Chapter 203 - Turnabout Victory
Chapter 203 Turnabout Victory
Translated by Gamer
“Someone! Bring me the Wolf Cavalry soldier’s armor for me to see!” Lu Su commanded as he looked at the equipment used by the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry. They had spears, shields and heavy armors that looked similar to the ones used by the Urban Army on Wan Cheng. Those were heavy armors. They were not suitable to be used for defending the city. This is because while defending a siege, the battle may drag for a long time. Using such heavy equipment would make a person exhausted and it would be impossible to defend the city. However, the soldiers on Wan Cheng could fight while wearing these heavy armors for days.
Lu Su has long since wanted to look at the heavy armor but he did not have the opportunity. He ignored the sweat and blood on the heavy armor and picked it up. His heart immediately sank not because the armor was too heavy. On the contrary, the armor was too light! Lu Su estimated that the armor would only weight 20 jin at most!
Lu Su looked serious. “Give me your armor!” He looked at a nearby Sun Ce soldier and commanded.
“Yes!” Why would the military advisor want an armor? The soldier questioned in his heart but he still took off the heavy armor. Only a few of the common soldiers actually had armor. It was mostly plated with a bit of leather. It was only capable of defending their vitals. Other places like their arms were not properly protected.
As Lu Su weigh both armors in his hands, his heart sank further. The two armors weigh roughly the same. In his left hand, he held a light armor that could barely protect a common soldier. In his right hand, he held a heavy armor that protected almost every part of the body except the face and the joints. The armor even protected the soldier’s hips.
Despite one being a light armor and the other being a heavy armor, their weight was about the same. This was why Lu Su’s heart sank. He does not know how heavy the Yuzhou Cavalry’s equipment were but he suspected it would weigh at least 100 jin. Even after surrounding themselves with so many equipment, the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry would still be more powerful than the Yuzhou Cavalry.
What does this mean! This means that the Wolf Cavalry only carried half the weight of the Yuzhou Cavalry. Both the soldier and the horse were carrying twice the weight! That Yuzhou Cavalry is now chasing the Wolf Cavalry. Had he known about this, he would not have ordered the Yuzhou Cavalry to chase the Wolf Cavalry as there would be too many losses. Heavy armor was not popular because it was too heavy. Only the extremely study soldiers would be able to wear it. Ordinary soldiers could barely walk much less fight if they wore heavy armors. Now Lu Bu’s heavy armors were as light as the common soldier’s light armor. Lu Su did not want to imagine how Lu Bu managed to mass produce these armors.
Now Lu Su can only hope that the Yuzhou Cavalry’s horses were better than the Wolf Cavalry’s horses. That way, they would have a chance of defeating the Wolf Cavalry. Afterl all, the Yuzhou Cavalry’s horses were all imported from Liaodong. Those with bad physical condition have all died at sea, leaving behind the strong horses. Lu Su did not believe Lu Bu was able to replenish his horses. This is because Lu Bu has offended Cao Cao and Yuan Shao. He would need to cross these two men’s territory to obtain horses.
Both Yuan Shao and Cao Cao would never give Lu Bu horses. This is why the horses used by Lu Bu could only be the leftover old horses or weak horses obtained from a noble’s black market. How could it compare to the fine horses from Liaodong? Thinking like this, Lu Su’s mood improved. After the defeat of the Wolf Cavalry, they could obtain all the armors from the Wolf Cavalry. A single set of heavy armor would cost about as much as a good horse. Not to mention that these heavy armors that were strong and light.
Lu Su wanted to take back these heavy armors for research. If the Jiangdong Army had these heavy armors, he would be able to find a way to mass produce this armor. That way, they would be able to offset the lack of horses.
*Dong dong dong* The sound of the horse galloping could be heard. The sound was followed by neigh. Lu Su knew that the outcome has been decided. The strong stench of blood was spread from the strong winds causing him to frown. As expected, there would be heavy casualties. The earlier battle already cost them two times the damage. Ever since the start of the chase, Lu Su already prepared himself to lose more than half of the Yuzhou Cavalry. However, if they could destroy the Wolf Cavalry and Lu Bu then it would be worth it.
They would become heroes of Jiangdong. The least that could happen would be Sun Ce feeling heartbroken and the nobles vomiting blood. The army received heavy losses during the attack on Lujiang. As the noble families did not do anything, they would miss the reward. On the other hand, after seizing the Wolf Cavalry’s equipment, the Yuzhou Cavalry’s battle strength would double.
*Dong dong dong* The soldiers seen as heroes to Lu Su finally appeared over the horizon. Their blood stained figure, broken armor and tired horses showed how brutal the fight was.
“Why is there so few left?!” Lu Su’s opened his eyes wide. Out of the 5,000 cavalries were dispatched, only a few hundred remained. Was the Wolf Cavalry so powerful? This Lu Bu is truly a capable person.
The remaining hundred Yuzhou Cavalry soldiers went over to Lu Su. Some of their faces were solemn and some of them were still dripping with blood but they did not care about it. In their eyes, there was a look of determination.
“N?” Lu Su had a feeling of unease. Aren’t these the Yuzhou Cavalry that have returned from combat? Although the casualties were heavy and only a few hundred out of 5,000 remained, didn’t they win? Their faces should have expressions of relief for escaping death or joy from defeating their enemies. Most of them should also have expressions of hope for the rewards. They should not have a bloodthirsty expression. Did they not recover from the battle? There were some soldiers that could not recover from the effects of war. Some were caused by the death of the fellow officers while others got stimulated from the blood. There are also many other possible reasons.
“Military advisor! Look! Look at the war banner!” As if wanting an interpretation, one of the deputy generals quickly told Lu Su about this detail.
War banner? Lu Su frowned. The war banners were not erected but were hidden in the crowd. What about the banner?
“They did not raise their war banner!” The deputy explained. The war banner was a mark of the army. Sometimes, the banner fell down and caused the morale to drop or caused the misunderstanding of defeat in the battle. This is why in some battles, an expert marksman will try and shoot down the banner to lower the morale of the enemy army. Now the Yuzhou Cavalry was putting their banners sideways instead of raising it.
“Perhaps they are tired!” The war banner was heavy and soldiers often take turns to carry it. Perhaps after the tragic victory, they were all tired and decided to go back to camp and rest.
“No! No!” The deputy did not know how to explain. The flag was black! It is because it was black! “Military advisor! What is the color of our war banner?”
“It is mainly red and complimented with purple.” How could Lu Su not know this. Jiangdong’s main troops were mostly navy but their advocate the virtues of fire. This is because the old lord of Jiangdong advocate the virtues of fire. This is why their banner is mostly red.
“But look! That flag is black!” The deputy said as he pointed towards the cavalry.
“Black!” Lu Su finally understood his unease. It was not just the color of the flag. Zhang Kai and Taishi Ci were missing. If the army were victorious, these two men should be at the front of the cavalry. However, Lu Su could not see their figures. Even if they had perished, their corpses would be at the front, wrapped with black robes.
“Enemies! They are not the Yuzhou Cavalry! They are the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry!” Lu Su suddenly noticed. He finally realized what those bloodthirsty expressions were. Those were eyes of hungry wolves.
“Enemy attack!” Lu Su shouted in a loud voice. “Battle formations!” Lu Su still kept calm. He knew that retreating is not possible. Their only way out is to stop the charge of the cavalries by rallying the soldiers and the use of formations.
“They noticed!” From the back of the Yuzhou Cavalry, one man in a black robe shouted. “Then we will just storm it! Wolves! Begin the hunt!” The man threw away his black robe revealing a bloodstained gold armor. He also held a bloodstained halberd.
“Lu Bu! Lu Fengxian!” Lu Su felt like he just swallowed a housefly. He had waited here for the Yuzhou Cavalry to return victorious. In the end, he met with bloodthirsty people with the eyes of wolves.
Yes. The few hundred soldiers were the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry. They were burning ominously and wanted to spill the blood of their enemies. This is because they have lost a lot of their fellow officers. Out of the 1,500 soldiers dispatched, only 400 soldiers survived. The dead must be avenged!
“Raise the banner!” Lu Bu said coldly as his wound continued to bleed. Yes. Lu Bu was injured by Taishi Ci and Zhang Kai. He took a risk and got himself injured by Taishi Ci so that he could kill Zhang Kai. As Lu Bu was injured, he was a delicious opponent to someone like Taishi Ci. Unfortunately, an injured beast is terrifying. After Zhang Kai’s death, Taishi Ci still wanted to slay Lu Bu because the Wolf Cavalry is about to be finished. They were also surrounded. The only thing left to do was to kill them.
Unfortunately, Taishi Ci saw the thing he does not want to see the most. The horses that were stabbed by the soldiers could not take it anymore. On top of that, they were now fighting in close combat and were fighting the Wolf Cavalry.
The soldiers of the Wolf Cavalry gave up fighting the Yuzhou Cavalry and just attacked the horses. As the horses were already weak, they were easily killed. Without any effort, the Yuzhou cavalry soldiers were then trampled on by their own fellow officers. Now that the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry seemed to have found a way out of the deadlock, their eyes became greedy and they would not hesitate to beating up the Yuzhou Cavalry.
A few thousand of the Yuzhou Cavalry soldiers were trampled to death because they had no horses while about 1,000 soldiers were beheaded. This was not including those that were accidentally killed by their fellow officers. It was as if the Wolf cavalry were placed in the middle of a flock of sheep and they attacked by charging outwards. Only a few hundred of the Yuzhou Cavalry, including Taishi Ci, noticed that the tables have turned and they escaped. The rest of the Yuzhou Cavalry were annihilated. This is because the Wolf Cavalry do not take prisoners. Prisoners were a burden to cavalry soldiers as they would not be able to keep up with the speed.
Although the Yuzhou Cavalry was eliminated, Lu Bu’s anger was not quelled and he planned to attack Lu Su. He had fought so terribly that two-thirds of the Wolf Cavalry were lost. One of the features of the Wolf Cavalry is vengeance. To not take revenge was not Lu Bu’s style. The soldiers then gathered and changed their armor with the Yuzhou Cavalry. They put their own armors aside and then they charged towards Lu Su. They planned to catch Lu Su unaware as no one would expect the 1,500 cavalry soldiers would defeat the 5,000 cavalry soldiers chasing them.
The hatred shown by the hundred wolves were astonishing. The eyes of their horses also seemed to shine. It was a nightmare that came from the depths of hell. Lu Su’s army had no time to ready their battle formations. Even if they managed to prepare the formations, the Wolf Cavalry would mercilessly tear it open! A cavalry met the infantry in the wilderness and the infantry did not manage to prepare their formations in time. The outcome was already decided. There are no infantries that can bring harm to the Wolf Cavalry. The soldiers who slashed at the Wolf Cavalry only ended up with dented weapons. If it was not because Lu Su gathered the soldiers on the hills as well, he would have been captured by the second charge.
Lu Su’s face turned pale. He did not calculate until the extent that he might be defeated. These were only 1,500 soldiers. It was not 5,000. He did not want to imagine what it would be like if they had 5,000 soldiers.
“Surrender or die!” Lu Bu’s eyes looked straight at Lu Su. He has recognized Lu Su as an amazing talent. They were almost defeated. If it was not because of the horse and the armor, they would perhaps have perished here. This is talent. If it was the Lu Bu of long ago, he would have killed him with one strike. The Lu Bu now would not do that. He knows the importance of talents. Although generals were fierce and strong, they could only attack cities. In the end, they would still need proper administration to guard the rear and conquer other lands. With an advisor, there would be less casualties. Just like when Zhuge Liang and Pang Tong used the fire attack at Chibi. If Guo Jia was still around at that time, it is unlikely that the fire attack would have worked.
Now, Lu Bu only has two and a half counsellors. One is Chen Gong, one is Yang Hong, and half is Chen Deng. Chen Gong was truly a good counsellor and advisor. However, Chen Gong was only one person and could not take care of so many things. Now Lu Bu is divided into two operations. Chen Gong was responsible for the operation is Shu Cheng. Yang Hong was more proficient in diplomacy compared to tactics. Although his strategies can be used, it is at most second-rate. As for Chen Deng, if his father was still around, they would be equal to a first-class counsellor. Unfortunately, Chen Deng’s father is dead so Chen Deng could only be considered half a counsellor. He would not have the viewpoint of his father. On top of that, Chen Deng is also a military general. This type of warrior-scholar would not have much progress in refining strategies.
Now Lu Bu has noticed this. Even Wan Cheng almost being captured was Lu Su’s credit. Lu Bu is currently searching for talented individuals.
“Surrender?” Lu Su sneered. “My loyalty is not second-rate! Although I, Lu Su Lu Zijing could not compare to the ancient sages of virtue, I still know what is right and wrong. It is impossible for me to surrender!” In this era, the scribes and scholars were all concerned about their reputation. Until their old masters were defeated, they would never be able to improve their family’s status. They will be called unfaithful. It was just like when Xu Shu was imprisoned by Cao Cao.
“In that case, die!” Lu Bu also did not let Lu Su continue talking. Since Lu Su was not his, Lu Su can die.
“Haha! Die? Lu Fengxian, you cannot take my life!” Although Lu Su has lost the battle, he was winning the war. In the end, it was still undecided as to who would have the last laugh.
“Is that so!” The few thousand soldiers were already engaging the Wolf Cavalry like frightened birds. Lu Bu believed that the battle will end in about 1-2 hours. “You are relying on these soldiers?”
“Yes, I am relying on these soldiers!” Lu Su continued to fight.
“How long can these bunch of chickens protect you?!”
“Hahaha, Lu Bu oh Lu Bu. I admit that you are very strong in combat and truly deserve the title God of War. However, you could not beat me, Lu Su, in strategy!” Lu Su had his own arrogance. “Do you not want to know where is my Lord Sun Ce?” Lu Su continued to laugh at Lu Bu.
“Sun Ce!” Lu Bu stopped swinging his halberd. He has ignored one problem. Sun Ce! His objective was to find and kill Sun Ce. This was what Lu Bu wanted the most. This is the reason Lu Bu divided his forces but he did not encounter Sun Ce. If Sun Ce was here, Lu Bu would have a bit of trouble knowing if it was a good thing. Sun Ce might have reached the peak of refinement. He has not even full grasped Taishi Ci’s level of skill.
One of Sun Ce’s influential figures, the military advisor, has appeared in the middle road. Lu Bu would not believe that Lu Su would sacrifice his life just to save Sun Ce and therefore, Sun Ce would not be at the other roads. After all, if the king of the wolves is dead, the other Wolf Cavalry would also disperse.
Suddenly Lu Bu remembered something and looked at Lu Su with disbelieving eyes. Shit! Lu Bu finally remembered the strong figure at the rear, carrying Sun Ce’s war banner. Lu Bu thought it was a decoy. Who knew it was actually Sun Ce! Why would the general bring up the rear!
“Now you realized it? Isn’t it a bit late?” Lu Su continued to ridicule Lu Bu. “By now, my Lord has already begun to attack Wan Cheng! How long do you think the remnants of Wan Cheng would be able to resist?” Lu Su finally told Lu Bu his plan which was the final gamble.
That is, with the army’s retreat, Lu Bu would chase Sun Ce in anger. There would be soldiers slowing Lu Bu down and Lu Bu would kill countless soldiers. However, those soldiers do not matter as they belonged to the noble’s private army. Sun Ce did not care about them. He just wanted to use them to lead Lu Bu away from Wan Cheng and towards the mountains.
Originally, the Yuzhou Cavalry was meant to kill Lu Bu but they were defeated instead. Lu Su had to sigh as Lu Bu was too powerful but in the end, Lu Su was the victor of the war. This is because Wan Cheng is the core of Lu Su’s stratagem. Lu Bu’s Army’s provisions would disappear. After that, the wolves could only stare at Wan Cheng while Sun Ce continued to fortify his position. Lu Bu would then be pressured in Lujiang.
“Two hours!” Lu Su looked at his soldiers. “I can survive for two hours but I do not know how long can the city withstand!”
“Lu Su!” Lu Bu looked at the young scribe. He held his halberd tightly. What Lu Su said was correct. He could continue to hold his position for 2 hours. Unfortunately, Wan Cheng does not have that kind of time. If he kills Lu Su and throws away Wan Cheng, he would have lost the war. Not to mention that some of his important people were still in Wan Cheng.
“Hand over those heavy armors!” Lu Bu took a deep breath and told Lu Su.
“The armors of the Wolf Cavalry soldiers that perished.” Lu Bu told Lu Su again.
“No!” How could Lu Su take out those armors. He wanted to develop them.
“This is your last chance!” Lu Bu would definitely not hand over the heavenly armors provided by Liu Mang. Each of those armors were treasured possessions of the Wolf Cavalry. “If you do not surrender the armor, even if Wan Cheng falls, I will kill you, Lu Su!”
“You!” Lu Su stared at Lu Bu and was lost for words. Lu Bu threatened him this time. However, Lu Su was really afraid of testing him because Lu Bu was an impulsive person. Even Sun Ce was not as impulsive as Lu Bu. If things really went wrong, Lu Su would face his death here. He did not want to die! If he is dead, who would take care of the Lu family? In this troubled times, there was no one that really treasured friendship. If Lu Su dies here, his family will definitely be swallowed up by other families.
“Give it to them!” Lu Su waved his hand reluctantly and returned the armors to the Wolf Cavalry.
“All units withdraw. Our destination is Wan Cheng!” Lu Bu would remember this young man who led him into a deathtrap twice.
The greedy wolves took the battlegear and quickly left.