Chapter 40 - The Wisdom of Crying
With the battle of Kaiyang ended, the war in Xu Province came to an end. The Cao army which consisted of 100,000 soldiers, adding Liu Bei, Big Ear Liu’s forces of 20,000 soldiers would sum up to a total of 120,000 soldiers. With the leading of Military Counselor Guo Jia and the brave generals like Cao Ren, Xiahou brothers, Yu Jin, Li Dian, Xu Huang and Xu Chu, they had conquered the Xu Province, but Lu Bu broke through their siege and escaped.
After the war, Cao Cao was distressed for losing more than 50,000 out of his 120,000 soldiers. The saddest part for him was to lose his precious Ferocious Cavalry. Before the battle his elite cavalry consisted of 3000 elite soldiers. After the battle they were left with less than 300 wounded soldiers. Training a single soldier of Ferocious Cavalry was equal to training 10 normal soldiers, which means losing all 3000 riders of Ferocious Cavalry were equal to losing 30,000 infantries. That counted only for the rider’s training without considering the loss of horses and equipments.
The battle also cost Lu Bu dearly. Originally he had 70,000 defenders. With the Formation Breaker and Bing Province Wolf Cavalry, he had a force of a total of 75,000 people. At the end, only around 2,500 soldiers survived. He had lost not only Xu Province, but also 4 generals: Song Xian, Wei Xu, Hou Cheng and Cao Xing.
Now he was left with only Zhang Liao, Gao Shun and Zang Ba.
Among the 5000 warhorses that Liu Mang brought to Kaiyang, only less than 4500 had survived. Most of the horses died under Guo Jia’s volley fire.
“Did Hanyang wake up?!” Lu Bu asked the people in the carriage while he took off his cloak and helmet.
“Father, he is still in coma!” Inside the carriage was a gorgeous girl with long silky black hair and a pretty face. She had inherited Lu Bu’s dashing eyebrows and Madam Yan’s gentle look. She was indeed a beauty with rare charm!
This young lady was indeed Lu Bu’s eldest daughter!
Lu Lingqi’s face showed exhaustion. She had taken care of Liu Mang day and night, while doing things such as feeding him and helping him to wash his body. Her face blushed when thinking about it.
In the whole Lu Bu army, she was the only person who was qualified to attend to Liu Mang. Men were not suitable to do this kind of job and women were rare on the battlefield. They either came from Lu Bu’s family or Zang Ba’s family. Miss Lu was the most suitable candidate to take care of Liu Mang because of their engagement.
“Still not yet waken up?”Lu Bu frown his eyebrows. Liu Mang was his benefactor who had helped him in countless bad looking situations. First, Liu Mang rescued him from the White Gate Tower and then brought food to his army. After that, Liu Mang had brought 5000 warhorses and spears which saved Lu Bu in a life or death situation. So talking about Liu Mang’s wellbeing, Lu Bu could not be more concerned. Until now, he had visited to his son-in-law for no less than ten times.
”My lord, you don’t need to worry! Hanyang will survive. He is a little pale, his vitals and breathing weakened a bit. Nothing else!” reassured Chen Gong. The strategist Chen Gong had changed his uniform and now ore civilian clothes since his uniform were already soaked with blood. In addition to the civilian clothes, Chen Gong was also wearing the aluminum armor brought by Liu Mang. Chen Gong became a handsome guy in this attire! When standing next to Lu Bu, one cannot tell who was more charming.
”His vitals and breathing are weakening?!” Lu Bu was deep in his thoughts. He seemed to be preoccupied with fear and hesitation, but could do nothing but leaving the place. “When Hanyang wake up, inform me immediately!”
“Yes, Father!” Lu Lingqi nodded. Although Liu Mang and she were not husband and wife yet, they were already engaged. In addition, she knew that the man, who had seen her nude, saved her whole family in this crisis.
Is he really a saint?! Even though Lu Lingqi did not know much about military affairs, she was aware that bring so many warhorses and equipments out of nowhere was not something an ordinary person can do!
At this moment, there was another person who was in the same state as Liu Mang, the big boss, old Cao. Cao Chun’s death and the destruction of Ferocious Cavalry were enough to make old Cao faint and did not regain his consciousness until recently.
When he woke up, his first words were “How is my Ferocious Cavalry?”
Guo Jia replied while showing a bitter smile, “My lord, from the 3000 Ferocious Cavalry only less than 300 survived!” But even that number was just a hollow one. The soldiers who had survived were severely wounded. Besides, the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry had diminished the Ferocious Cavalry’s courage into the air. An army under such circumstances was unable to go into battle ever again.
“From 3000 to 300!!” Old Cao muttered to himself “Why did I have to pursue Lu Bu to
Kaiyang! Why couldn’t I celebrate a victory feast after capturing Lu Bu?!” Old Cao lamented with deep regret.
“What about Zihe!” Boss Cao had thought about his younger clan cousin.
”His body has been put into a coffin with care. Before his death he retained a look where he showed his utter loyalty to you my Lord!”Guo Jia whispered to Cao Cao. How could he tell Cao Cao that Cao Chun’s face was actually full of fear and disbelief before his death?!
“Zihe, oh Zihe!” Boss Cao started sobbing. If you compare Cao Cao with Liu Bei in weeping, Cao Cao was almost an equal match. During this time of chaos at the end of Han Dynasty, among the many people who wept, Liu Bei was unsurpassable. His profound ability to weep overshadowed his other abilities.
Cao Cao was hit hard by this sadden news. He lost both Cao Chun and the Ferocious Cavalry. A cavalry unit he spent many years cultivating. Cao Cao’s tears rolled down from his face when thinking about this. He rushed out of the tent crying barefooted. He ran to a coffin, kneeled down on the ground and cried even louder and started to put on a show.
Many people sympathized with Cao Cao’s weeping, since dashed out straight after waking up, not even wearing clothes or shoes. The scene immediately reminded the generals the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Cao Cao. This kind of show made those generals to feel that it was all worth it to die for old Cao.
The Three Peach Oath Bros were also standing next to him.
The youngest one, Zhang Fei was the most naive out of the three brothers. Seeing Cao Cao’s bitter cry he said “Cao Cao is really not a bad person! He is crying so heartbroken for the dead general. After all, he is a sentimental man who cares for his soldiers a lot!” Zhang Fei was truly simple-minded. In Zhang Fei’s point of view, anyone who cries and drinks can be seen as good guy.
“Meng De is also a hero!” Guan Yu also started to appreciate Cao Cao a little. If his big brother Liu Bei did not found him first, perhaps he would now serve Old Cao. Coa Cao granted Lu Bu’s Red Hare to Guan Yu, that’s why he would certainly put in good words for Cao Cao.
Looking at his brothers, Liu Bei did not show any expression. In his heart he thought “Oh brother, can’t you see that Old Cao is trying to buy you with the Red Hare? Why are you seeing him with one eyed closed?” Liu Bei then said “Oh my two brothers, why don’t you observe closely at Cao Cao’s lips? Who or what is he crying for?” From here they could not hear what Cao Cao was saying but Liu Bei was actually observing Cao Cao’s lips movements.
Zhang Fei could not read Old Cao’s lips movements. “Big brother, how can I read his lips movements?”
“Zihe? Zihe! Ferocious Cavalry?” Guan Yu’s expression become complex after observing Cao Cao’s lips movements.
“My lord, overcome your sorrow!” Guo Jia’s was currently the most helpless person since Old Cao was only screaming Zihe’s name.
Old Cao opened the coffin cover before Guo Jia could run over to stop him. With tearful eyes Old Cao shouted “Zi-…!” But his words were suddenly cut. The one who lied in the coffin was Li Dian who committed suicide in front of Lu Bu.
“Li Dian?!” Cao Cao suddently felt that his loss now was even greater. The Ferocious Cavalry was destroyed, Cao Chun is dead and now Li Dian also died. Even though Li Dian was as vice general, his skills were top notch. Old Cao had planned to make him gain more experience before promoting him to the position of general. But now, Li Dian was dead and laying inside the coffin.
“So where is Zihe?!” Cao Cao carefully asked. He did not dare to be loud, or others would know that he had been weeping for a wrong person. Although Li Dian was a very important general, Li Dian’s death cannot make Old Cao weep so miserably.
“General Cao Chun has already been escorted to Xu Du with a big and excellent cart.” Guo Jia whispered to Cao Cao’s ear. Cao Chun’s body was nailed tight to the ground from a spear that Lu Bu threw. His body and his warhorse had been conjoined and could not be separated. Guo Jia couldn’t find a coffin big enough to hold a man and a horse. He had no other choice but sending Cao Chun’s body to Xu Du. He would request a custom-made coffin when the cart arrived in Xu Du.
“Mancheng, oh Mancheng!” Old Cao’s immediately changed his words.
TL: Mancheng is the courtesy name of Li Dian.