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Chapter 274 – Gift

Gift


Liu Bei’s Army divided into three. One was led by his brother Zhang Fei, with ten thousand Qingzhou elites. The second group was led by Chen Dao with his heavy armored White-eared soldiers. The last one was twenty thousand Yuzhou Army led by Liu Pi. It was called the Yuzhou Army to hide Liu Pi’s unsightly identity. After all, he was a Yellow Turban. Calling it the Yuzhou Army was to hide the fact that it was the Yellow Turban Army. It was just like how the Qingzhou Army was the Yellow Turban Army from Qingzhou.


Zhang Fei and Chen Dao’s armies had set out. Only Liu Pi’s army did not move.


“Come. Come. General Zhang. Let us enter the tent!” Liu Bei greeted Zhang Xiu. Zhang Xiu also did not become modest and followed Liu Bei into the tent.


They drank inside the tent and both of them were joyous. Both of them made small talk. Liu Bei asked Zhang Xiu how was he. Zhang Xiu was also a fierce tiger and boasted about himself a little. Zhang Xiu took this opportunity to try and get along with the others and also showed Liu Bei some respect.


While Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu drank, Zhang Fei had gone straight towards Anfeng. The Qingzhou Army under Zhang Fei were experts in raids. After all, they used to be Yellow Turbans. The ones that could run are the ones that survived. The ones that could not run were already dead.


That was how they brought their army of ten thousand to Anfeng in half a day.


“Enemy attack! Enemy attack!” The soldiers at Anfeng shouted loudly. The soldiers gathered when the enemy invaded. They only had two thousand defenders as it was a small town. Liu Mang’s arrangement for Anfeng has always been a place connected to Lujiang. There were not many common people here and the defenders were also new recruits.


As soon as they saw the ten thousand soldiers, they drew in a cold breath.


“Those under the city! Who dares to have the audacity to attack Anfeng, the territory under the control of the Sagely King!” Although these poor people of the Han did not have deep feelings for Liu Mang, he had given them a stage. So, they were all grateful to Liu Mang.


“It is your grandfather Zhang!” Zhang Fei did not spare the time to speak. After the Qingzhou troops had rested for a little, they immediately besieged the Anfeng. Zhang Fei had held himself back for long enough. He had long wanted to see blood. Zhang Fei took the lead and went straight to the walls before his subordinates could even put up the ladder. Zhang Fei leapt high from atop his horse and struck his Serpent Blade into the city wall. He then climbed up the walls. “The eunuch Zhang Yi is here. Who dares to fight?” Zhang Fei created an empty space when he jumped onto the walls. Those that approached were dead and the ones further away was injured. It could be said that there was no one alive near Zhang Fei.


The defenders were basically new recruits. Zhang Fei was so fierce that they were naturally frightened. They did not dare to receive injuries. At that rate, Zhang Fei could capture the city on his own. Many more of Zhang Fei’s subordinates had set the ladders and started to climb up Anfeng.


“All troops, prepare for battle!” The high-ranking officer amongst the defenders shouted loudly. Although there were only two thousand defenders, Anfeng was a small county town. Two thousand was enough to defend it. “Kill! Chase the enemy away!” The high-ranking officer took out his sword and rushed forward.


He wanted to set an example so that his subordinates would not be afraid and fight. Lujiang was not far from Anfeng. They just needed to hold out until their lord at Lujiang send soldiers and horses to rescue them.


This way of thinking was good. He had made the right judgement on the battlefield. However, he had made one mistake. That mistake was that he and Zhang Fei were not on the same level. He had rushed up to fight with Zhang Fei. When Zhang Fei saw him, he was excited and knocked away a few of the soldiers around him. He then attacked the high-ranking officer.


“Not good!” The high-ranking officer immediately understood the bad situation he was in the moment his weapon clashed against the Serpent Blade. This was because the attack was too heavy. The two of them were not on the same level. The high-ranking officer was not stupid. If he were to continue to hold on, he would be the one to die. As a result, he hurriedly retreated.


“Thinking of running away? You are dead!” Zhang Fei laughed ferociously. Zhang Fei was a famous general. When there was a prey in his hands, that prey would not be able to escape.


A head was sent flying. Zhang Fei ignored the blood on his face and grabbed the head. Alongside the head, Zhang Fei’s fearsome expression frightened many.


“The general is dead!” The soldiers started to collapse. Their general is dead, an endless stream of enemies were coming from below and a death God was on the wall. It could be said that the recruits could no longer hold out and started to disperse.


“Hahaha! Kill! Kill!” Zhang Fei revealed an expression of excitement. He had held himself back for so long and was now excited to see blood.


There was a massacre on the city walls. With the Qingzhou elite climbing onto the walls, the two thousand soldiers ended up in a more difficult situation.


Anfeng then fell.


In comparison to Zhang Fei’s brutality, Chen Dao and the White-eared soldiers were more peaceful. Chen Dao went to the walls and asked the defenders of Gushi to surrender. The five thousand White-eared soldiers were reputable soldiers. Chen Dao had also showed his skill with the bow by shooting the red tassel on the helmet of the high-ranking officer. Chen Dao said that if they were to surrender, they would be forgiven for their past misdeeds. Chen Dao would also recommend them to Liu Bei so that they would have better future prospects. The stick and carrot policy shook the defenders of Gushi. The soldiers sent out to look for reinforcements had also returned with news that Anfeng had fallen. The high-ranking officer of Gushi then surrendered and Gushi was captured without any effort.


“General Zhang. Come. Here is a cup to you!1” Liu Bei raised the wine cup in his hands to Zhang Xiu as he spoke. Liu Bei had finally obtained the chance to build relationships and would not let it go. He was very good at obtaining popular support and maintaining public relations.


Liu Bei had a few women there as well. Women are used to gain a man’s favor. Liu Bei wanted to obtain a man’s loyalty. It may be different but the principle is the same. Liu Bei poured out his grievances to Zhang Xiu and talked about the helplessness of the Han. He then spoke of how he envied the heroes such as Zhang Xiu that obstruct the villains.


While Liu Bei was playing tricks, a messenger came in. He saw that there was a stranger in the tent and whispered to Pang Tong.


“Hm?” Zhang Xiu looked at the messenger. What is it that could not be said in front of me? Zhang Xiu did not say anything. After all, he and Liu Bei belonged to different forces even though they were friendly with each other. It was impossible to treat each other sincerely.


“If there are any words, you can just speak freely. There is no need for secrets!” Pang Tong had noticed Zhang Xiu’s expression and angrily roared at the messenger. “General Zhang is from a friendly force. He is good friends with our Lord. If there are any words, speak for all of us to hear!”


“Yes!” The messenger was shocked by Pang Tong’s voice. He fell to his knees and shouted in a loud voice. “Report from Zhang Fei and Chen Dao. Anfeng and Gushi has been captured!”


“Really?” How long has it been? We had only drank for half a day at most. Anfeng and Gushi was captured in half a day. Zhang Xiu was a bit surprised. Although it was only two small cities, capturing both in half a day was still surprising. Zhang Xiu could not help but admit to the Liu Bei Army’s combat effectiveness. Cavalries usually look down on light infantries. This is because light infantries were like vegetables to heavy cavalries. On the other hand, heavy infantries were like a pile of iron or unmoving turtles. However, infantries were needed to siege. It would seem that Liu Bei’s infantries had played a huge role. His intentions of capturing three cities was a possibility


“There is no room for levity in the army!” Pang Tong spoke. He wanted to reveal the news of Anfeng and Gushi’s capture to Zhang Xiu. This would allow him to increase the Liu Bei Army’s chips. Lu Bu was not the only headache as Zhang Xiu had almost killed Cao Cao with trickery. Pang Tong’s actions were to indirectly tell Zhang Xiu not to play too many tricks as the Liu Bei Army was also a force to be reckoned with.


“Generals. Chen Dao had already dispatched people to send the tax money from Anfeng and Gushi. The two cities have one thousand and five hundred gold!” The soldier added.


One thousand five hundred gold? Zhang Xiu’s eyes turned bright. Although this was not a lot of gold, this was only two cities from Shouchun. Yangzhou, the center of Shouchun, would be more prosperous. On top of that, there was still Lu Bu’s Lujiang.


“Milord, two of three gifts had already been given. How about we give the remaining earnings from the city to General Zhang!” Pang Tong said.


“Good idea!” Liu Bei nodded. He also knew that it was time to show Zhang Xiu his sincerity.


“Where is Liu Pi!”


“This general is here!” Liu Pi had been following Liu Bei. He could be considered as Liu Bei’s big fan. Otherwise, he would not have given away Yuzhou so easily after Liu Bei had surrendered Xuzhou. Zhang Fei and Chen Dao had already been dispatched and Liu Pi was also impatient. Although he understood that he was not comparable to the two in martial arts, he was skillful. Now that it was his turn, he was naturally happy.


“Liu Pi. Take your subordinates, the Yuzhou Army with you and capture Guangzhou. Give what you collect to Zhang Xiu as the third gift!” Liu Bei ordered.


“This general receives the order!” Liu Pi became happy. Guangzhou was not worth mentioning. Capturing it would give him merits.


1. Drinking in respect to General Zhang.
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