Chapter 220 - Not peaceful Jiangxia
Chapter 220 Not peaceful Jiangxia
Translated by Gamer @ endlessfantasytranslations.com
“This is the ballista!” Sun Ce could now investigate. After being defeated at Wan Cheng, he did not know how to face Zhou Yu. That is why he is now investigating the reason for his defeat at a place with one of his biggest navy.
“Yes, Brother!” Standing beside him was another heroic youth. He looks similar to Sun Ce but was less muscular and had a gentler feeling. If Sun Ce was the blade of a sword, this man was the scabbard. His cutting edge was concealed.
This person is Sun Quan! Sun Zhongmou was only 18 years old. This was a schooling age and in the modern world, he would be taking his college examination. However, Sun Zhongmou was already a magistrate for 2 years. The Qiantang County under his governance was flourishing. Just the taxes alone were double the amount of taxes compared to the neighboring areas. Sun Ce even commented that he was good at conquering but when it comes to recruiting people to protect Jiangdong, he is inferior.
When he was at the Qiantang, Sun Quan has already appreciated talented people and find ways to further develop their talent. He set up a small Jiangdong group that was filled with talented people. In this group was Lu Su, Bu Zhi, Zhuge Jin, Yan Jun, Lu Meng, Ling Cao, and Ding Feng. This group of talented people was the key to Sun Quan’s power in Jiangdong.
Sun Quan looked at his brother with a complicated expresiion. His brother is too remarkable. At 20 years old he already became a ruler and have controlled the whole of Jiangdong. Sun Ce was also similar to Yuan Tan and Yuan Shang that started from scratch. All of the accomplishments since the death of his father was done by his elder brother. It could be said that since the death of their father Sun Jiang, It was his brother who carried the burden of the whole family and was the one that provided him with their good living environment.
If Sun Quan was incompetent, then there would be no problem as there was Sun Ce. Sun Quan entire life would be filled with glory and wealth. The problem was that Sun Quan was actually good and was not inferior to his brother. There are some elderly people in Jiangdong who thinks that Sun Quan was the one that should rule Jiangdong as his brother would only go out to fight. The system of reward and punishment was also not clear enough. If it wasn’t because of Zhou Yu, there would have been a lot of complaints. However, Sun Quan was different. He was gentle and courteous to others, fair and not impulsive. The most important thing was the difference in how Sun Quan and Sun Ce treated the nobles. Sun Ce was a military commander and was similar to Lu Bu. If he had the chance, he would most likely strangle the nobles as well.
For example, in Wan Cheng, the noble’s children were sent to the walls to fight so that they would get killed by the Lu Bu’s Army. He could then take control of the remaining troops. Unfortunately, his plan failed and there were survivors among the nobles. They may not be suspicious of anything right now but the would soon realize it. This is because Sun Ce has also killed the remaining cronies in the camp. This was just murder! As Sun Quan treated the nobles kinder, he is probably more suited for politics. In the eyes of the nobility, Sun Quan was like a good friend to the noble families. They realized this in Qiantang. Sun Quan has never removed anyone’s power and even return some power to some of the nobles. The nobles would definitely feel closer to Sun Quan.
“Brother, why do you need me to be here?” Sun Quan sighed in his heart. No matter what he does, as long as his brother is here, Sun Quan would forever stand behind his brother. Sun Quan shook his head helplessly.
“What power! How does it fire rapidly?” Sun Ce kept asking questions. He could not be blamed as the Jiangdong Army suffered heavy losses because of this weapon. He almost died as well. Now this weapon was in his hands. Sun Ce could barely believe it.
Sun Quan was truly Sun Quan. The ballista that was constructed by Sun Quan was different from the blueprints given by Liu Mang. He added wheels to the ballista. Now the immobile ballista could be dragged around. The ballista would not only be used on ships but also equipped on the cities with gates. Sun Quan immediately commanded his soldiers to showcase the power of the ballista. They brought out arrow targets for Sun Ce to see.
“100 steps!” Sun Quan shouted to the soldiers. The soldiers nodded and quickly began the preparations. They placed the target 100 steps away. The target had a shield and was also wearing armors made for scarecrows.
After everything was prepared, one of the soldiers raised the flag to say that they are ready to shoot.
“Shoot!” Sun Quan ordered. The ballista fired. A gigantic arrow flew like a meteor towards the target. Sun Quan also knew that if he wanted the shot to be accurate, it is better to get a person who was a professional marksman.
*Whoosh* The sound of the air was torn from the speed of the giant arrow. The speed of the arrow was faster than normal arrows. As the arrow was also larger it also gives the impression that it is heavier.
*Boom* The arrow striked the giant shield. The giant shield was a standard weapon. Although it was not as strong as the shields used by Liu Mang and the Urban Army, it was still able to survive arrows. A normal giant shield was meant to defend the soldiers from rocks. Only a catapult had the power to harm soldiers hiding behind the shields. That shows the strength of the shields.
That shield now had a large hole in the middle of the shield. The metal of the shield was mercilessly torn open by the arrow as it continued to its next target with slightly less speed. The second target was a general’s suit of armor. It was the kind of armor only worn by high ranking officers and were made of iron. Even then, it still could not stop the arrow. Although the arrow was slightly bent after penetration. It has still completed its job. Besides that, behind the armor was a thick plank that was about as thick as the floors of warships. To show the power of the ballistae properly, it was slightly thicker by coating the wooden plank with metal. This was the final result!
The thick plank that was coated with iron was also torn open and an unfortunate soldier who was behind the target was pierced by the arrow and lost his life.
The casualty did not even make Sun Ce and his brother blink. In fact, Sun Ce’s eyes lit up. “This is it! This is that power! No! This is even more fearsome!” Sun Ce was shot at by the ballista controlled by Huang Xu. Huang Xu has innate talent and Sun Ce could feel that Huang Xu’s shot was more accurate. However, this ballista was more powerful and could shoot through shields, armors and thick planks. If it was this ballista on the day of the battle, Sun Ce might not be able to ward off the attack. Oolong is dead and even his Overlord Spear was cracked.
“200 steps! 300 steps!” Sun Quan did not reply his brother but continued to command his men to set up the next target. From the experiments, that the ballista could shoot through everything if it was 300 steps away or less. At 350 steps, it only managed to pierce up to half of the thick plank. At 400 steps, it could break open the metal coating of the plank and so on. The experiment continued until 600 to 700 steps where only the shield could be destroyed. This made it useful for battles on the ships at 700 steps away. It would be a nightmare to their enemies.
“Forge all of these quickly!” Sun Ce only had such an idea now and commanded the Jiangdong craftsmen to go all out building the ballistae. At first, he did not know what this was. But now Sun Ce finally understood why Jiang Qin and Lu Su lost. With this weapon, even he would not make a difference by commanding the navy on the Yangtze River. However, this weapon was now in his hands!
4,000 craftsmen and 20,000 gold! Sun Ce was distressed at first but now that he has seen the power of this weapon, the 4,000 craftsmen and 20,000 gold was merely lent to Lu Bu. Wait for it! Lu Bu Lu Fengxian! I will use the ballista given to me to make you spit out everything that you have swallowed!
“Oh right! Didn’t Liu Biao also dispatch a messenger to Wan Cheng?” Sun Ce suddenly thought of it. This is because the Jiangdong Army and the Lu Bu’s Army has fought until this scenario and even sent messengers to obtain the blueprint for the ballista, Sun Ce did not believe that Liu Biao would not do anything.
“It is true, Brother.” Sun Quan nodded his head. Sun Quan was inferior to Sun Ce in military matters. Even when Sun Quan took control of Jiangdong, he was still inferior to his brother in military matters.
Kuai Liang went to Lujiang in the morning like Zhang Zhao. As Gan Ning threaten Zhou Yu’s navy at Jiangxia, the Jingzhou Army had a thought of allying themselves with Lu Bu to take down Jiangdong first. Although Lu Bu’s Army also fought with the Jingzhou Army at Jiangxia, they considered it a misunderstanding or an unnecessary war caused by Huang Zu’s son, Huang She. If there were no Huang She and there was only Huang Zhong, or maybe if Huang Zu personally went to explain the situation, there is a chance of explaining the misunderstanding. After all, Lu Bu sent a messenger and Huang She beheaded that messenger. Even if it was a misunderstanding, they have to fight.
They had originally thought it was an alliance between Lu Bu and Sun Ce. This has caused Jingzhou to fall into panic. Although Liu Biao did not participate in the coalition against Dong Zhuo, from the experience of Cao Cao and Liu Bei, he could understand that Lu Bu was like a tiger that also eats the bones of his prey. The Little Conqueror was already a problem and now there was an additional fierce tiger. When it rains, it pours.
To prevent himself from being torn apart from two sides, he contacted Zhang Xiu in Wan Cheng. Zhang Xiu has the Xiliang Cavalry left behind from his uncle. Although weaker than the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry, it is not much different from the Wolf Cavalry. When Lu Bu was serving under Dong Zhuo, the Wolf Cavalry and the Xiliang Cavalry hated each other. If it was not because of Dong Zhuo keeping Lu Bu in check, they would have killed each other long ago. Even when Lu Bu was still serving Ding Yuan, the Xiliang Cavalry and the Wolf Cavalry have engaged in combat before.
Although Zhang Xiu was strong, on the surface he is in charge of Jingzhou’s management. However, that was just the surface. In fact, their ‘Wancheng’ is just a faction that uses each other. Liu Biao provided food to Wancheng while Wancheng supplies the horses for the Xiliang cavalry and other soldiers. The supplies and soldiers from Wancheng were used to block attacks from the north.
(皖城 = Wan Cheng City / Anhui City. I used Wancheng cos Pegasus. 宛城 Wancheng is Zhang Xiu’s faction/district and has no relation to the city.)
(TN: From here on in this chapter, I will refer to Wan Cheng City as Anhui to prevent confusion. Will go back to normal from next chapter because habits/etc. Also, Zhang Xiu’s faction is unimportant (?))
Now that Lu Bu and Sun Ce has allied with each other to get rid of him, Liu Biao wanted to discuss this with Zhang Xiu. He did not expect Lu Bu to attack Lujiang after conquering Huangzhou and capturing Huang She. At that moment, he thought that Lu Bu and Sun Ce were arguing about how to divide the spoils but then he received news that Sun Ce’s wife was hanged.
After that Lu Bu and Sun Ce started fighting. At that moment, they finally understood. It was not that they were arguing about how to divide the spoils but it was Sun Ce who used Lu Bu as a borrowed knife and Lu Bu was not happy about it.
The battle at Lujiang made the nobles in Jingzhou laugh happily. The two tigers will bite each other until one of them is dead and the other severely wounded. After that, the hunters in Jingzhou would finish the job! Liu Biao was not disappointed. The defeat of the 100,000 Jiangdong Army removed a lot of pressure from Jingzhou. However, the battle at the water camp of Wan Cheng, made Liu Biao shocked. This is because 7,000 of Lu Bu’s navy completely destroyed the elite Jiangdong navy of 30,000. They managed that even though Lu Bu’s navy was complete trash. Jingzhou had the right to say that because most of Lu Bu’s navy was originally his navy from Jiangxia! Putting in a new general and a few new recruits would not affect the effectiveness of the navy that much. However, this navy somehow made a big achievement and Liu Biao wants to find out how.
Sun Ce would use that knowledge to destroy Jingzhou. This is why the Jingzhou’s representative had two tasks. The first one was for the release of Huang She and for Huang She to explain what happened to Huang Zu. This is because Huang Zu is a veteran of Jingzhou and is devoted to Liu Biao. The second one was to obtain the ballista. Even if they could not obtain the ballista, they must make sure that Jiangdong does not obtain it. These were Kuai Liang’s main objectives.
(TN: Being in doubt, I decided to search for the existence of Kuai Liang. On the 3rd entry, it said he was one of Liu Biao’s advisor and a legit character. On the first entry, I found Sub-zero. Now I am imagining an ice ninja cyborg advisor of Ancient China.)
“Won’t Liu Biao of Jingzhou have this technology as well!” If only Sun Ce had this technology, Sun Ce was confident that he could completely capture Jingzhou within a year and begin fighting for the Central Plains but now Liu Biao may also have this technology. This made Sun Ce unhappy. He began to complain as to why Lu Bu wanted to sell the ballista technology while conveniently forgetting the fact that he only managed to obtain said technology because Lu Bu was selling it!
“Do not worry my brother! Zhang Zhao has exchanged 1,000 additional craftsmen for a month of additional time!” Sun Quan explained to Sun Ce.
“A month’s time!?”
“Yes! Lu Bu’s army has promised that they would not give Jingzhou’s Liu Biao the blueprints of the ballistae for a month!” Sun Quan told Sun Ce. The month that Zhang Zhao has earned was worth it.
“What if the Lu Bu’s Army deceived us!” Sun Ce frowned.
“They would not!” Sun Quan shook his head. The promise was written down in the peace talks. If the Lu Bu’s Army deceived them, then it would be dishonest.
“One month!” Sun Ce said to himself. One month is neither long nor short. In this one month, he must bring Jiangdong the best benefit and as much harm as he could cause to Jingzhou. “Pass my military orders!” Sun Ce stood up.
“Milord!” Sun Ce was serious and therefore, Sun Quan must also act serious. Although he was Sun Ce’s little brother, in moments like these, Sun Quan has to address Sun Ce as his Lord.
“I want all the the craftsmen to gather within 3 days and in half a month, I want all the ballistae to be equipped on all the warships!” Sun Ce gave the order. The faster they could get the ballistae equipped, the greater the benefits.
(TN: This was actually a really long paragraph of Sun Ce giving his command like ‘-Long details- in 5 days! No! –Long details– in 3 days!’ It is long and pointless so here is an ultra short version.)
If they could get the ballistae to Zhou Yu, the situation at Jiangxia would change. They could defeat Liu Biao’s elite navy of 70,000. After that, Sun Ce wants to see how Liu Biao would replace the elite navy.
Sun Quan nodded his head. He understood his brother’s haste. If they had managed to obtain Jingzhou, the Sun family would become invincible as the natural barrier would allow them to stand on its own.
The whole of Jiangdong started to move and all the noble families voiced their complaints. However, Sun Quan greeted them and within the next 3 days, a crowd of craftsmen started to gather.