“Wei Yan?” Although rescued, Liu Mang did not feel grateful. This is because he had ordered Wei Yan to protect Liu Ye. He wanted to turn around and take a look but he was not tall enough to look past all the soldiers killing each other around him. “Wei Yan! Why are you here? What about the Military Advisor?”
Wei Yan and Hu Che Er locked weapons1. He was as strong as Zhao Yun, and was at refinement stage. Both he and Hu Che Er were evenly matched. Liu Mang who watched the battle could now say with certainty that Hu Che Er had been hiding his true strength to catch him off guard.
Wei Yan then dragged his sword. With his skill and strength, he knocked away Hu Che Er’s weapons. Only then did he have the time to reply to Liu Mang. “Milord. The Military Advisor is alright. Right now, he is at the rear of the formation!”
“Hmph!” Liu Mang felt at ease after hearing Wei Yan’s words and calmed down. “Didn’t I tell you to protect the Military Advisor? Why are you here now? Do you think my orders are worthless?” Liu Mang had ordered Wei Yan to protect Liu Ye with his life but Wei Yan had disobeyed that order. One of the things that Liu Mang hated the most were people that don’t listen to orders. He would not hesitate to execute such a person even if they were comrades. Besides that, Wei Yan someone who had ‘past offences’. Liu Mang had thought that he had managed to supressed Wei Yan’s wild nature and that Wei Yan had managed to turn over a new leaf but it seems that bad habits are hard to change.
Liu Mang waited for Wei Yan’s answer. If Wei Yan did this for merits, he would not mind having both Wei Yan and Hu Che Er to kill each other.
“Milord. I did not leave on my own accord. Military Advisor had ordered me to come and assist Milord!” Wei Yan smiled bitterly. Both Liu Mang and Liu Ye were in a higher position compared to him. He could not afford to offend either one of them and could only explain patiently. “Military Advisor wanted the Xiliang Cavalry’s horses and ordered me to come and protect you!”
“Ziyang! Ziyang!2” Liu Mang looked at Wei Yan. He knew that Wei Yan would have no choice if he had truly been ordered by Liu Ye to do this. Liu Mang then nodded and said, “Wei Yan Wei Wenchang. If you can obtain this guy’s head, I will promote you by three ranks. I will make you a general and let you command an army!” Liu Mang composed himself. He wanted Hu Che Er’s head as the man frightens him. Those that are not of the same race have different hearts3. For the safety of the Han, it would be best to get rid of Hu Che Er early.
“Yes! Milord!” Wei Yan was overjoyed. He initially thought that he would be punished but instead, he was going to be promoted by three ranks if he killed Hu Che Er. Right now he was just a 1000-man commander but he would become a general after killing Hu Che Er. This was what he had been yearning for.
“Haha! Young Hu! Die for your grandfather Wei!” Wei Yan looked at Hu Che Er malevolently. Hu Che Er also became extremely angry for suddenly becoming his opponent’s rice bowl. He had not yet been defeated but others already wanted his horse. Now, they also wanted his head. What was going on?
“Nameless scoundrel! You are one lifetime too early to take your grandfather’s head!” Hu Che Er suddenly swung his hammers at Wei Yan. Both warriors fought unyieldingly. Liu Mang also wanted to join in the fight but he was injured and also weaker than the both of them. If he were to join the fight, Wei Yan would need to protect him. Just like during the battle at Hu Lao Gate. Zhang Fei and Guan Yu could have defeated Lu Bu. However, Liu Bei joining the fight caused the both of them to focus more on protecting their brother. In the end, Lu Bu turned the tables against them.
Liu Mang was not able to fight against Hu Che Er but he could still deal with the common XIliang Cavalry soldiers. His shield continued to bath in blood. The Tortoise Formation was now truly like a tortoise with claws from the four hundred Urban Army Soldiers that just joined.
“Phew!” Liu Ye breathed out a sigh of relief. Truthfully speaking, he had taken a huge risk. The entire plan almost fell apart for the sake of a few thousand horses. Once the Tortoise Formation is broken, the ballista would not be able to prevent a total rout even if they were powerful. Fortunately, Liu Ye had won the gamble by believing in Liu Mang and the Urban Army. Aiming the riders and not the horses had definitely caused the attack power of the ballista to fall but Liu Ye had dispatched four hundred soldiers to counter this effect. The appearance of the four hundred soldiers increased the morale in the Urban Army and decreased the moral of the Xiliang Cavalry.
“Haha. The situation has been fixed!” Liu Ye finally relaxed. After this, the Urban Army would become famous and the Xiliang Cavalry would no longer run rampant. Zhang Xiu would receive a huge slap to his face. All they needed to do now was wait for Liu Mang’s Army to take Hu Che Er’s head.
“Send a notification! Those that lay down their weapons would not be killed!” Liu Mang gave the order. All that was left in this battle was a massacre. Liu Mang was afraid that these soldiers would become death soldiers and allowed them to surrender. As long as they dropped their weapons, they would become less of a threat even if they suddenly became death soldiers.
“The King of Shu gave the order! Those that dropped their weapons would not be killed!” The soldiers all shouted one by one. The Xiliang Cavalry also no longer wanted to fight as they were not able to break through the Tortoise Formation. Besides the Tortoise Formation, there was also the ballista attacking them. Even if they wanted to leave, they were obstructed from the disordered situation and could not escape. They only had two choices left, that is to resist until the end or to surrender.
The sound of blades could be heard as a Xiliang Cavalry soldier dropped his weapon and shouted, “I surrender!” This soldier no longer wanted to fight. He was Xu Yang, a Han member of the Xiliang Cavalry. In the past, his family had been killed by the Qiangs. In anger, he joined Dong Zhuo’s Xiliang Cavalry to avenge his family. He followed Dong Zhuo to strike fear into the Qiangs. That was the life he wanted to lead. However, everything changed the moment Dong Zhuo entered Luoyang. First, they fought against the Bingzhou Army and then the eighteen warlords. What he wanted was to fight foreigners and not the Han. After Dong Zhuo’s death, they followed Zhang Ji and later, Zhang Xiu. After many years of campaigns, the Xiliang Cavalry now had a lot of new members and less old members. The original Xiliang Cavalry formed by Dong Zhuo had the Han to Qiang ratio of seven to three. This allowed the Han to remain in control but also allowed the Qiangs teach the Hans how to ride horses. These slowly changed once they entered the Central Plains. It became difficult for the Hans to enter the Xiliang Cavalry. This is because it was not easy to form a cavalry. They would need a lot of armor and horses. On top of that, the riders need to be good a horsemanship. To form the cavalry quicker, Zhang Ji had simply selected Qiang soldiers instead of Han soldiers. As time passed, there were not more Qiang soldiers compared to Han soldiers in the Xiliang Cavalry. The Xiliang Cavalry still belonged to the Han because Zhang Xiu was around. However, once Zhang Xiu has perished, the Xiliang Cavalry would become a horrifying place.
They Qiangs would not care about the lives of the Hans. They were barbarians. If the restriction placed onto them by Zhang Xiu was removed, the aftermath would be inconceivable. One of the reasons the foreigners could not defeat the Han is because they do not have proper equipment such as heavy armor. However, the Xiliang Cavalry already have heavy armor. If a barbarian with a brain like Hu Che Er becomes the commander, the Han will face a disaster.
Xu Yang no longer wanted to fight since a while ago. He did not want to follow the Xiliang Cavalry anymore. Initially, he thought of dying in battle but Liu Mang’s orders had given him hope to live. So, Xu Yang decided to drop his weapon.
“Xu Yang you Han dog! I will kill you!” A Qiang 1000-man commander raised his sword and charged at Xu Yang.
“I rather be a dog than to accompany you barbarians any longer!” Xu Yang had his pride. In the past, the Xiliang Cavalry defended the country. They were the defenders of Xiliang. However, the current Xiliang Cavalry was in the hands of barbarians, ruthlessly killing Hans. Xu Yang no longer wanted to follow them.
“Who dares to harm my general?” Xu Yang also had guards with him. They moved to try and save Xu Yang but were too far away.
“Kill that Qiang clansman!” Liu Mang shouted towards Huang Zhong. He would not allow the person that had just surrendered to die. Although Huang Zhong was tired, he could still shoot arrows. His arrow that killed the attacker and saved Xu Yang.
With Xu Yang as an example, more of the Han soldiers started to drop their weapons. The Qiang soldiers also followed, as they no longer had fighting spirit.
“Hu Che Er. Don’t tell me you want to surrender?” Liu Mang shouted towards Hu Che Er while the battle continued. He wanted to capture Hu Che Er without effort and then have him executed.
“Haha! Surrender?” Hu Che Er sneered. “If I do, would you allow me to live?” Hu Che Er could easily tell what Liu Mang was thinking. He mocked Liu Mang as he knew that Liu Mang would not spare him.
“Haha. How about you commit suicide? I will let you keep your corpse!” Liu Mang did not bother explaining himself. Such a talented foreigner could only be killed. If Hu Che Er had been a Han general that only knew martial arts, Liu Mang would have advised him to surrender. Unfortunately, Hu Che Er was a smart person and had to die. Liu Mang was not being cruel by wanting Hu Che Er dead. He simply had no choice or this person might one day be ruthless towards the Han.
“Could it be that I am really going to die here?” Hu Che Er felt full of despair. He came with seven thousand Xiliang Cavalry but he could only see about one thousand left continuing to fight. On top of that, these people were all Qiang clansmen.
Liu Mang raised his hand. With a single command, Hu Che Er would be attacked from all sides.
Just as soon as Liu Ye and Liu Mang felt that the battle was over, the ground began to shake again.
“This is…!” Liu Mang and Liu Ye exchanged glances4. Liu Mang suddenly shouted. “All units get ready! Prepare to meet the enemy!” The tremors came from a cavalry that was at least one thousand or higher in number. Liu Mang and Liu Ye did not know where they came from as Hu Che Er’s Xiliang Cavalry was the only one in Guangzhou. It was possible that Zhang Xiu had come.
Liu Mang and Liu Ye were afraid that Zhang Xiu would have personally come in response to the challenge letter. It would be problematic if he came with twenty thousand Xiliang Cavalry.
“Haha! Heaven favors me!” Hu Che Er looked at the sky and suddenly shouted. “My reinforcements are here! Milord is here! You guys just wait for your deaths!” Hu Che Er laughed when he saw that Liu Mang and Liu Ye was confused.
Could it really be Zhang Xiu? The reddish armor on the horizon and the armored horses were the standard Xiliang Cavalry outfit.
“Tortoise Formation!” Liu Mang shouted. The ones attacking Hu Che Er quickly returned to their positions and reformed the Tortoise Formation. Wei Yan also did not dare to move out. A single man would not be able to take on thousands of cavalries no matter how strong he was.
When the enemy cavalry appeared, it showed that there were only about a thousand people.
Liu Ye and Liu Mang then finally understood that these were the men left behind at Guangzhou. To begin with, it was impossible for Zhang Xiu to come personally as his trusted subordinate Hu Che Er was here and Zhang Xiu himself did not fully trust Liu Bei. If Zhang Xiu came personally, there would be no one to take care of his army. He did not have anyone who could manage this job and could only lend them to Liu Bei while being afraid that these soldiers would not be returned.
That was why Zhang Xiu was not leading those soldiers. Who could it be if not Zhang Xiu?
“Men of Qiang. Let us leave!” Hu Che Er took this opportunity to get on his horse and leave.
“Not good! Hu Che Er is trying to escape!” Liu Ye and Liu Mang now understood that Zhang Xiu was not actually here. They did not know where the soldiers came from but guessed that it could have been Hu Che Er’s reserve troops. Hu Che Er’s laughter earlier had caused the Liu Mang’s Army to be less vigilant towards him and strengthened their defences, giving him the opportunity to escape.
“Stop them!” Liu Mang roared. Hu Che Er needed to die. He could command like a general and plan strategies like a strategist. He was also skilled in martial arts. A foreigner like this was a disaster to the Han and needed to be killed.
“Young boy Liu Mang. I will definitely take revenge for today’s hatred!” Hu Che Er’s voice was full of venom.
“Milord!” Liu Ye quickly stopped Liu Mang. He too, wanted to chase down Hu Che Er but it was already too late. Hu Che Er had already gotten on his horse. Liu Mang’s troops were mostly infantries. They could only win because of the Tortoise Formation. Even if they manage to catch up to Hu Che Er in their heavy armors, they would not be able to win without the formation. The Urban Army was also exhausted while the newly arrived Xiliang Cavalry was not. It was possible that the Liu Mang’s Army would be completely routed.
“Sigh!” Liu Mang was not a person who would lose his head from hatred. He regained his awareness the moment Liu Ye stopped him. In the end, he could only sight and let Hu Che Er escape.
“Who said you can leave? You grandfather Wei still needs your head for merits!” Wei Yan was also equally anxious about the situation. For Liu Mang, Hu Che Er was a threat to the future of the Han. Wei Yan did not know all this. To him, Hu Che Er was merits. Liu Mang had promised that he would become a general if he could kill Hu Che Er. Wei Yan could not endure this temptation. He also wanted to chase Hu Che Er but knew that he would be killed by the Xiliang Cavalry if he did. Wei Yan immediately looked to a ballista. Fortunately, there was still an arrow on the ballista. He immediately went to the ballista, aimed at Hu Che Er, and shot the arrow.
Like locking blades… but hammers don’t have blades.
Liu Mang calling out to Ziyang would make more sense if the readers understood the Asian ‘ah’ thing. It gives off the feeling of ‘Ziyang ah, Ziyang, what in the world are you doing?’ kind of feeling. Naturally, I am not sure how I should (if at all) translate a literal ‘sound word’ that changes meaning depending on the tone and situation it is used in.
非我族类，其心必异 People that are not of the same family have different hearts. Basically, if he is not your family member (or race in this case) they would be more prejudiced/higher chance of going against you. Eg, supporting a family member in a losing argument between a stranger.
I don’t know how. Last I checked, Liu Mang was too deep in the battlefield to even see Liu Ye.
More abusive grandfathers.
The man in front of him had a reddish expression and a beautiful beard. If he wasn’t wearing the armor of the Urban Army, Liu Mang would have thought that he was Guan Yu. As it was not possible for this man to be Guan Yu, he could only be Wei Yan, Wei Wenchang. Wei Yan was also an astonishing person but he was simply never as famous as Guan Yu.