The bait had been bitten. Liu Mang and Liu Ye looked at each other. Both of them saw the surprise in each other’s eyes.
“Milord. I will go and make preparations!” Liu Ye cupped his fist at Liu Mang. Liu Mang nodded in reply. Liu Ye then disappeared amidst the two thousand Urban Army. His horse was temporarily given to another 1000-man commander.
The cavalry’s speed was fast. Initially, it was just a shadow over the horizon but they soon appeared in front of Liu Mang’s Army within a while of the ground shaking. Their horses neighed and their armors clanked.
“All of those are good horses!” Liu Mang could not help but feel moved when he saw the Xiliang Cavalry’s horses. Although Lu Bu also had the Wolf Cavalry, there were too little horses. If Liu Mang had enough horses, he would have already established the White Horses earlier. It would not be like the current situation where Zhao Yun only had two hundred men with him. If that had been the case, Lu Bu would have ten thousand heavy cavalries. He would not have been ambushed so easily by Liu Bei. Liu Mang resisted his greedy thoughts and went in front of his two thousand Urban Army troops.
The seven thousand Xiliang Cavalry stopped with a wave of Hu Che Er’s hand. Hu Che Er looked at the Urban Army below him. Although he did not count one by one, he could tell that there were roughly three thousand people. Hu Che Er was not someone who would attack impulsively. He had his men stop to observe the enemy as he still believed that there would be a trap and could not rest easy.
“Go and call them!” Following Hu Che Er’s instruction, a Han 1000-man commander rode forward. This Han 1000-man commander was a very arrogant man. He rode up to Liu Mang’s Army and pointed at them with the whip in his hand. “Which one of you is the Fake King of the Han? Tell him to come out! General Yang Wu’s subordinate Hu Che Er have already said that as long as he kneels and lick our horse’s hooves, he will spare your lives! Otherwise, the Xiliang Cavalry bury your corpses here!” The Han 1000-man commander was truly arrogant. He not only addressed Liu Mang as Fake King but also told him to kneel and lick their horse’s hooves. He was truly a person who did not know the meaning of the word death.
“You!” A lot of soldiers in the Liu Mang’s Army could not endure this. This is because the Urban Army was trained by Liu Mang. Not only does Liu Mang have their loyalty. Some of them even worshipped him. This caused the Urban Army to be angered when Liu Mang was insulted2.
One of Liu Mang’s generals wanted to move forward and kill this man but he was stopped by Liu Mang.
“Milord! Let me take this dog’s head and dispel your hatred!” The soldier from the Urban Army cupped his fist at Liu Mang.
“No need!” Liu Mang laughed indifferently. ‘Trying to provoke us? This Hu Che Er is truly not an ordinary Qiang clansman. Liu Mang already obtained information that Hu Che Er was from Qiang but did not know what Hu Che Er was like as the people of Qiang usually had developed bodies with simple minds. The only reason Liu Mang knew about Hu Che Er was because this person killed Dian Wei. He never expected to be surprised by Hu Che Er who knew how to intimidate them at Guangzhou City. Now, he dispatched someone in a futile attempt to provoke Liu Mang. If the Liu Mang’s Army responded to this provocation, their battle formation may be broken.
“But Milord!” The soldier still felt unsatisfied.
“Haha! The Fake King of the Han is this boy? Are you afraid now that my army is here? If you are afraid, kneel down now!” The Han 1000-man commander laughed loudly. He had thought that Liu Mang was afraid when Liu Mang stopped his men.
Provocation strategy would depend on a person’s skill to curse at others. There are those whose words could make others jump and there are those who only knew how to speak rudely. This Han 1000-man commander that was showing his skill to Liu Mang truly did not know the meaning of death.
Liu Mang did not reply to the Han 1000-man commander but to his own subordinate. “You said that you wanted to cut off this dog’s head but it is just a dog. There is no need to be so angry! Men cannot understand the words of dogs!” Although Liu Mang sounded indifferent, it was not soft. It was loud enough for the Han 1000-man commander to hear it.
“Haha! That’s right! We do not understand dogs so why would we do anything?” Another soldier burst out laughing.
“Little boy Liu Mang! How dare you shame me!” The Han 1000-man commander was furious at being treated like a dog. Not only was the Liu Mang’s Army laughing. Even some of the other Hans at the Xiliang Cavalry were laughing.
“Even if we could understand the words of dogs, would you bite a dog that bites you?” Liu Mang continued to teach his subordinate.
“Of course not. Dogs biting people is natural but men biting dogs is a filthy action! So what should we do about mad dogs?” Liu Mang then took out his sword. “We simply need to use our swords for mad dogs!”1
“Liu Mang! You!” The Han 1000-man commander was so angry that he would have charged in if not for the fact that the heavy infantries were already in formation. Those that insulted him must die.
“Come back!” Hu Che Er shouted from within his own army. He did not want his subordinate to continue to get insulted. “You Hans have sharp tongues. Both you, Liu Mang, and your father-in-law Lu Bu are both like this. But, in the end, Hefei still fell! What a pity that I, Hu Che Er, was not around. Otherwise, I would have gotten Lu Bu’s head! No matter!” Hu Che Er pointed at his horse and then asked, “Do you recognize this horse? Do you recognize this heavy cavalry?”
“This is…” The Urban Army became agitated. This is because the armor the Xiliang Cavalry wore was similar to their own. They had carved patterns and were made from aluminium. Not only was the armor strong but it was also light.
“Hm?” Liu Mang’s eyes narrowed. This is because these were the armors he brought here from the modern era. The only people who could wear this armor was the Formation Breaker, the Urban Army, and the Wolf Cavalry. Liu Mang also recognized some of the horses. They were good and healthy horses that was half a head larger than the other horses in the Xiliang Cavalry. These were the pure blooded Arabian horses. It was impossible for these horses to appear anywhere else in the entire Han dynasty as Liu Mang had only brought the few thousand horses with him.
“Is it familiar? This is given to us by your father-in-law! We truly feel very apologetic!” Hu Che Er laughed. Hu Che Er had taken the armors and horses from the Wolf Cavalry. They only obtained a few hundred horses as most of the horses were killed together with their riders. However, they had obtained a lot of armors as the armors would not be destroyed when the one wearing it was killed. Initially, Liu Bei intended to use the armor for himself but he had to give it to the Xiliang Cavalry to quell Zhang Xiu’s rage after the Xiliang Cavalry got ambushed by Liao Hua.
Liu Mang closed his eyes. He was seemingly able to see the Wolf Cavalry’s battles. He could see them laughing with him. The Urban Army and the Wolf Cavalry had worked together many times before. Although Liu Mang did not know their names, he recognized them. Now, the Wolf Cavalry had been beaten into a terrible state, causing Liu Mang to become angry. It was one thing if the Wolf Cavalry had simply been defeated but the Wolf Cavalry had been ambushed.
“The Wolf Cavalry’s armors and horses?” Liu Ye who was hiding clenched his fist. He was afraid that Liu Mang would rush out in anger. Liu Ye has seen the relationship between the Wolf Cavalry and the Urban Army. Even many of the Urban Army soldiers that were hiding were giving out killing intent. They had good friendship between both armies. “Milord. You must endure!”
“The armors and horses. I, Liu Mang, will personally ask for you to return them!” Liu Mang replied to Hu Che Er.
“Is that so? Both the armors and horses are over here. Come over and take a look!” Hu Che Er gave a mocking smile. He wanted to provoke Liu Mang to attack. This way, the Urban Army would be wiped out regardless of whether there was an ambush.
Liu Mang did not reply to Hu Che Er. Instead, he turned to Huang Zhong and angrily said, “Han Sheng! Is the Urban Army a place where dogs can just come and go as they please? What are you doing?” Liu Mang’s sudden loud voice caused the Urban Army to be startled. However, Liu Mang managed to supress his anger after roaring out.
Huang Zhong did not feel discontented even though Liu Mang shouted at him. Instead, he simply nodded and lifted his bow.
“What?” Hu Che Er’s rage disappeared. This is because Huang Zhong aimed at the Han 1000-man commander that he dispatched. With a loud roar, Hu Che Er took out his bow and aimed towards Huang Zhong in attempt to save his soldier.
“General! Save me!” The Han 1000-man commander could also feel the killing intent coming from behind me. He shouted as his horse rushed forward.
Unfortunately for Hu Che Er, his efforts were in vain as Huang Zhong was the God of Archery. Not only did Huang Zhong’s arrow strike down Hu Che Er’s arrow in midair but it also pierced through the Han 1000-man commander. The image of burned in Hu Che Er’s mind.
“Good! General Huang’s kill is beautiful!”
“Yes! Shoot that dog!” The Urban Army troops cheered. It was a truly gratifying experience to shoot down the subordinate right in front of the person that dispatched him to shout curses as vengeance.
“General! Let us kill them!” The Xiliang Cavalry shouted. Their companion had been killed. On top of that, he was a 1000-man commander. It was unbearable for such a man to just die right ion front of them.
Hu Che Er also glared unwaveringly at Liu Mang without concealing his own killing intent. His own Xiliang Cavalry was also high in morale. With a single command, they would tear their enemies apart and break the enemy formation. They would cut down their enemies and then dismember Liu Mang into thousands of pieces.
“Come!” Liu Mang looked at Hu Che Er. Hu Che Er had hoped that Liu Mang would take the initiative to attack them. If that was the case, Hu Che Er would not care even if there was an ambush. Similarly, Liu Mang was trying to provoke Hu Che Er into attacking. Liu Mang had already managed to anger Hu Che Er but seeing as Hu Che Er still refused to move, he decided to add more oil into the fire.
“General Hu Ce Er. In fact, I have always wanted to ask you a question!” Liu Mang’s eyes was full of provocation.
“Speak!” Hu Che Er was still able to have a conversation although he was having difficulty restraining himself. If it had been Zhang Fei, the man would have rushed out. On the other hand, Guan Yu would be so angered that his face would have turned red.
“I wanted to ask if you were raised by your father or your brother! Do you call your mother, mother or sister-in-law?” Liu Mang asked innocently. He then laughed immediately after he asked the question.
The Qiang foreigners were not civilized. As a result, it was a tradition that the mother is given to the elder brother as a wife when the father is dead. She would then be given to the little brother once the brother dies. As a result, they do not know how to call their mother. This is their traditional culture. The Qiang did not find anything inappropriate about this. However, it was different for those that blended in with the Han civilization like the Xiliang Cavalry. Although they still have this shortcoming, they followed the Han culture, rejecting their own. Everybody knew this and considered this as an object of ridicule.
When Liu Mang brought this issue up, the Qiang soldiers immediately took out their swords. Although the Han soldiers in the Xiliang Cavalry were laughing in their hearts, they also followed and took out their swords.
It was obvious that Liu Mang was still underestimating Hu Che Er as the man still did not attack after being insulted.
Hu Che Er took a deep breath and looked at Liu Mang. “Well said.” Hu Che Er’s words of praise were full of killing intent.
“Let us leave!” Hu Che Er turned around. This caused everyone to become stunned. They did not expect Hu Che Er to just endure it and not attack.
“General?” The nearby Qiang soldier could not take it. After being insulted that much, he felt the need to fight or he would disappoint everyone.
“Do you want to violate my military order?” Hu Che Er’s was not only angry at Liu Mang but also his men. In Qiang, the one that is strong is the king. If the Qiang 1000-man general was dissatisfied with his decision, he would kill the Qiang 1000-man general.
“I do not dare!” The Qiang 1000-man general quickly lowered his head. He did not dare to forget that Hu Che Er was a general under Zhang Xiu and was also known as the Slaughterer of Qiang. Hu Che Er was someone who would not spare even his own clansmen.
“Milord. They are leaving?” One of Liu Mang’s officer was also confused about the fact that the Xiliang Cavalry leaving. The man that the enemy had sent to provoke them had already been killed y Huang Zhong. Even Hu Che Er himself was shamed by Liu Mang. Yet, they ran away.
“Don’t worry. They will come back!” Liu Mang looked at the movements of the Xiliang Cavalry. He had the same opinion as Liu Ye. Even if Hu Che Er does not want to turn back and fight, someone would force him to. However, Liu Mang feared Hu Che Er as the man was a foreigner that could endure so much insulted. As an example, Liu Bei was someone who could endure insulted. He was insulted by Yuan Shu during the gathering to defeat Dong Zhuo. He would have been able to endure being insulted by Du You after obtaining his official position even if Zhang Fei had not whipped that person. When Lu Bu took Xiapi, Liu Bei was still able to drink wine with Lu Bu. When Lu Bu provocatively offered to return Xuzhou to Liu Bei, he also said nothing. This was why Chen Gong and Guo Jia both feared Liu Bei. What Liu Mang was unable to stand the most was that Hu Che Er was also a foreigner. After thinking about it, he decided that Hu Cher cannot be spared.
“Han Sheng. If it is possible, shoot and kill this Hu Che Er!” Liu Mang ordered.
Just as they expected, the Xiliang Cavalry did not truly leave. After disappearing over the horizon, the Xiliang Cavalry made a huge turn. Liu Mang could feel the earth shake, signalling that Hu Che Er and the Xiliang Cavalry have returned.
The Xiliang Cavalry was no longer a single group but had split up. The group that came over had about a thousand men that were all charging towards Liu Mang. They held their swords in their hands as they shouted for blood. As the Xiliang Cavalry charged over, the Urban Army readied themselves.
“Hold fast!” Liu Mang shouted as he tried to raise morale. These one thousand men were just sent over to probe, hoping for Liu Mang to make a mistake. Although one thousand heavy cavalries would be able to massacre two thousand light infantries, their current opponents were heavy infantries. The heavy cavalry would simply be seeking death to charge into an enemy formation. Liu Mang would definitely give them a quick end.
Hu Che Er was not stupid. This was something Liu Mang understood. So, the Xiliang Cavalry suddenly turned ninety degrees before riding over. At that distance, the sullen faces of the Xiliang Cavalry could be seen and their body odour from not bathing for several months could even be smelled.
“Hold out! We must hold out!” Liu Mang shouted again to his subordinates. This is because if they fail, they would have to fight disorderly.
I don’t really get it either. Probably means to just chase it away with a sword or the Han 1000-man commander would be promoted to mad dog if he tries and succeeds in getting himself killed. It wouldn’t make sense otherwise as that was what the nameless soldier was doing. Attempting to kill it with a sword.
All the words ‘insult’ can be replaced with ‘humiliate’. Maybe something is wrong with me but I think asking someone to lick your shoes is more of an insult. I won’t feel ashamed and would even think of the person that told me to do this as childish. Though I am not into incest, what Liu Mang said to Hu Che Er also falls under ‘insult’ as opposed to ‘humiliation’. However, the Chinese word used here refers to ‘shame’/ ‘humiliation’. The reason I bring this up now is because in some sentences, ‘insult’ seems to make more sense while in some sentences ‘humiliate’ seems to make more sense. Yet, they are essentially the same thing so using both feels inconsistent.