Liu Bei’s speed was not fast. After avoiding Guangzhou, he and Zhang Xiu rampaged throughout Yangzhou. He would siege while Zhang Xiu would plunder. After Gushi and Anfeng, a number of county towns were captured. Liu Mang’s Army in Yangzhou withdrew many times until Liu Bei’s Army had reached Hefei. Unlike Hao Shao who defended Guangzhou for four days with twenty thousand soldiers, Hefei’s twenty thousand soldiers fell within two days from the Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu’s coalition forces. Zhang Xiu’s Army even bypassed Shouchun and raided Chengde, which also fell on the same day. The entire Yangzhou was plunged into chaos. Only Shouchun and Lujiang were left in Liu Mang’s hands.
“Detestable!” A handsome and tall middle-aged man in Lujiang swept the official documents onto the floor in a fit of rage.
“Milord! Calm your anger!” The nearby Cheng Gong went and picked up the documents. Words of consolation came out from his mouth but he himself felt very angry. The documents said that in Yangzhou, only Shouchun and Lujiang was left in Liu Mang’s hands. Everywhere else has fallen. Lu Bu had opened up territory for Liu Mang to develop industries. It could be said that Lu Bu had already given Liu Mang all the resources available. Now all these was taken away by others. This would naturally make one feel angry.
“Gongtai! I want to dispatch troops!” Lu Bu was extremely angry for being taken advantage of. It would not be his style to keep enduring. Lu Bu now wants to tear his enemies apart with his wolves. “Baby Zhang Xiu. Even your uncle did not dare to try and bully me. You are looking for trouble! Big Eared Liu. How regretful. I should have let Ji Ling bring the Yuzhou Army to destroy you!”
“Milord. It is not that we must not dispatch troops!” Chen Gong was even more anxious compared to Lu Bu. For better or worse, Lu Bu only has a daughter after so many years. He has many wives and concubines but Chen Gong had none even after following Lu Bu for so many years. As it was too late for him to get a wife and son, Chen Gong sees Liu Mang as an elder would see a junior. The moment Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu went out, Chen Gong had already prepared soldiers and provisions. However, his plan could not keep up with the changes. Sun Ce also went out. His fleet patrolled the Yangtze River and would disembark if they were not careful.
Sending a little bit of help to Liu Mang is not worthit as right now, Zhang Xiu and Liu Bei had united. Zhang Xiu had twenty thousand Xiliang Cavalry and Liu Bei had ten thousand troops. He even took out his elite White Eared soldiers. If they were to send out most of the soldiers, it would not be called reinforcements due to a lack of soldiers. It would be gifting out presents after being surrounded. That is why the Wolf Cavalry, Urban Army or Mountain Army would be needed to aid Yangzhou. These elites could chase away Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu’s Army but what would become of Lujiang?
Sun Ce’s Army is now waiting for a chance. Once Lu Bu’s elites all disappeared, it would be the same as giving Lujiang over to Sun Ce. He was still hoping to once again capture Wan Cheng and obtain Lujiang. This is why Lu Bu’s Army could not move.
“Sigh!” Lu Bu punched the table. The wooden table was smashed into pieces. Lu Bu knows this but the situation at Yangzhou made him extremely anxious. “Gongtai. Write a letter and tell Hanyang to withdraw the troops. Have all of them return! We don’t want Shouchun anymore!” Lu Bu could now only choose to abandon Shouchun and Yangzhou. He only wanted Lujiang.
“Milord. Do you think Hanyang would listen?” Chen Gong shook his head. If Liu Mang had listened, he would have withdrawn his troops a long time ago. Chen Gong and Lu Bu had initially discussed about how to burn the bridges. They thought of using the millions of common people and give it to Liu Bei to cause trouble at Yuzhou. This would give Liu Bei a big headache. Compared to the others Liu Bei placed more emphasis on reputation. This was because Liu Bei is not from a land-owning class. He did not dare to disregard his people like Cao Cao and could only eat this loss. After that, Lu Bu could get Liu Biao to fight Jiangdong again. The whole army could then land on Jiangdong and cause chaos.
Chen Gong believed that this was a good idea but Liu Mang rejected it when he received the letter. Although this stratagem would cause misfortune to Liu Bei and Sun Ce, Lu Bu himself would also fall into a huge predicament. The battle of Guandu approaches its end. Once Yuan Shao or Cao Cao have their hands free, Lu Bu would lose his place in the world.
Liu Mang was not joking. Cao Cao’s elder brother Cao Chun had died in the hands of Lu Bu. Liu Mang himself had offended Cao Cao. Once Cao Cao obtains the world, he would not spare the Lu Bu’s Army.
“That fellow!” Lu Bu finally understood the meaning of the idiom wishing iron could turn into steel. He finally understood Liu Biao and Yuan Shao’s helplessness to their children. Lu Bu rubbed his head. Even if he wanted to have Liu Mang withdraw right now, it would be very hard. This was because Lu Bu had obtained information that Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu had already pressed towards Shouchun and Lujiang. They needed the help of the walls of Lujiang to defend. Once they withdrew the troops, the twenty thousand Xiliang cavalry would become a nightmare to the troops. Withdrawing the troops might result in a huge defeat.
“Father! Father!” While Lu Bu had a headache, a beautiful woman entered the hall. The woman was very attractive and looked like Lu Bu. This was Lu Bu’s only daughter, Lu Qiling. Right now, she no longer looked valiant. Instead, she looked weak. She broke into tears when she entered the hall.
“Ling Er. What are you doing here?” Lu Bu saw his daughter and asked. “Go back. This is not somewhere you should be.”
“Miss!” Chen Gong saw Lu Bu’s daughter cupped her hands when normally, she would return after greeting ‘Uncle Chen’. Chen Gong was Lu Bu’s right and left hands. He was also the Lu Bu’s Army’s brain. This was why calling him uncle was acceptable. However, this time, Lu Qiling had no mood to do that.
“Father. Did something happen to husband?” Lu Qiling opened her eyes wide and watched her father hoping to get the exact news from his mouth.
“Nonsense. How is that possible? Hanyang is doing well in Shouchun!” Lu Bu waved his hand as his eyebrows pulsate.
“You liar!” Lu Qiling did not believe her father. “If Hanyang is doing well in Shouchun, why would the Liu Bei’s Army and Zhang Xiu’s Army appear in Yangzhou! Why would they besiege Shouchun?” Lu Qiling questioned.
“Who told you this?” Lu Bu frowned. Who told Lu Qiling that Liu Bei’s Army and Zhang Xiu’s Army are attacking Shouchun? It is not possible to hide the fact that Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu had dispatched troops but the situation at the battlefield should have been able to stay hidden. So, the fact that Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu were attacking Shouchun is only known to Lu Bu and a few generals. The only other one that knows was Lu Bu’s wives which he told while being agitated.
“You do not need to care who was it that told me. Father. Tell me whether something has happened to husband!” Lu Qiling looked at her father. Lu Bu also did not know how to reply. However, Lu Bu was certain that his wife was the one that told her. His head started to hurt even more.
“Why would I lie to you? Why is a girl like you bothering with this? Go back quickly. This is a conference hall. Someone. Come and send her back!” Lu Bu did not want to explain. It was possible that his explanation would not make sense the more he explained. He could only choose to let Lu Qiling go back.
“I know. I know. Second Mother was right. Something happened to husband!” Lu Qiling was somewhat at a loss. The woman who could compete with men had already disappeared. She was now just a girl worried about her husband.
“As expected it was Chan Er who said it.” Lu Bu did not go and immediately blame Diao Chan. After all, such a big thing is hard to hide from the family.
“Why are you all still stunned there? Send the Miss back!” Lu Bu roared again. He could only choose to send her back and then explain it to her when he returns.
“Yes!” Two nearby bodyguards then sent Lu Qiling off.
“Gongtai. Is there no other way?” Lu BU asked Chen Gong unwillingly.
“Right now, you can only pray for Hanyang to be able to hold on!” Chen Gong was also helpless. Right now, Lu Bu was attacked on three sides. On their own, Lu Bu was not afraid of them. If Sun Ce were to attack alone, Lu Bu could route his entire army again like last time. After all, no one is a match for Lu Bu’s Army on land.
Liu Bei has the White Eared Heavy Infantry but that is all he has. There was nothing to fear with the Wolf Cavalry. Lu Bu also had the Formation Breaker which were also heavy infantries. Liu Mang’s urban army and the Black Flag Army would not be able to defeat the White Eared soldiers in a one against one battle but this was not necessarily so. After all, these two together had more than ten thousand troops. Comparing generals, Liu Bei has three valiant generals. However, Lu Bu’s Army had Wei Yan, Huang Zhong, Zhao Yun as well as Xu Sheng. These were first class warriors. For second class warriors, they still had Huang Xu and the others. This was much more than Liu Bei. Liu Bei alone would certainly cry.
Zhang Xiu’s Xiliang Cavalry had twenty thousand men and was powerful and effective. However, they would lose against the Wolf Cavalry. The Black Flag Army, Formation Breaker, Urban Army and others were also not weak and could fight recklessly against the Xiliang Cavalry.
However, now that the three were together, Lu Bu was attacked from the front and the rear. The most crucial point was Sun Ce’s stratagem. The millions of people ended up tying Lu Bu’s hands and feet. Now, Lu Bu’s Army could not leave Lujiang. Besides Sun Ce eyeing the land, Lu Bu also did not have enough provisions. Most of the provisions were sent to Shouchun. It was where Chen Gong was having difficulty.
“Is it possible to get Liu Biao to help us hinder Sun Ce while we dispatch to Shouchun?” Lu Bu asked. As long as Lu Bu could send out troops, he could deal with Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu before cleaning up Sun Ce. However, this requires Liu Biao’s assistance. As long as Liu Biao could hinder Sun Ce’s fleets, Lu Bu would be free to dispatch soldiers.
“Milord. There is no need to think about this anymore. Liu Biao would just sit there and watch us fight!” Chen Gong shook his head. If Liu Biao was willing to help, he would have already helped instead of waiting until now. After all Liu Biao and Sun Ce were enemies by blood. Liu Biao also knew that Sun Ce would not ally themselves with him. It was just like how two tigers cannot share one mountain.
Liu Biao and his navy are currently at Sanjiangkou to avoid the war. He wanted to watch Lu Bu, Sun Ce, Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu fight. Even if Lu Bu were to be defeated, he would not be completely routed. On top of that, the Lu Bu’s Army were very combat effective. Even if they were to be hunted and killed, they would drag their enemies down with them.
Liu Biao had a plan. Liu Bei, Sun Ce and Zhang Xiu would make Lu Bu anxious. This would make the tiger Lu Bu want to bite people. Even though the three would not be able to defeat Lu Bu, they would be able to injure him.
If they were to kill Lu Bu and destroy his army, that means their luck was good. If they could not kill him, they would have to wait for the retaliation of the fierce tiger. At that time, Liu Biao would give Lu Bu provisions. Regardless of whether Lu Bu wants to do it, he would still help Liu Biao to get rid of Sun Ce, Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu. At that time, Lu Bu could become a Jingzhou watchdog like Zhang Xiu.
One reason why Zhang Xiu did not dare to fight against Liu Biao even though he has an army is because he does not have sufficient provisions, iron, and other necessities like salt and oil. This was why Zhang Xiu is always in Liu Biao’s hands.
If Liu Biao wanted to help, he can just tighten the chain of oil, salt and food. Zhang Xiu would immediately have to withdraw. Such a troublesome thing would not have happened.
“Sigh!” Chen Gong and Lu Bu were still thinking when two bodyguards suddenly rushed in. He interrupted all of Lu Bu’s thoughts about deployment.
“Milord. This is bad!” The bodyguards immediately knelt in front of Lu Bu.
“Why are you flustered? What happened? Has Shouchun fallen?” Lu Bu looked irritated. The situation was already not good. Running in shouting that something has gone wrong would make Lu Bu even unhappier.
“No. It is not Shouchun!” If Shouchun had fallen, the bodyguard would not be the one reporting it but the remnants of the army from Shouchun or Chen Gong’s intelligence officers.
“What happened to the Miss?” Chen Gong asked. Wasn’t this one of the bodyguards that was escorting the Miss? His face was bruised and his mouth was bleeding which is why they did not recognize him earlier.
“Yes. The Miss… She broke free from us and beat us up. She then rode a horse out of the city!” The bodyguard reported to Lu Bu and Chen Gong.
“The Miss left the city?” Lu Bu and Chen Gong looked at each other in surprise.
“Why did you not stop her?” Chen Gong pointed at the bodyguards as though he wanted to kill them.
If Lu Qiling had left the city, she would only go towards Shouchun. However, there is currently a war there. Lu Qiling could not rush into the city alone. She would most likely be captured by Liu Bei and Zhang Xiu or at worst, die on the battlefield.
“We could not stop her!” The two bodyguards were also in tears. There were only a few women stronger than men in this era. Lu Qiling was one of them. The two of them were quickly beaten up. Although they also did not dare to hurt Lu Qiling because of her identity, they were also weaker than her.
“Not good! Gongtai. I leave everything in Wancheng to you!” Lu Bu quickly put on the armor that he hung on the wall without the help of his bodyguards.
“Milord. You should not go!” Chen Gong was very anxious. What kind of situation is this?
“Even if I should not go, I must go!” Lu Bu shook his head with a wry smile. His son-in-law was trapped in Shouchun and now his only daughter is going there. If both of them were gone, he would be without a successor.
“Gongtai. I believe you would not let me down!” Lu Bu put on his armor and helmet. He then grabbed his Poseidon Spear. “Get me my horse!” The horse was brought to the office and then Lu Bu got onto it. “Go to the barracks!” The others then left as he galloped towards the city of Wancheng.
“This… This…” Chen Gong also did not know what to say. All the plans were in a mess. Originally, the enemy would cause problems and then they would solve it but now, Miss Lu had caused complete chaos. “Sigh!” Chen Gong also sighed. However, this was also good as it brought the Lu Bu’s Army in. It is difficult to collapse but if we need to burn the bridges, we might as well act recklessly. It might be able to cause more chaos.
Lu Bu did not bring many people. He also knew of Lujiang’s plight. So, Lu Bu took the Wolf Cavalry as it was fast, strong and raises morale.
The Wolf Cavalry rode towards Yangzhou under the leadership of Lu Bu. The battlefield at Yangzhou would soon undergo a huge change.