Three days. Liu Bei’s Army of twenty thousand was blocked outside of Guangzhou for a full three days. Even Zhang Xiu felt awkward to keep watching and left together with his Xiliang Cavalry. Now, Liu Bei even felt like killing someone. If it was not because of many years of living a moral life and also Pang Tong’s discouragement, Liu Pi would have already been beheaded.
Twenty thousand soldiers had attacked the hard to defend and small Guangzhou. The walls of Guangzhou were not tall like Wancheng and Shouchun. It does not have a river like Xiapi. It was just a small city surrounded by a wall of soil. However, Liu Pi was still unable to take it down. On top of that over five thousand of the Yellow Turban soldiers have died. It made Liu Bei want to impulsively change the general.
Liu Pi also felt very bitter. He looked at Liu Bei who did not speak and had an indifferent gaze. Liu Pi felt very depressed. In front of them were three cities, Gushi, Anfeng, and Guangzhou. Guangzhou was the closest to Yuzhou and Jingzhou. It was a connecting point. However, because it was hard to defend, it would not be garrisoned with much. Liu Biao pretty much ignored it and when Yuzhou was still in Liu Pi’s control, he would not stretch out here even if his defenders were not enough.
Liu Mang also felt that Guangzhou was dispensable so he felt that it was more difficult to attack Gushi and Anfeng. This was why Liu Pi was initially very happy as he had more soldiers than Zhang Fei and Chen Dao. Guangzhou was also a simple place. Liu Bei would be watching from the sidelines so the merits earned would also be higher. It would allow Liu Bei to brag. But now it was not so.
(TN: Had trouble translating this. Basically Liu Bei was supposed to ‘get face’ from this.)
Gushi and Anfeng was taken in a day by Zhang Fei and Chen Dao. However, with Hao Shao at Guangzhou, not only was Liu Pi unable to capture Guangzhou in three days. He had also lost five thousand soldiers. The casualties caused from the moat and the destruction of the rams. Liu Pi’s way up was burned down by Hao Shao from his first attempt at sieging. At first, he wanted to be rewarded by Liu Bei. Now he is just hoping that Liu Bei does not punish him.
“Milord please be relieved. When it is bright again tomorrow, this general will attack Guangzhou. If Guangzhou is not taken, this general will give you his head.” Liu Pi gritted his teeth determinedly. Right now, Guangzhou’s moat was already filled up. The attacks in the past few days were not pointless. At the very least, the defenders would be tired. Although there were not many casualties. Although it was not a lot, there were at least a hundred injured. If it was not because of the sky turning dark after filling up the moat, Guangzhou would have been captured already. Liu Pi believes that the city would definitely be captured tomorrow.
“I hope so!” Liu Bei snorted, leaving behind an embarrassed Liu Pi.
As night arrived, the moon and stars appeared. It was deathly silent at Guangzhou. This was not because it was empty but because the soldiers were so tired that they did not want to speak or move.
Finally, someone broke the silence. “General! Do you think we can defend Guangzhou?”
The defender stared at Hao Shao. One of his arms were cut off by an enemy. The battle that day was the most intense one. As the moat was filled up, it could be said that Guangzhou was now exposed to the enemy. Liu Pi had tried to siege again. Five thousand troops had almost climbed onto the walls. Fortunately, Hao Shao set fire to the ladders and burned the enemy down. Otherwise, Guangzhou would really be in a perilous situation.
“Guangzhou?” It was not just the defenders. Even Hao Shao was asking himself this question. Could Guangzhou still be defended? He had used two thousand troops to defend the small Guangzhou and wounded five thousand of the enemy. This was a very good record. After all, the soldiers with Hao Shao were of low quality unlike Liu Pi. Normally, Hao Shao would gain a lot of merits for lasting three days against twenty thousand soldiers.”
But right now, Hao Shao needs to know if Guangzhou could still be defended. The next day, he must definitely fight against the enemy’s full assault. Hao Shao could see the commanding general’s anger and was certain that the final battle would be on the next day.
“We can definitely defend it!” Hao Shao finally replied against his will. He did not want to lie to the soldiers but he knew that if he did not deceive them, they would collapse now and would not even need to be defeated by the enemy. So, Hao Shao had no choice but to reply like this.
“Really?” That soldier seemed to have something else to say but Hao Shao denied him that opportunity. This was because the topic was too heavy. It would make people think too much. Hao Shao turned to Xuan Jian who was beside him and asked. “Xuan Jian. Have you dispatched the people asking for help?” “They have already been dispatched. A group of four had already left since the first day!” Xuan Jian paused for a moment before he added. “All four soldiers were given horses. According to the time, they should return by today!”
“That’s good! Everyone! Be glad! Tomorrow evening, our reinforcements may arrive!” Hao Shao shouted to the soldiers from the walls.
“Reinforcements? Really? We have reinforcements?”
“Our reinforcements are coming! Is it the Wolf Cavalry? The Urban Army? Black Flag?” The people asking were those that wanted to be enlisted in the Black Flag Army and the Urban Army.
“It is not possible for it to be the Urban Army or the Black Flag Army. It should probably be the Wolf Cavalry. Heavily armored troops cannot march so quickly. The only one that could reach in time are the Wolf Cavalry!” Another person retorted. This one knows some general knowledge.
“The Wolf Cavalry! Led by the God of War Lu Bu!”
“How could you simply say the Lord’s name!”
One by one, they began to discuss and the silence was gradually swept away.
“Reinforcements?” Hao Shao smiled bitterly. They dispatched four. Three died on the road. One reached Shucheng and had returned the day before. Shucheng was guarded by Zhang Liao so Zhang Liao did not lie to Hao Shao. Hao Shao was informed that no reinforcements would be appearing for the moment. Even though Lujiang was currently prepared for war, they lack provisions and they needed to be cautious of Sun Ce.
The state of the Jiangdong fleet is currently unknown. Without sufficient information, Lu Bu did not dare to move the Wolf Cavalry and the Formation Breaker to help Shouchun.
“Brothers. Just consider it as me owing you one!” Hao Shao sighed as he lied down. He used cloth and quilt as his blanket and bed as he rested on the walls.
The drum was beaten as the sky turned bright. Liu Pi’s army started to move again. Hao Shao also got up and went to the walls to look at the approaching army. Hao Shao took a deep breath.
“General. Looks like the enemy is playing with life now!” Xuan Jian said to Hao Shao as he looked at Liu Pi’s army. How desperate! Except for the dead and injured, Liu Pi had taken out all the soldiers to get rid of Guangzhou and embarrass the Lu Bu’s Army.
“Then let us risk our lives! Even in death, none of us in the Lu Bu’s Army are cowards!” Hao Shao also became fiery. After the past few days of fighting, Hao Shao also became very courageous. Even though he preferred defending, he was still someone from the Wolf Cavalry, a group that could not be bullied so easily. “Xuan Jian. Do not reserve any troops. Take everyone out. Today, we would either chase back the enemy together or all die fighting together!” Hao Shao no longer reserved troops. After all, Liu Pi is also desperate. Since he was sending everyone out, Hao Shao did the same.
“Understood!” Xuan Jian nodded.
Liu Pi no longer bothered to exchange nonsensical words with Hao Shao nor did he bothered persuading him. They immediately beat the drums and the first wave of troops started to rush.
Ladders were successively placed onto the walls of Guangzhou. Liu Pi’s Army then started to climb up the ladders. The moat was gone and it became like a normal siege. Liu Pi’s Army would just need to climb up.
Pressing on without letting up is a useful phrase for the two armies. But there is also a saying about silence exploding. Both Liu Pi and his army all felt unhappy that the small Guangzhou stopped their pace and make them too weak to fight back. (TN: A saying how quiet people would suddenly explode, probably referring to Liu Pi’s exploding anger)
The Yuzhou Army were originally bandits that made others feel sullen instead of being angered and embarrassed. This was why they all became desperate.
“Kill! Hold out!” Hao Shao roared as he slashed one of Liu Pi’s soldiers that climbed up. The number of troops garrisoned on the wall were only two thousand. There were quite some losses in the past few days but it was already good to be able to persevere to this degree. As another section of the wall became occupied, Hao Shao used his superior martial arts to push the enemy back down.
“Use fire! Use fire!” Hao Shao decided to use the old tactic as they would not last if they continued like that. After all, the enemy outnumbered him. Using the walls, his recruits could still hold out. However, their weakness would be exposed in direct combat.
“Use fire! Burn the ladders down!” One by one, torches were lit and oil was poured over the ladder. Fires were lit however, the result was not as Hao Shao expected. There was only a small flame before it got extinguished.
“Hmph! Trying to use an old trick?” Liu Pi sneered. He had already experienced Hao Shao burning the ladder with fire. Ladders were originally made of dry wood. As the wood could not be too smooth, it would usually be dried under the sun. When oil is poured and lit, the ladder would burn easily.
However, the ladders that day were specially made. To prevent fire, he did not use dry wood. He put all of the ladders into the water and soaked it. As wood could easily absorb water, they were all now wet and impossible to burn. Although it would become smoother, it would be fine as long as the soldiers slow down a little. Liu Pi’s soldiers gradually went up the walls.
“Damn!” Hao Shao cursed as the number of enemies at the back increased.
“Xuan Jian! Come up the walls!” Hao Shao shouted. He still had a secret weapon. He initially planned to use it to hold out until night but never expected to use it so early.
“Yes!” A group of soldiers went up the walls holding a shield and a sword in each of their hands. All of them wore heavy armor.
“The White Eared armored soldiers?” Liu Pi’s troops that boarded the walls froze for a moment. The White Eared armored soldiers has been with the Yuzhou Army for a few days and they could recognize the armor.
“It is not the White Eared armored soldiers! It is the Lu Bu’s Army!” Although it was the armor of the White Eared soldiers, the inner clothes were not white.
The fakes were truly Hao Shao’s soldiers. Before this, Hao Shao had captured eight hundred soldiers. He took off their armor and have four hundred of his own soldiers wear the armor. Heavy armors were used during field operations on the infantries or the cavalries. It was rarely used when sieging a city as the person would not be able to climb the ladder. Liu Mang had won once by using the heavily armored soldiers. He used the Black Flag soldiers to chase Sun Ce’s army back down the walls of Wancheng. Hao Shao wanted to do this.
The fake White Eared troops brought good results. Heavily armored soldiers were meant for pushing. Enemies are unable to hurt you but you can cause huge harm.
“Detestable!” Liu Pi felt very angry. He took a brick and smashed it at his feet. Those four hundred heavy armors are the presents he had sent up.
“Kill! Kill!” Hao Shao’s Army chased Liu Pi’s Army back down the city together with the help of the four hundred white armored soldiers.
“First wave withdraw! Second wave move up!” Liu Pi coldly waved his hand down. He had to capture Guangzhou on that day at all cost.