Chapter 166 - Sun Ce Become Shameless Once More - Use Liu Mang As Borrowed Knife To Kill Nobles
Chapter 166 – Sun Ce Become Shameless Once More - Use Liu Mang As Borrowed Knife To Kill Nobles
Translated by Bloodfalcon
With those events that transpired, soon the dark of the night become light of dawn. And with the sound of cock coocooing, it is just like death’s footsteps and he has already knocking the door, asking for Wancheng city's defenders lives.
So Liu Mang and co know right now in a very dire strait. But even then, he still need to rouse their morale and so he yelled his speech “TODAY, WE WILL DECIDE WHO ARE THE ONE GOING TO DIE, THOSE WHO ARE OUTSIDE OF WANCHENG CITY OR US!!!! ALL OF YOU, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT A THING, IF WE MANAGED TO SURVIVE THIS BATTLE, THIS LIU MANG WILL RECOGNIZE YOUR CONTRIBUTION IN THIS BATTLE AND WILL NAME YOU A HERO, AND WILL DEFINITELY TAKE CARE OF YOUR FAMILIES AS MY FAMILY!!! IF WE DIE, THIS LIU MANG WILL ALSO ACCOMPANY YOU TO HELL AND I WILL BEAR ALL OF YOUR SIN WITH ME!!!! TOGETHER, WE SHARE LIFE AND DEATH!!! TOGETHER, WE SHARE RICHES AND HONOR!!!!” With Liu Mang words, all of remaining Urban Army, Black Flag, Huang Zhong and Huang Xu roared the Urban Army slogan together.
After that speech, a messenger from Lu Bu main army revealed himself and give Liu Mang, a letter from Chen Gong. Realizing that this must be a stratagem or some kind from the military advisor, he called Liu Kai, Liu Neng, Huang Xu, Huang Zhong, Xu Sheng and Chu Jie. But when Liu Mang opened the message, it only contained notification that Lu Bu and Bing Province Heavy Cavalry will arrive in two more days and cryptic message that written like this “Ruin the body, ruin the head but never cut off the head!!!” Huang Zhong quickly understood what Chen Gong meant and said to Liu Mang “Little lord, Military Advisor Chen's letter meant, we can go on rampage and destroy Sun Ce's army, kill his generals, and even beat down Sun Ce but we must not kill Sun Ce, or the repercussion will be great!!!” Liu Mang then nodded and said “So, do you all understand this letter?” to his division leaders and they all nodded the same time. After reading the letter, Liu Mang really felt relieved that the ballista arrow yesterday did not manage to kill Sun Ce or else Zhou Yu and his mind will be his next opponent today and Liu Mang really felt assured that Chen Gong wrote that letter as he only need to persevere for two days and Lu Bu will arrive to pound back Sun Ce army.
After that event, inside Lu Bu defender army, there is not much even happening other than preparing to go to battle. But inside Sun Ce army, beside army preparation, all of nobles are bickering in front of Lu Su.
“Strategist Lu. Regarding the assault this time, let this Zhao clan fight! We, of Zhao clan, have been following General Sun Ce from the very start but we yet to contribute to General Sun Ce. For our honor, please let we, of Zhao clan, to take the vanguard for today!!!” Said a middle-aged man who is wearing an extravagant cloth toward Lu Su.
Another noble is also bickering in front of Lu Su while pointing finger toward the head of Zhao clan “HEY, our Li clan also not yet contributed to General Sun Ce. We, Li clan, have more bigger debts to General Sun Ce. If not for the tip provided by the late General Zhou Tai. We already perish under that misbegotten scoundrel Liu Mang. So, if not now, then when will our Li clan can repay General Sun Ce’s kindness?!”
Another noble also rushes in front of Lu Su “We want to be vanguard too!!! We, of Bao clan, also have a big debt to General Sun Ce!!!” Those nobles bickering made Lu Su’s brow tighten, because one by one started bickering like little children for the one who will be the vanguard.
Watching each one of Jiangdong nobles are bickering like that, Lu Su heart is burning with anger. In Lu Su's eyes, all of them are violating two of military laws and should be executed for their offences. First violation according to Lu Su is bickering in front of strategist. Strategist rank in the army is only a rank below to commanding officer and those nobles bickering in front of the strategist as if they are the one who are commanding this battle, as if Sun Ce and Lu Su are nothing in front of them. The second violation is they are dressed like they are celebrating victory. All of them are wearing gold accessories and noble clothes, none of them are wearing battle suit at all. This is really disrespecting the soldiers and generals who are fighting the battle. Even Liu Mang who came from the future did not dare to violate this unwritten absolute rule.
Lu Su's anger is not just based on those two violations. He is also angry because all of them are withholding their soldiers during yesterday's siege. If all of them go all out, Wancheng city will be able to be overtaken in just one day, but they instead withhelding their forces saying that they are still traumatized because of Wu clan's defeat due to the failure of recapturing Wancheng city naval base and due to that, Sun Ce's core army suffered big casualties, they even lost half of their Danyang soldiers.
So, it can be concluded that these nobles only want the spoil of the war. With Wancheng city defenders has been destroyed until only lasting 2,000 troops (as per Lu Su's manipulated intel) meaning that they are unable to maintain defense any longer and will be crushed in one fell swoop, so they want to grab as much merit as they can. Provided that almost all of Wancheng city's nobles already extinguished, so all of them see Wancheng city, the capital of Lujiang Prefecture as a big piece of cake and whoever is the vanguard will be able to get a big portion of it.
Who in their right mind would reject if given such a fertile prefecture? When they captured Wancheng city, they can quickly create a branch of their own clan's business in this place. So right now, they are drooling in their imagination.
“HUMPH!!!!” Lu Su can only responded with cold humph to their bickering because no matter how much anger and grievances has accumulated in his heart, he still must respect them as he is also one of nobles and right now, he cannot afford to make anyone his enemies especially not of Jiangdong nobles.
Lu Su then responded after taking deep breath “I am unable to decide this matter as assigning who will be the vanguard. Su will need to consult this matter with Milord as the supreme commander of this battle!!!” Lu Su stressed on the words “Supreme Commander of this battle” in hopes for them to know their place again. Lu Su will not give his promise to these ungrateful bastards, these opportunists who disregarded Jiangdong’s armies sacrifices yesterday in order to reach this state of almost victory.
Those nobles then said it heartily “If that is what Strategist Lu want, then it is the best!!!!” Those words sting Lu Su’s ears and he entered main tent with disgust in his heart.
When Lu Su enters the main tent, he really surprised because Sun Ce is wearing his purple armor and prepare for battle. Lu Su then said his concerns “Milord, your wounds have not healed at all, why must you persist joining the battle?!” When Sun Ce heard his word, he smiled and said “Zijing, do not worry, I am just dressing up, I will stay on the main camp as per your suggestion. I only want to watch personally the moment when Wancheng city fall!!!”
This Wancheng city view is all too familiar scenery to him. First he preyed upon Lu Kang and now Liu Mang will be his latest prey.
Sun Ce then inquired “Hey, Zijing. What’s with all the ruckus outside?! I heard the words vanguard and bickering but I cannot make out what they are talking about.” Since Sun Ce reached hyper-class, his five senses sensitivity have quadrupled. His senses right now are heightened so much he is able to hear water dripping into a leaf from 10 meters away if he concentrates. Then Sun Ce said “Are those noises made by those nobles?!”
Lu Su just nodded sternly when Sun Ce asked that question.
“HUMPH!!!” Sun Ce just humphed coldly then said a virtually same sentence with Lu Su “Those blasted fools. Yesterday because they did not deploy their troops, I suffered big losses, lost half of my Danyang soldiers, lost Chen Wu. And today, they are so energetic trying to be vanguard. Is not that cheating? Fighting to get the most merits after I done the hardwork!!!” Lu Su just smiled dryly when hearing his lord's words.
Sun Ce has been long desiring to kill and uproot all nobles. They are goddamned pompous, arrogant and haughty to the point where their presence is just like a cancer. All these times, since his father's times and now his times, always bickering about territories, bickering about who is going to be the best subordinates for their lord. Additionally, they did not have to pay taxes, as they did not register themselves as people of Jiangdong and definitely did not report their wealth to Jiangdong's treasury, and finally, they are raising their own soldiers secretly which can be seen as a slap to the ruling warlord.
And right now, they are dispatching their own private soldiers to do their own “crusade” because they fear their own existence. Lu Bu slaughtered 95% of nobles in Lujiang although only Chen clan was exterminated by Lu Bu personally and the other was done by Liu Mang, but according to the principle of propriety, they must not insult Liu Mang for he is one of the ruling clan so they can only blame Lu Bu as the instigator. They all goes to battle because they are afraid if Lu Bu managed to conquer this Jiangdong land, they will all be exterminated just like them, so in order to counter that, they amassed their troops and betting everything on this battle. Their amount is really massive, covering 70,000 troops while Sun Ce himself only have 30,000 troops and that included 10,000 troops of Danyang soldiers and that made Sun Ce's heart oozing with killing intention.
The true terror of these nobles is really shown that they are able to gather 70,000 troops in just a short while. If they are concocting rebellion, Sun Ce's Jiangdong will perish in just a whim. These assholes are just thinking on how to preserve themselves, which Liu Mang had experienced firsthand by speaking with Liu Kai. Historically, when Cao Cao had overcame Jing Province with his 800,000 troops ready, all of Jiangdong's nobles and scholars are afraid to the death. Their words quickly changed from Traitor Cao to Prime Minister Cao and they even asked for Zhang Zhao and Zhang Hong to persuade Sun Quan to surrender. At that time, the representative to surrender as headed by Qin Song and the late Chen Duan.
Fortunately Sun Quan received second opinion from Lu Su. Lu Su said “Milord, Those nobles are only thinking for themselves and they will get the most benefit by surrendering to Cao Cao. They definitely will be treated by Cao Cao with government post, noble ranks and monetary prize, but your Sun clan will definitely be decimated by Cao Cao as your clan is the ruling body of these Jiangdong. You will be put into a golden cage like Liu Cong of Jing Province and will be burned or shamed to death!!!” And fortunately, Sun Quan take heed of Lu Su's words and prepare for Battle of Chi Bi.
So, in summary, these nobles and scholars are complete asses, they are unable to make their own decision and used their numbers to threaten people.
At this time, Sun Ce really envy Lu Bu, because Lu Bu did not fear nobles and did not care to tarnish his reputation that is already been smeared by killing Ding Yuan and killing Dong Zhuo and his one clan and already bearing the title of mass murderer and butcher. With one breath, he exterminates Chen clan and the others.
Why Lu Bu can do that as easy as breathing? It is simple, because Lu Bu have nothing to lose. And because of that very reason, Sun Ce is not willing to offend Lu Bu, as there is no profit to be gained. Even if Lu Bu obtain Lujiang Prefecture, also there is no point as Lujiang Prefecture is already wasted by those nobles who squeezed commoners by taking their lands and applied maximum tax on them until they are unable to live, let alone to rebel.
“Goddammit!!!” Sun Ce stood up quickly with very ugly expression. He is really not willing to let those nobles steal his glory as his Lujiang Prefecture will be taken in big portion by those SOBs.
When Lu Su saw his lord's ugly expression, he quickly said “Milord, should I reject them to be vanguard?!” In his eyes, he knows that Sun Ce already decided that these nobles are not good things to dealt with, but he also cannot get rid of them. Without these nobles support, Jiangdong Army will probably be disbanded due to no financial support.
So in Lu Su's mind, the only option is to reject their offers and coerce them with military law to join with the main force and do final siege today.
However Sun Ce's response really surprised Lu Su. He said “No need to reject, Zijing. Since they already determined to be vanguard, why not let them wreak havoc?!”He said those words, while showing malicious smile.
Lu Su then said “Milord, you are really giving them greenlight to go? Then what about those Danyang soldiers?! If they found out, that Milord is giving those nobles to rob their merit, those Danyang soldiers will definitely rebel!!! Please think thrice”
“Heh, it is okay!!! All of those nobles surely already gathered enough courage to do battle right? So why don't give them chance?!” Sun Ce said those words in very cold tone and with full killing intent. “If they survive, then I will give them reward. If dead, then no reward. But at the very least I will put up a show to beg the Emperor at Xu Du to give them posthumous name!!!” Sun Ce thought.
“Hrm?!” Lu Su also felt agitated when Sun Ce said those words. Lu Su's original plan is to fight with the main army along with his own Lu clan's soldiers in order to obtain merit, but when seeing Sun Ce's expression, Lu Su tremble a little.
Sun Ce then said “Zijing, tell them my exact words. 'Dear gentlemen, because all of you so eager to fight, I am unable to choose anyone of you as I will be favoring one side. Then I will create a competition, all of you are competing to break Wancheng city. I will reward who managed to breakthrough Wancheng city first!!!' “ Lu Su become more afraid as those words that he need to convey coming out from Sun Ce as Sun Ce meant to kill them using Liu Mang's knife.
Attacking Wancheng city is not difficult for those nobles, but the problem lies in Sun Ce's condition. Does those nobles want who wear Han's clothing and wear jewellery want to climb city wall in order to get merit?! Let alone city wall, those pompous nobles will not enter the battlefield even if their soldiers already wiped out. Also, even though Wancheng city's defender already dwindling, but they can be considered as cornered beast and will retaliate with full force. At that time, it maybe those nobles badluck.
“Milord, this is too obvious!!!” Lu Su clenched his teeth. When he conveys Sun Ce's words to those nobles, they will not comply with his condition and even will rebel against Sun clan's rule in Jiangdong.
Sun Ce then responded “Aiyah, Zijing, although it is really obvious but what can they do? They will not dare to incur my wrath. Also they are the one who want to snatch our merit. But the one who will kill them all, is Lu Bu army not our Sun Ce army right? This can be our publicity stunt telling them all, that following Lu Bu is no good and my Sun Ce army accommodate noble and treat them well!!!”
Sun Ce's scheme is very beneficial to Sun clan's. By giving a competition, those nobles will definitely do siege on the city wall. And since the one who kill nobles' soldiers will be Lu Bu army, then Sun Ce army will get a very big war spoils in the end as they will be more dependent on Sun Ce army. Sun Ce have been angered with nobles for a long time for they had done many, many extreme offenses while he is ruling Jiangdong.
One instance of their offenses is when Sun Ce asked for grain from Wuhu County. At that time, the noble who was governing Wuhu County said that he is only able to covet 5,000-shi of grain and provisions. That number made Sun Ce angry to no end as Wuhu County is a very fertile and bountiful place. At that time, Sun Ce sent Zhang Hong to investigate with instructions to arrest the offender on the spot. From Zhang Hong's report, he found out that those nobles not only involved in corruption but they also manipulated their salary in order to put a show to Sun Ce that even they are nobles, they are poor. The real number for grain and provisions that year is 500,000-shi of grain and provisions. When being questioned by Zhang Hong, they only said that this year really have poor harvest and they said they are sorry that they can only provide them with this number. When they are going to be penalized, they quickly approached other nobles to defend them and in the end, they were let off by stern warning only. They are really becoming a cancer in Sun Ce's side.
So, in order not Sun Ce's hand to be dirty and sully his reputation and rule over Jiangdong, just let His Highness Prince of Shu of Lu Bu army kill them as his hand is already have blood of 10,000 families, surely it is not a problem right to kill a few more thousand again?
Lu Su finally understood that being a warlord one must be shrewd, devious and always hanging in the balance of moral and immoral. Lu Su thought himself to be very talented and confident and he confident he can govern a place without much problem and can manage military but he himself is not confident to be a warlord