Chapter 231 - Talented Person Under The Heaven
Chapter 231 Talented Person Under The Heaven
Translated by Gamer@endlessfantasytranslations
Cao Cao rode his horse out of Xudu but he was unable to find Liu Ye. He wanted to bring Liu Ye back to Xudu but Xun You, who was in charge of Xudu shook his head and said that he did not see Liu Ye. Even Liu Ye’s residence was empty. He has left without taking any valuables with him but all the valuables are merely worldly possessions to Cao Cao.
“Regret! Regret! To have eyes but to be unable to see talent!” Cao Cao’s intestines regretted letting go of such talent! (TN: Yes. Intestines.)
He now remembered Liu Ye trying to speak. Liu Ye probably wanted to report about the ballistae at that time. However, he gave up such an opportunity just because he was suspicious of Liu Ye.
The wisdoms of the ancient people were terrifying! Liu Mang had to rely on books to invent the ballistae but Liu Ye replicated it just by relying on Cao Cao’s information. Although it was inferior, Liu Ye could create a better one provided he had the time.
“Milord, if you can’t catch him, forget it!” Guo Jia also felt helpless and blamed himself for being late. Had he not drink wine, he would have noticed the ballistae earlier and could have prevented this from happening. Guo Jia also heard from the other generals about the scenario of Cao Cao chasing out Liu Ye. It was a scenario that Guo Jia himself would be unable to endure had it happen to him.
Guo Jia was once loyal to Yuan Shao but because Yuan Shao treated him with disdain and did not use his talents, Guo Jia also left to serve Cao Cao.
“Feng Xiao! You do not know! I am very afraid!” How could Cao Cao not be afraid? For such a talented person to leave him, would still be okay if the person went into seclusion. However, if the talented person joined someone else, it would become a huge threat. Cao Cao was afraid that Liu Ye would change allegiance to Yuan Shao. At that time, Yuan Shao would really rejoice.
“Don’t worry Milord!” Guo Jia reassured Cao Cao. “Ziyang would not seek refuge with Yuan Shao!” Guo Jia was not speaking empty words but a fact. Yuan Shao was someone who treats the Han in disdain. Compared to Cao Cao, he would be treated even worse at Yuan Shao’s Army. While serving Cao Cao, Liu Ye still managed to obtain an official position. Had he served Yuan Shao, he would most likely end up as a clerk! All the seats of power there would be given to the Hebei nobles. Even if Yuan Shao wanted to give him a powerful seat, he would stand out too much among the Hebei nobles! Guo Jia believes that Liu Ye would not be so stupid to go to Yuan Shao. On top of that, Yuan Shao did not think much of the ballistae. He believed that the reports of the battle at the Yangtze River is false. He also believes that that tens of thousands of soldiers in Jiangdong and Jingzhou were small. He believes that the others would flee at his might the moment Cao Cao’s Army is destroyed. That is why he did not send Lu Bu any congratulatory gift or ask for the ballistae.
The people in charge are the arrogant ones.
“My brother, your temperament is really a big help to me!” Cao Cao seeked joy amidst his suffering and did not want to think about Liu Ye anymore. Let us get rid of that troublesome Yuan Benchu first. “Fengxiao, can you replicate the ballistae?” If Liu Ye was around, Cao Cao would not be worried as this ballista was invented by Liu Ye. On the other hand, Guo Jia may be a top advisor but he was terrible at mechanics.
“Milord, this does not need good mechanic skills. The craftsman would just need to analyze it.” Guo Jia has terrible mechanic skills and does not want to show his incompetence. Since there were so many craftsmen in Xudu, might as well just teach them. He does not believe that each part cannot be remade after dismantling the ballista. Especially when they have Liu Ye’s blueprints.
“The ballista is no problem. The question is if Milord can hold out at Guandu.” Guo Jia needs Cao Cao to be able to defend Guandu. That way, the ballistae can be developed and used.
“Rest assured Fengxiao. Although your lord is now dim sighted from old age and unable to recognize talent, he is still not a bungling oaf! With these 100,000 soldiers, we can hold out for at least 3 months.” Cao Cao has his own self confidence. If he wasn’t a ruler, Cao Cao would be a general that is adapt in both the pen and the sword. Before becoming a ruler, Cao Cao has fought against the Yellow Turbans. At that time, he was under the command of Huang Pu Song. Cao Cao could often give good proposals and was also a vanguard like Lu Bu. However, Cao Cao would later become more and more like a ruler. Understanding the value of his own life, Cao Cao gave up being a vanguard to someone under his command. On the other hand, Lu Bu’s love for fighting and his strong martial arts prevented him from converting. Both methods of fighting have their own advantages.
Lu Bu’s advantage was that as long as Lu Bu is around, the morale of the army is always at its highest. The disadvantage was if Lu Bu was killed or besieged, it would become fatal to the morale. One example was when Lu Bu retreated after fighting the 18 warlords at Hulao Gate. The soldiers garrisoned at the gate all also lose morale.
On the other hand, Cao Cao’s method of commanding from the rear ensures his own safety but his soldiers would not be able to be as strong as Lu Bu’s soldiers.
Even the Ferocious Cavalry was inferior to the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry and could only be used to apply some pressure to the Lu Bu’s Army.
When Cao Cao claim to be able to hold back Yuan Shao for at least 3 months, he was being modest. He was actually able to defend Guandu for 6 months. Yuan Shao would need to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of soldiers if he wants to capture Guandu!
“Haha, in that case, I promise you that I will give you the ballista just before Guandu is captured.” Guo Jia joked. He knew that Cao Cao is currently under a lot of pressure so he decided to share the pressure with him.
“This prodigy! Do not give me a corpse alright!” Cao Cao smiled and jokingly punched Guo Jia. Cao Cao could only laugh when he was with Guo Jia. Everywhere else, including his own home, Cao Cao’s actions were spied on and revealed. Ever since the death of Cao Ang, Cao Cao noticed his children all acting strangely. Familial love has decreased and everybody was being solemn. It was a tragedy.
When the battle for Guandu began, Yuan Shao’s soldiers continued to attack Guandu. Meanwhile, Cao Cao did not follow Cheng Yu’s proposal to attack Qingzhou. He divided his army into two, the first army were to defend Guandu while the second army was hiding in the camp to avoid war and to load the ballistae onto the warships.
The scale of the battle became larger over time. What started as an assault by a few thousand soldiers became an assault by tens of thousands of soldiers. Eventually, Yuan Shao lost his patience and ordered all of his soldiers to attack. The Yellow River became the Red River as the whole river was filled with dead bodies and blood.
Liu Mang on the other hand does not know about the battle at Guandu. All he knows was that he is now married and could now tell the world that My father-in-law is Lu Bu! (TN: Roll credits.)
Miss Lu also became a gentle woman that was considerate of Liu Mang instead of a willful and violent woman. If it was not because Miss Lu had a birthmark on her chest, Liu Mang would have thought that Lu Bu had two daughters. Liu Mang now has three wives. That is Lu Lingqi, Yuan Fang and his concubine He Yu. He Yu did not dare to call herself a Qiao and could only become a concubine. Liu Mang was extremely busy that night and woke up the next day with a sore waist.
Liu Mang finally started his journey to Shouchun. Zhang Liao and Zang Ba needed a few more days of preparation but Liu Mang had business to take care of so he left early. After a few days, he reached Hefei. At the time, Hefei was still a small county. After the war, it was desolate and did not have many people. That is why the army could immediately be stationed there. At that moment, a scout came to Liu Mang and delivered a painful news. Shouchun was occupied. A green war flag with the word Liu was raised.
Green war flag? Liu? Liu Mang almost thought it was occupied by Liu Biao but finally realized that It was impossible. That is because Jingzhou’s defenders could not reach out that far. Even if they could reach Shouchun, they would be unable to use it as it was thousands of miles away from Jingzhou. They would be unable to defend such a place.
Shouchun was also near Cao Cao’s territory. Liu Biao who was afraid of Cao Cao preferred to have stayed in Jingzhou and act like a turtle. That means it is unlikely that he would go out and fight with Cao Cao.
Another scout came with the message that besides the Liu war flag, there was also a Guan war flag. The Guan war flag was the war flag of a general.
Guan? There were only a few Guans in the Three Kingdoms such as Guan Yu, Guan Ping, Guan Xing and Guan Er. The most important thing is that these guys were all in the same family. On top of that, the Liu war flag was also there. At that moment, it was clear who was the owner of the Liu war flag.
“The Emperor’s Uncle Big Eared Liu?” Liu Mang finally guessed the identity of the person occupying Shouchun.
It is our beloved always running Uncle Liu! After Cao Cao obtained Xuzhou, Liu Bei took the Qingzhou soldiers given to him and occupied Xuzhou. Cao Cao wanted to take it back but was met with Liu Bei’s fierce brothers Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. Cao Cao was also unable to wipe out Liu Bei while being persecuted by Yuan Shao. He could only chase away Liu Bei. However, Liu Bei did not run back to Qingzhou. Instead, he ran all the way to Yuzhou as he had a faithful relative Liu Bijun at Runan. Under his leadership were 20,000 Yellow Turban Army. Together with the forces Liu Bei took with him, it was an army of 30,000. Every time Liu Bei ran away, a large group of common people would follow him. Other than the common people in Xuzhou, everybody else were anxious of the coming war between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao. When he reached Runan, another 20,000 joined him and Liu Bei had 50,000 people.
As it was difficult for 50,000 people to survive, Liu Bei asked Guan Yu to occupy three cities, Shouchun, Ruyin and Sancheng. If he was not afraid of Lu Bu, he may have added Hefei to that list as well.
“Liu Bei has occupied Shouchun!” Huang Zhong and Gan Ning lamented. This is not good news! Although Shouchun was a ruined place, it was part of Yangzhou’s local government. It has been repaired a lot over the years and the person in charge of it was Yang Hong. Yang Hong may not be good at strategy but he still knew that Yuan Shu needed to be successful if he wants to be successful. As a result, the construction was strong. It was unknown as to how many soldiers were used but it would be difficult for Liu Mang who only had tens of thousands of soldiers to capture it.
They had 12,000 of Gan Ning’s navy, 3,000 Urban Army and 3,000 Black Flag soldiers. The total was only 18,000 soldiers. If the city also had a similar number of soldiers, it would really be difficult. That being said, they could not return to Lu Bu to ask for more soldiers.
“Good news! This is really good news!” During their difficult moment, the most optimistic one is Liu Mang. He was smiling as if he heard a good news.
“Eh?” Everyone’s expression changed as they looked at Liu Mang. Huang Zhong even started to doubt the young lord’s sanity especially since he was just brought back from psychological pressure.
“Why are you all looking at me? This is good news!” The Lu Bu’s Army had a lot of enemies. However, the only people that could place pressure on the Lu Bu’s Army is Cao Cao and Liu Bei. For example, Sun Ce hated Lu Bu and attacked him but in the end, it was Sun Ce that suffered losses. If Lu Bu were to attack either one of these two, Lu Bu would be the one to suffer losses. Old Cao also cannot touch him and he would also prevent Yuan Shao from coming over. Assuming that Yuan Shao won, Lu Bu would have to face an army with 300,000 soldiers. That is why Cao Cao cannot be defeated right now. Liu Mang also planned to help Cao Cao and give him the opportunity to consume Yuan Shao. He hoped that the war would bring about more casualties.
On the other hand, there were not so many complications with Liu Bei. Had Liu Bei ran to Hebei, the Lu Bu’s Army may feel depressed because Hebei is too far away. However, Liu Bei ran to Shouchun, which was just looking for trouble. Liu Mang also knew that Liu Bei would take away a lot of common citizens from the cities he stopped in. As Shouchun does not have a lot of citizens at this time, Liu Mang decided to fight against Liu Bei if only for the common citizens.
Moreover, the person who is happiest from fighting Liu Bei would be Lu Bu! Lu Bu also hated Liu Bei very much. If it was not for him and Cao Cao, Lu Bu would not have ran all the way to Lujiang and end up in this condition.
“For now, we station our army at Hefei!” Liu Mang ordered the soldiers to get to work. Hefei was also a place that Liu Mang wants to occupy so he decided to station the army here. The walls of Shouchun were really high. Although it was destroyed by Cao Cao before, after going through repairs, it was not inferior to the walls at Wan Cheng.
Liu Mang does not have a large army like Sun Ce and could sacrifice a lot of soldiers to besiege Shouchun. Siege warfare would require tools, which would be a good time to experiment new weapons. In other words, the time to test out the upgrades for the ballistae.
Liu Mang was not feeling anxious. Although he needed to obtain Shouchun to build docks and warships, there are still many things that needed to be considered when building warships. It was not something that can be modified after noticing that something was wrong. That is why Liu Mang and the talented craftsmen were constantly discussing about how to build the ships.
Now that Shouchun is occupied by Liu Bei, Liu Mang can prepare the new weapons and have time to think about the warship problems.
“Uncle Hong, help me to recruit talented people from Hefei!” Yang Hong was called Uncle Hong by one of Liu Mang’s wife Yuan Fang. Liu Mang followed her as well.
“Yes!” Yang Hong nodded his head. Recruiting soldiers was part of Liu Mang’s plan but it did not go very well in Lujiang because Lu Bu offended many nobles and there would be many complications in helping Lu Bu. Old Man Chen has nearly given up the project but Liu Mang did not want to. Liu Mang knows that the nobles have a large power in society. Although they make up 2% of the world’s population, they had 80% of the world’s wealth. However, they were too rotten and self-serving. Liu Mang wanted to eliminate them and replace it with a new social stratum. He wanted to replace them when they were unable to cultivate lands, withstand arrows, or deal with official matters to destroy the reason for Wan Cheng nobles. Yang Hong constantly warned him but Liu Mang’s sense of propriety would always interrupt his attempt.
Since Chen Gong and the others do not want to recruit soldiers like these, Liu Mang would be the one to do it. When he left Wan Cheng city, Lu Bu promised to allow him to do whatever he wants to the cities around Shouchun like Hefei, Gushi and Anfeng.
He only wants an endless supply of forage and the Navy from Liu Mang.
“Uncle Hong, not just Hefei. Have Cheng Yu send out the Urban Army to the Gushi and Anfeng to recruit from those places. If possible, sneak into Shouchun and recruit from there as well.” Even if there are not many talents in Shouchun, he wants to advertise and get as many talented people as possible.
Yang Hong and the others believed that they must appease the nobles to obtain the world. On the other hand, Liu Mang believes in obtaining the support of the talented people. The world of talent in the 21st century is the same as during the Eastern Han Dynasty. That is why obtaining talent means obtaining the world.