This place will become temple for heroes. In the middle, create a big pillar and etched names of soldiers who died in battle. Create a new table and tablets with names of generals who fall casualty in our battle. General Su Fei, General Song Xian and General Wei Xu!!! From now on, Shouchun Palace is named as House of Heroes. Everytime, we endured casualties, we will mourn the dead here and their name will be included in this House of Heroes per their merits and they shall be worshipped as founders of this country. Also as long as Liu Mang and Lu Bu army still had descendants and after descendants, they must celebrate Qingming year after year.” After Liu Mang said it, every military officers eyes were sparkling. Liu Mang actually treated their spirit as a deity first-class. And who did not want their names etched in the pillar, be remembered forever as founders of the country?
All of military commanders knelt down and said “Milord is very wise!!!” Military commanders rushed ahead first in order to provide their families with titles. Now when the House of Heroes is completed, they will be worshipped by their generations and generations to come.
Xu Shu then asked while also feeling very excited “Milord!!! What about us? Those who are civil officers?!” Liu Mang then replied “Answering your question, the hall will be divided into two section with the pillar in the middle. Left is for military officers while the right is for civil officers.” Xu Shu and all of officials kowtowed Liu Mang. They are really thankful for Liu Mang for not letting them be forgotten by ravages of time. With this, every soldiers who are in Liu Mang’s employ shall not be forgotten and Liu Mang had bring the highest honor that soldiers could get, not fame, not fortune, but remembrance.