Chapter 90 – Inevitable Battle With Huang Zu of Jiangxia Translated by Bloodfalcon, Edited by Krayto
“Report!” Suddenly there is a scout reporting intel in Lu Bu’s big tent. The intel is that there are troop movements in front of Huangzhou city.
“Army, huh?!” Said Lu Bu while looking at a very rough map drawings. This is a map which covered Jiangxia and all of Jing Province. This map was given to him by Sun Ce.
Although this is very rough, it had detailed information with labels of names of all the districts, evidently Sun Ce invested alot of their time to make this map. From this map, we can see that Sun Ce has been plotting to take Jing Province for a long time.
Huangzhou city is in one of Jiangxia’s region, so obviously there will be army movement from Jiangxia belonging to Huang Zu.
“What does Huang Zu want to do?!” Lu Bu tried to guess what was going on in Huang Zu’s mind.
“Gongtai, has our messenger returned?!” Lu Bu who wanted to pass through Jiangxia, naturally will need to ask permission from Jiangxia’s owner.
From Jiangxia to Xinye, there are only two ways to reach it. One is through water, using waterway not only convenient but also quick. The second one is to take mountain road. The mountain road is very treacherous, and very bumpy. Not a good choice for his army to march using the mountain road, as he is bringing his family and Miss Yuan, also it will be difficult for his cavalry unit to walk. So, the only way is to ask Huang Zu to provide Lu Bu with ships to transport Lu Bu army.
But, now Huang Zu unexpectedly deployed his army? What does he want to do? Evidently, he wanted to do battle!!! Chen Gong then said “Milord, we can forget that about messenger we sent or bringing toll fee to him, the result will always be battle.
This event happened because we have been sold out by Sun Ce!” Chen Gong then hand over an envelope containing detailed intel to Lu Bu.
Previously when Lu Bu arrived at Huangzhou’s vicinity, he sent scouts and spies to gather information. The information that he obtained was that the entire Jiangxia is in full alert with the city gates shut tightly and soldiers wearing their armor. Why they did? It was because their side received an order that stated “We must fight with Lu Bu and Sun Ce’s coalition army!”
“EH, WE ARE ALLIED WITH SUN CE'S ARMY?!” Lu Bu was suddenly standing. Disbelief with his own eyes, he already read the news more than ten times. What is written in the news is a rumor spread by Jiangdong’s army that Lu Bu has allied with Sun Ce.
If you heard a rumor only once it will be dismiss it as rumor, but if you hear it again and again, you will start to believe that it is real. And the result is all of Jiangxia is on defensive from Lu Bu’s “invasion”. Huang Zu sent out Su Fei and Huang Zhong, his two best generals to command an army of 30,000 troops to repel his enemy.
“30,000 troops, eh?!” Lu Bu smiled disdainly. In the entirety of Jiangxia, it is impossible for him to have military a strength of 30,000 troops, does Huang Zu want to fight all out with his soldiers?!
“Who the hell is Su Fei and Huang Zhong?!” Lu Bu really have not heard the reputation of these two people before. Lu Bu not knowing who Su Fei is can be considered very normal because he is a general of the younger generation, this year hes only 29 years old. But Huang Zhong, if according to age, is almost the same age as Lu Bu. This year only 38 years old. But Huang Zhong did not show himself at the early stages of this chaotic time which is the Yellow Turban Rebellion, why did he not appear? Because he is busy going here to find remedy for his son’s illness.
Until later, Liu Biao’s foster son Liu Pan discovered Huang Zhong’s prowess and then recommended Huang Zhong to Liu Biao.
“Su Fei, is regarded as one of Jiangxia army’s mightiest general, a master in naval warfare!” Said Chen Gong. Chen Gong had already inquired all of the information regarding Sun Ce and Huang Zu’s several battles. At that time, Sun Ce’s general subordinates are Taishi Ci, Huang Gai, Han Dang, etc. They are all valiant generals. His advisors at that time were Zhou Yu, Lu Su, etc. But they still were not able to overcome Jiangxia, these are Su Fei’s merit. Su Fei’s strength is not strong, but he has the ability to train soldiers, much like Gao Shun. And also his men are very loyal to Su Fei , therefore in each battle, Su Fei can order his men to fight to the death.
“About Huang Zhong, I’m sorry Milord, I do not have any information on him!” Currently, Chen Gong has lost much of his intelligence-gathering prowess. It needed to be restored, because after they were expelled from Xu Province, his intelligence agency also fell apart.
“Damn, that evening banquet and entertainment for our army, it made it look like we were going to go to war for Sun Ce!” Lu Bu and Chen Gong understood this. During the banquet, Jiangdong’s scouts were spreading gossip of Lu Bu and Sun Ce’s army forming an alliance all around Jiangxia. That is why they “knew” that Lu Bu and Sun Ce are forming an alliance. So they really feared Sun Ce’s sudden growth in strength.
Sun Ce has been drooling over Jiangxia for far too long. He and Huang Zu were mortal enemies. As the proverb says, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So Sun Ce entertained Lu Bu that day, at the banquet calling him uncle and even provided free grain and provisions to Lu Bu’s army. This kind of very intimate manner, how can it not make Huang Zu suspect the treatment heavily?
“We really did not expect this outcome!” Chen Gong shook his head. Originally he only thought that Sun Ce wanted to absorb the Bing Province Heavy Cavalry, because in southern China, a warhorse is a very rare commodity. After the chaos broke, Gongsun Zan of Hebei managed to smuggle a few hundred horses at a constant rate to the Sun clan in the south.
Now Gongsun Zan has been extinguished by Yuan Shao. For Yuan Shao himself it is impossible for him sell or send warhorses, because cavalry is one of his strong points as a warlord. So, in the entire Jiangdong army, they only have several hundred warhorses. With only these warhorses, Sun Ce cannot make a large and strong cavalry unit, only micro cavalry unit.
Actually before they left, Lu Bu wanted give Sun Ce several hundred warhorses. Because if he did not, he will be marked as insincere. So, Lu Bu wanted to give Sun Ce compensation for his hospitality and also wanted to tie up his relationship with him.
Lu Bu and Chen Gong really hadn't thought that what Sun Ce and Zhou Yu wanted is much more than just a warhorse. They wanted to use Lu Bu to kill Huang Zu of Jiangxia as a borrowed knife. If he conquered Jiangxia, Lu Bu will have offended Liu Biao thoroughly and at the same time Cao Cao will also target him as a threat for his rear, at that time Lu Bu will have no choice but to ally himself with Sun Ce. And if he cannot conquer Jiangxia, at that time when Lu Bu’s army and Jiangxia's army do battle, it will reduce Jiangxia's army strength considerably. At that time, Sun Ce and Zhou Yu could just emerge and obtain the spoils for themselves.
“Milord, what shoud we do now?!” Chen Gong is waiting for Lu Bu to decide. To battle or not battle with Jiangxia all is decided by Lu Bu.
“Gongtai, you speak, can we still clear things between us and Huang Zu?!” Lu Bu asked Chen Gong, a rhetoric question.
Chen Gong immediately shook his head. They were stationed in Wancheng city for quite long time. Sun Ce also treated them very well, his treatment is so well that even his own uncle did not have this kind of treatment.
In everyone eyes, if Sun Ce and Lu Bu did not form an alliance, can they still do this kind of thing? Even a stupid person wouldn't believe that they have not formed an alliance.
“Then it is inevitable, we must battle him!” Lu Bu’s eyes flashed killing intent. Lu Bu is not the first one to provoke by deploying their army before him. The one who did that is basically asking for death by Lu Bu’s hands. Moreover in the letter, another info said that the messenger sent to Jiangxia was killed by Huang Zu’s son, Huang She.
“Pass my military order, army prepare for battle!” These times during recuperation, the nation already forgot Lu Bu army’s terror. Whether he has or has not been used by Sun Ce, Lu Bu must fight Huang Zu. Not only to appease his bloodlust, but also to remind the entire Jing Province and even the entire nation that Lu Bu is still the god-of-war and his Lu Bu army is still number one in the entire nation.