“Enough! Shoot him!” Mi Fang shouted. The archers on the walls immediately fired their arrows. Guan Yu would not be able to look down on Mi Fang anymore if he managed to kill Liu Mang. The war would essentially be won. Even if Mi Fang angers Huang Zhong and gets himself killed, he would still be able to help his brother and his Lord.
“Milord! Stay back!” Huang Zhong could easily deal with Mi Fang but he could not guarantee Liu Mang’s safety. He pulled Liu Mang back and slashed away the arrows that came. Unfortunately, there were just too many arrows. In the end, Huang Zhong pushed Liu Mang away and protected him with his body.
“Milord! You must live! This is just an April Fools joke!”
(Haven’t played one in 10 years. Let me have some fun too.) Real chapter is down there. Hah.
(And to those crying foul. Its April 1st here. This is also not ‘that’ message.)
All Units. Siege!
Guan Yu is a man with great pride. Although he was the child of an average civilian, he despised merchants. This is a common problem of the people of this era especially with its four classes social hierarchy. It has not changed for thousands of years. Everyone likes money but everyone is unwilling to be a merchant. The merchants are a class. In the eyes of the ancient people, the common people work hard but the merchants would buy from them cheap and sell expensive. This hard work and the difference in price was not seen by the ancient people. All they saw was the profit and they felt uneasy.
However, the ancients could not be blamed as the merchants were heartlessly rich. They would raise prices for profit. They would not help the people during a disaster but severely increase the prices. Such ill-gotten gains naturally have low evaluation in the eyes of the common people. Some even sell the wealth of the nation, regardless of the lives of the people. In addition, strategic commodities such as rice, iron, oil and salt are sold to foreigners. This way, the foreigners have oil and salt. They also have iron to make weapons. Originally, the foreigners have good horsemanship and archery. Now that they have weapons, there would naturally be no peace at the frontier. Guan Yu had experienced the Bingzhou era. Because of the merchants there, the war continues on. There were numerous deaths and injuries amongst the soldiers at the frontier. Naturally, Guan Yu would not have any good impression of merchants. This extends to the others. And so, what Guan Yu hated, also extended to this. The Mi Family was a wealthy merchant family in Xuzhou. Since over at Tao Qian, the Mi Family was already trying to find a way out.
Liu Bei then came to Xuzhou with the Mi Family’s help. At that time, Tao Qian was being attacked by Cao Cao. The reinforcements then were only Tian Kai of Qingzhou and Kong Rong of Beihai. None knew about the Imperial Uncle Liu. It was the Mi Family that brought Liu Bei to Xuzhou. At first, Guan Yu was someone who does not grieve over what he does not see. After all, the Mi Family was important to the great undertaking of his elder brother Liu Bei. However, the Mi Family then married their daughter to Liu Bei. This time, Guan Yu started to frown. Are you trying to connect with him with a female relative?1 The elder brother Mi Zhu was an expert at business but not resourceful. On the other hand, Mi Fang was young and could not fight. He was also not allowed to join the soldiers. Liu Bei was then chased out of Xuzhou by Lu Bu and lost all his belongings. The Mi Family were like useless people in Liu Bei’s Army. Mi Zhu was then allowed to continue doing business. Liu Bei only had three thousand White Eared soldiers. These were not even enough to divide between his brothers. How could he let Mi Fang become commander?
So, Guan Yu was always disdainful to the Mi Family. On top of that, the merchant also relied on female relatives. The proud Guan Yu does not want to have interaction with the Mi Family. However, they both served Liu Bei. How was it possible to not have any interaction with the Mi Family? Although Guan Yu tried to restrain himself, his dead person face could not hide his disdain. How could Mi Fang endure this? It was still alright for Mi Zhu as he was the head of the family. He supported the family on his own. When the world was peaceful, he travelled with the trade caravan. He has seen many people before to the extent that Guan Yu’s face was considered a smile. However, Mi Fang could not do it. It was unbearable for the vigorous young man to look at that face every day. However, he was unable to defeat Guan Yu and Guan Yu also had a high position. So, Mi Fang talked to his sister. Lady Mi then told Liu Bei at his bedside. Liu Bei promised for Guan Yu’s attitude to become better. However, Liu Bei was not alerted to the fact that Guan Yu looked down on the Mi Family even more. The merchant family not only used female relationship but even reported him as a villain. Guan Yu stopped exercising restraint and stopped acting. His disgust and disdain were overflowing in his words. This made the relationship between the Mi Family and Guan Yu very rigid. When Liu Bei went out to battle, he had Guan Yu stay and guard Runan. Mi Fang then took the opportunity to become a general at Yingshang to avoid Guan Yu.
“Haha!” Liu Mang looked at Mi Fang who was breathing heavily as though he was about to erupt. He had guessed correctly that Mi Fang and Guan Yu were not getting along. However, because of his brother’s advice and the death of Lady Mi, the Mi Family’s position was no longer a match for Guan Yu. So, Mi Fang spent many years enduring his resentment, and later fear for Guan Yu. When Guan Yu sat at Jingzhou, Mi Fang was once slow in transporting rations. As he feared Guan Yu would kill him, he rebelled, causing Guan Yu to lose his life.
“How about it? General. Just surrender! I believe General Mi understands this one’s behavior. Instead of being bullied at Liu Bei’s side, you might as well come down the walls and surrender to this one. This one uses those with talent. He would not have private sentiments with those under him!” Liu Mang intended to induce Mi Fang to capitulate. This time, Liu Mang did not want to fight if necessary so that he could save time. If Mi Fang comes down and surrenders, it would not only save time. Even though Mi Fang and Guan Yu were at odds, the Mi Family are still one of the core characters of Liu Bei’s Army.
It would be great if Mi Fang knows about the defenses of the cities in Yuzhou and has intelligence about Liu Bei. It would allow Liu Mang to be faster at capturing Yuzhou and then assist Yangzhou. Also, when Mi Fang surrenders, Liu Mang could go and obtain Mi Fang’s brother Mi Zhu.
Their sister that had been married Liu Bei would not follow. Anything could be sacrificed during these troubled times. Mi Zhu marrying his younger sister to Liu Bei was a sacrifice. Liu Bei was old enough to be Lady Mi’s father. On the other hand, Lady Mi was around the same age as Lu Liqing. If Mi Zhu dotes on his sister, he would not sacrifice her happiness. On top of that, there would be no difference as to whether Lady Mi was there according to Liu Bei wifeless careerist lifestyle. What Liu Mang wanted was Mi Zhu’s qualities as a merchant.
Liu Mang does not agree with the people’s misunderstandings and disdain for merchants in the era of the four classes. There were unscrupulous merchants that would even make money off dead people. However, there were also merchants that were good and necessary for victory. Unless there is a huge industrial and agricultural system, the merchants were indispensable. There were a few prominent merchants during the Three Kingdoms era. The Zhen Family of Hebei, the Cai Family of Jingzhou, and the Mi Family of Xuzhou. They were all commercial geniuses and crafty scoundrels. If you were to put them into modern times, they would be able to do well provided they have sufficient knowledge. It was even possible for them to become extraordinary.
“Surrender?” Mi Fang would be lying if he said he was not moved. After all, Liu Mang was the Sage King of the Han. Although Mi Fang spoke of him in disdain, the truth was that Mi Fang envied Liu Mang’s title. No matter how much they worked or how wealthy they were, they were still merchants. Why else would the Mi Family want to give away wealth and a woman as though they got no where else to throw their money? It was not this luxurious even when Sun Quan married his sister away. To some people, women of this era had to submit to fate. Lu Bu himself was just a witness to the achievements of his lord. The Mi Family had spent a lot for Liu Bei to make his comeback. All of these contributions was for their future prospects. It was for them to break away from being merchants and becoming a noble. In fact, Liu mang’s recruitment order did not only attract people from poor families. Even the merchant families were excited. This was because officials usually prioritize noblees and never took a look at talent. Even if a person is useless, they could become an important official if they came from a good family. On the other hand, talented people could stop dreaming about standing out if they do not have a good family background. If this was not during troubled times, Guan Yu would be selling dates, Zhang Fei would remain a butcher and Liu Bei would be selling shoes. On the other hand, Yuan Shao, Yuan Shu, Tao Qian, Wang Lang and the others would occupy high positions in the Han Dynasty, such as being a famous general or official, instead of lying in their graves.
“Yes! Leave the city and surrender! You have already seen me capture more than a dozen counties at Anfeng. A trivial Yingshang is not worth mentioning! If you surrender to me, not only will I not break up your unit. If you are outstanding, you will even shine by my side. Even if you don’t, as long as you spare no effort, there would be a place for you at the Hall of Heroes. It would not be impossible for the Mi Family to become a noble!” Liu Mang was really tempting Mi Fang. He knew Mi Fang wanted to stop being in the merchant class and become a noble. As long as Mi Fang surrenders and follows Liu Mang, he would give Mi Fang a chance and at least make him a small noble. After all, Liu Mang was not Liu bei. Although Liu Bei was known as the Imperial Uncle, he did not have the rank to grant nobility. However, it was different for Liu Mang. Liu Mang used to be King of Shu. Now, he has the title of a Sage King. As a King, he is able capable of starting a government and grant nobility.
Although the Han had changed the system and followed the Qin Dynasty system, many things remained the same. For example, many places were called ‘So-and-so country’ instead of ‘So-and-so state’. They were divided amongst the Liu. Although the prefecture was small and only has one city, it could still be divided to several families.
“Open the gates?”
Mi Fang was moved, especially at the Hall of Heroes mentioned by Liu Mang. Su Fei who was in it was a good example. Su Fei was just a commoner general. His Lord, Huang Zu, was only the governor of Jiangxia. Su Fei was just a military officer. However, such a military officer became a Marquis. It would naturally give people ideas.
Mi Fang hesitated but his eyebrows continued to tremble. Even his men did not want to fight and believed it was best for them to surrender. One by one, they all looked at their general.
Although Mi Fang hesitated and was tempted by Liu Mang, he still had a plan in his heart. There was a figure in his heart and that figure was in the city. On top of that, Mi Fang still has his brother. So, Mi Fang gritted his teeth, “Your Royal Highness the Sage King. You do not need to waste anymore time. Mi Fang will not surrender!”
“Pass down my orders! The whole army is to be prepared and defend the city with their lives!” Mi Fang shouted loudly.
“Milord gave you a good offer and you still refuse to surrender. You really want to die!” Saying that, Huang Zhong once again aimed at Mi Fang. Even if he could not kill Mi Fang, he could still injure him. However, he was once again stopped by Liu Mang.
“Hansheng. There is no need for anger. We have already reached our objective!” Liu Mang smiled at the equally young man on the city walls. What young people lack the least was drive and ambition. Liu Mang understood that he felt comfortable when he was around Lu Bu. However, he thought of being independent. He did not want to be helped by Lu Bu everywhere. Mi Fang was the same. He did not want to be taken care of by his brother and become a senior official by nepotism. Mi Fang wanted to use his own ability, become independent and receive the recognition of others. Liu Mang wanted to draw out Mi Fang’s ambition. This seemed to be a success. Although Mi Fang did not surrender, his tone and speech had changed significantly. Earlier, he had called Liu Mang the Slave of Four Surnames or False King but now, he called Liu Mang His Royal Highness the Sage King. His attitude had changed too much. Not surrendering would be because Mi Fang had misgivings.
“Since you did not surrender, do not blame me! Life and death are decided by the heavens. If you can survive, I can still put you in an important position. If you cannot, then your fate is simply not good!” Liu Mang quietly said to himself.
“This general is here!”
“Issue my orders. Fire at Yingshang with the catapults. I want Yingshang captured by sunset.”
“This general receives the order!” Huang Zhong was still a bit hesitant as there were common people on the walls helping the Liu Bei’s Army transport things.
“Since they are already on the walls, there are no difference between them or the soldiers. There is only one word for them in front of my, Liu Mang’s Army.” Liu Mang did not hesitate. It was because he had wasted too much time and must now work with haste.
*Boom! Boom!* The catapults were assembled. Huge rocks were put onto the catapults. War was about to break out.
Connecting with female relative. The ‘simple’ word would be nepotism. Basically, using relationship to obtain power/influence. Except that in this case its using a female relative (females are looked down on in ancient times so its extra bad). Pretty sure female nepotism is not a thing. (TN: I wanted to joke around but I didn’t want to make spoilers. So here is the summary of this (and technically the previous) chapter.)
Liu Mang : Surrender and join us. We have cookies.