Chapter 243 - Brother Zhuge Become An Official
Chapter 243 – Brother Zhuge Become An Official
Liu Mang’s army finally began its movement after being in Hefei for nearly one month. During this time, both Black Flag and Urban Army trained themselves whenever got any times and although they are yet to reach their before elite status, they benefited a lot from their training. Job advertisement that Liu Mang created, had brought him a lot of benefits. Liu Mang also had prepared defenders for Gushi, Anfeng, Hefei and Lujiang. 12,000 Gan Ning naval units were sent back toward Lujiang. Liu Mang needed divide the naval units into two division of naval units, one in Shouchun, one in Lujiang as well docks and repair shops and construct them with maximum speed in order to be launched together as soon as possible.
Those who entered the army that Liu Mang selected is around 8,000 people. Those who can enter Black Flag and Urban Army are 3,000 people, causing their numbers totaled 9,000 people!!! The remaining 5,000 people were commoner who only asking for food from Liu Mang, but their body is healthy and strong. If not, how can they walk so far? So, Liu Mang takes them in, and divided them into 5 to accompany magistrates of each Gushi, Anfeng, Hefei and Lujiang to guard those cities. The others was assigned as garrison troops as field units already had Urban Army and Black Flag. Liu Mang also pulled out 200 troops of heavy cavalries, although Liu Mang’s subordinates all not riding white horses, their heavy armor is silver colored. Also Liu Mang also ordered his men sew two piece of clothing last night, to create one set of Chang Pao (Olden times chinese male robe) for all of them to use.
And their commander is, of course, Zhao Yun. Although Liu Mang has yet to give a squadron name for those 200 heavy cavalries, however since Zhao Yun is the one who is leading it, its name is, of course, the Penetrating White Horse Cavalry, although their number is much less than what Zhao Yun used to lead. To remedy this problem, Liu Mang has kept increasing his armaments and production of heavy armors. And the roadblock for expanding cavalries is warhorse. Hebei region is impossible to send out warhorse again. If one wants to obtain warhorse, there are only two ways. One, is by traversing through Jiangdong and buy horse from Liaodong. Second, is travel through Jing Province and goes to Liang Province to buy horse. Both of them are not viable options as of now. Buying through Jiangdong, is 100% not a viable option as when Jiangdong army saw Lu Bu army merchant ships or warships, they will sink it as soon as possible. Although Liu Biao of Jing Province is still on amicable terms with Lu Bu army, but importing warhorse through Jing Province? It will surely confiscated by Liu Biao’s customs. Jing Province Liu Biao is only one problem, buying horse from Liang Province, they must pass Zhang Lu of Hanzhong’s territory, Zhang Xiu of Fort Wan’s territory for them to reach Shouchun and they also need to pass Runan. The journey will be arduous.
Another way to obtain warhorse, is to mate those Arabian warhose that Liu Mang brought!!! The males are not castrated and have many mares, but spring already passed and their mating season already ended!!! So, this year is impossible to give birth to foals. Can only wait for the next spring for mating season. Even using that method, they also need to prepare a substitute for those warhorse, otherwise when they give birth to foals, what ride is available to those Bing Province Wolf Cavalry?
Since Liu Mang publicized job ads, all warlords interest on him was extinguished. After all, Liu Mang’s job ads offended nobles in this very nation. Not to mention, all warlords is doing their own war here and there with the most obvious ones from Liu Mang’s side were Liu Biao of Jing Province and Sun Ce of Jiangdong, their fire can even be seen from Liu Mang’s position. From the intel, Sun Ce army got the upper hand again. That is because in Sun Ce army appeared a capable person. He solely transformed the warship anatomy and durability. He used twice of the required lumber in order to make a warship, he also covered the surface of the warship in mixed molten copper and molten iron, improving its defense while adding weight, so as not to tumble the ship. Also even at the end of Eastern Han Dynasty, warship were built with watertight compartments and it made the warship extremely durable. Even if they were riddled with arrow, even if they were blazed with fire, even if the hull was shot through, as long as the watertight compartment is not compromised, the warship will not sink. Such results can be seen when Liu Biao of Jing Province and Sun Ce are doing naval battle. When Liu Biao’s navy was shot, they sink almost immediately, but Sun Ce army’s warship did not. Although the surface damage is serious but because of watertight compartment, it will not sink into the water. Sun Ce army can just tow them back to the dock, order artisans to repair the ships, resupply the ship with crews and it will be back again for action.
On the contrary of Sun Ce’s advantage, Jing Province naval units’ casualties is a little heavy as ship repairing cost is massively lower to the cost of building another ship. Jing Province will have to source a lot of money again and even if they are rich, they cannot last long enough with damage like this. Before long, Huangzhou city as well Wuchang lost again and again. And right now Jiangdong navy is starting to approach Sanjiangkou. If Sanjiangkou were lost as well, Jing Province navy will return to the state when they still don’t have ballistae.
Jiangdong has been suppressing lot of anger. They spent a lot of money to obtain the ballistae blueprint from Liu Mang of Lu Bu army. They are preparing a lot of ballistae in order to catch Jing Province off guard. They even gave several thousand artisans, along with a lot of precious metals and jewelries in order Lu Bu army to commit themselves, not to give the blueprint to Jing Province in one month. One month is enough to fit all of Jiangdong’s warship with ballistae.
However, who knows Liu Mang played them both. He did not sell the blueprint, he sold the ballistae along with the warship. It is really unexpected that they are the one who were caught off guard by Jing Province. If not for Zhou Yu’s decisive action, having obtained information about ballistae beforehand, perhaps Kuai Liang already wiped out all of them. But even with that advantage, Zhou Yu still lost in his expedition and retreated, their casualties amounted to Han Dang’s fleet wiped out. And now, since Sun Ce of Jiangdong did not dare to aggravate Lu Bu army, Liu Biao of Jing Province will be his target of anger. Sun Ce, Taishi Ci, Zhou Yu, Lu Su all pulled out in order to do battle with Liu Biao. Their already magnificent roster is becoming more magnificent with addition of the rear managed by Zhang Zhao and his younger brother, Sun Quan.
Jing Province then also prepared their own roster with Wen Ping as their general, supported by Huang Zu. Regarding Kuai bros, even though they are first-class adviser, they don’t have the ability to manage people. With that disadvantage, Jing Province Navy is lacking one of crucial component, but suddenly the problem is suddenly solved as when Liu Biao is still stumped suddenly there is a god-ranked figure that joined the Jing Province Army.
That person’s name is Zhuge Liang, Taoist name is Sleeping Dragon. He is not yet entered into office, but his reputation is very big!!! So much that there is a saying, the one who obtained Sleeping Dragon and Fledgling Phoenix shall conquer this nation!!! That saying might be a little exaggerated, but it is the ancient’s way of promoting. Who would use a person without reputation? Since Zhuge Liang’s reputation is so great, when he entered Jing Province Army, Liu Biao is extremely happy. He has been wishing to obtain talented people for Jing Province for far too long. In this chaos times, his Jing Province is a haven, therefore many famous scholars and talented people, such person Master Sima Hui, Taoist name Master Shuijing and Pangde Gong or Pang Gong (Lord Pang). Liu Biao of Jing Province had visited them for don’t know how many times, hoping that these people will become an official of Jing Province. But Liu Biao always returned empty-handed, as they did not like Liu Biao. According to them, a person like Liu Biao who only seek to protect his inheritance is not worth their service. So, Liu Biao can only have his heart broken by those people.
And now Zhuge Liang is conducting a contradictory act toward Master Shuijing. He actually took up official post in Jing Province. A person this talented is joining Jing Province made Liu Biao happy to no end. And it made him thinking in his senility, maybe just maybe these talented people will eventually join Liu Biao. When Zhuge Liang joined Liu Biao’s army, everybody except him, think he is insane and gone loopy!!! Zhuge Liang just stay silent and calm as usual, however that blacked-face in Runan when hearing this news, he is shocked for quite some time.
After Zhuge Liang joins Liu Biao army, he rejected Liu Biao’s offer to become governor of Xiangyang, instead he insisted to Liu Biao that he must goes to the army, helping Wen Ping and Huang Zu protecting Jiangxia as the situation is no good. Their casualties is too high, Wen Ping hired soldiers out of 70,000 troops were thinned out to less than 50,000 troops. Their warships losses are also suffered serious damage, so much that Jing Province naval personnel already give themselves up, lost their courage and want to return to Jing Province. Liu Biao also had did the worst case scenario. If Jiangxia is to be lost, all of them to retreat to Shiyang, Wulin and Chibi and maintain status quo with Sun Ce army. Now Zhuge Liang’s request to be sent to the front, of course Liu Biao not agree at the beginning. He is afraid Zhuge Liang is harmed and his image who already not good to begin with will be destroyed completely. Master Shuijing probably will criticize him following the rest of the scholars despising him. Fortunately before Zhuge Liang arrived, Master Shuijing and Pang Gong (Lord Pang) paid him a visit and said Zhuge Liang want to work for Inspector of Jing Province Liu Biao, in order to protect his homeland from Sun Ce. Zhuge Liang’s second hometown is Nanyang, Jing Province. So Jing Province can be considered second homeland to him.
Cai Mao and Zhang Yun and other nobles who heard Zhuge Liang’s request all in once voice supporting his decision. They all wanted this Zhuge Liang to go to the front. Being a governor of Xiangyang is a very big position. Xiangyang is the wealthiest city out of all Jing Province cities. All merchants are gathered there, communicating there, doing their trading there. That means the tax revenue is really good, equalling to half of Jing Province whole revenue. So, being a governor of Xiangyang is such a pretty prosperous position, and Cai Mao and the others will not let anyone take that position except for them. The Kuai brothers are also acquaintated well with Master Shuijing and Lord Pang and they also want to see what kind of person Master Shuijing’s protege is. However, regarding the position governor of Xiangyang, both of them don’t want the position as well, but they also don’t want outsider to be governor of Xiangyang. So, with everyone’s effort, Zhuge Liang smoothly become Jiangxia army military adviser, governing 50,000 troops. His influence is further expanded when Liu Biao wrote a letter saying “Everything must consult military adviser Kongming before taking action!!!” Cutting Wen Ping rights severely as everything must report first to Zhuge Liang.
Regarding Huang Zu of Jiangxia. Although Jiangxia is his domain but that place is almost exhausted to the extent due to constant battles that protecting it is meaningless and finally Jiangxia is lost. So now, he returned in shame and anger. Since Huang clan is one of four biggest clans in Jing Province, Liu Biao gave Lingling Commandery and Guiyang Commandery for him to appease and to encourage Huang Zu. Even Huang Zu also was given 1,000 personal troops in order for him to take office. Hmm, Zhuge Liang? Wen Ping is knitting his brow. In his hand, there is the letter from Liu Biao which content is the one written above but with addition that Zhuge Liang is sent to be Wen Ping’s assistant. Wen Ping knows about Zhuge Liang of Nanyang, the Sleeping Dragon. Although Wen Ping respected his talent, but he would rather keep this people off distance. He knows that this person had talent and famous throughout the land, but nobody knows his real situation and Wen Ping is not one to speculate a person. Now it is different, Zhuge Kongming has took up an office, and become one of Liu Biao’s men. He also said that he is to be Zhuge Liang’s assistant, therefore making Wen Ping a senior general, an assistant toward a newcomer. How would Wen Ping feel?
Wen Ping indeed is a general in Jing Province but he always is Huang Zu’s subordinate. However, Huang Zu only commanded 20,000 troops, while Wen Ping is commanding 50,000 troops. With this comparison, it is safe to say that the decision-maker is Wen Ping. And now with Huang Zu returned to Jing Province, Wen Ping should be the commander right? Unfortunately not. He didn’t have real power before, he don’t have power now, he is just waiting for Zhuge Liang to take over his leadership baton. (TN: Poor Wen Ping, you are mistreated but still a loyal SOB, if I were you, I will slit Huang Zu’s throat and take command for myself)
Kongming, why are you in Jing Province? The blacked-face person is stunned. He is currently sitting inside Runan Government office, reading the intel in his hand. He and Zhuge Liang had a bet to serve their own wise lord together and after several years, they would meet again once more to compare whose lord is the better one. He had traveled to meet his wise lord and finally show his face to this nation. Who had ever expected that his wise lord give him big responsibility. Now, he and Kongming’s wise lord is about to do battle, so he expect to fight against his old friend, so he done a very careful preparation to fight a good battle, but whoever thought that this event comes out. What are you thinking of, Kongming? The blacked-face man sighed and really could not see him through.
What is Zhuge Liang really thinking? He didn’t know that Kongming is already planned to go to Lujiang after Battle of Wancheng, but because of that job advertisement, he changed direction. Why, you ask? The reason it is because the job advertisement that Liu Mang sent out, is good for short term but not good for long term, as it offended this nation’s nobles and its loss outweigh its profit. Offending nobles is never a good thing, as they are influential and respected over their regions. An obvious example, Jing Province had 4 big clans governing it. Liu clan even though it is the royalty, he still need to appease other nobles in order to be accepted in Jing Province. At that time, Liu Biao chose Cai clan and marry Cai Mao’s younger sister in order to appease other nobles as they are the biggest ones in Jing Province, with that act alone, he is able to grip tightly on his rule of Jing Province. Liu Mang, who had offended nobles with his job advertisement, will not get nobles’ support at all. They will never help Liu Mang to obtain this nation, on the contrary they will be very glad to destroy him. It can be said now, in order Liu Mang to progress even an inch, he will face arduous challenge. Those nobles can be very useful, because every time a warlord conquer a region, those nobles will quickly lend their money and resources and even help to convince commoners.
Since Liu Mang had turned into one of major warlord who strived to reach hegemony, if he wanted to subjugate those nobles, he can only do two things either to kill them all or be killed himself, if he continue this path (TN: The path taken by Daenerys Targaryen now) If Liu Mang is not the warlord favored by Zhuge Liang, he will not do anything to help him. Since he is, Zhuge Liang decided to help him from shadows, but his help is too small currently, so he need to become an official of Jing Province in order to help him more and finally presenting Jing Province as a gift for Liu Mang.
While thinking about that, suddenly Kongming’s ship is docked at Shiyang Commandery. Since the waterway is unsafe, Zhuge Liang need to take land route and go directly Sanjiangkou. After passing through quite a distance, finally Kongming and his party reached Sanjiangkou camp. But he has yet entered the camp when a general and his men greet Zhuge Kongming. Zhuge Liang kept observing Wen Ping and thought Is this person really Wen Ping?! Wen Ping’s facial structure is very handsome very much like a scholar, but because of that scar, his status as general is cemented. Making this middle-aged man more dignified.
Is this person Zhuge Kongming? Wen Ping also similarly observing Zhuge Liang. While Kongming don’t show any expression at all, Wen Ping is knitting his brow. It is because Zhuge Liang is too young. Can this little squirt really the military adviser? He’s not even yet 20 years old!!! Can he decide the life and death of this army? Thought Wen Ping. Wen Ping is a military commander and regarded strength as a true value in combat. And this Zhuge Liang who is not yet reach 20 years old, his lord regarded his strength as very high. This is the same thing like Zhao Kuo. Zhuge Liang’s reputation might be as big as Zhao Kuo’s own reputation if he lived during Spring and Autumn Period. Zhao Kuo was known in every corner of Zhao Country capital, and even King of Zhao himself is very interested of him and it is because Zhao Kuo is really talented in military tactics. He had studied them since childhood, he is also experts in debate, surpassing his own father Zhao She in terms of tactics and debates. He was a child prodigy that even surpassed Zhuge Liang in Jing Province, however his end is not good, as being good in stratagem in paper and being good in debate, cannot prove that he is also good in real combat. So, he was routed in the Battle of Changping and his Zhao countrymen of 200,000 souls were buried alive by General Baiqi and Zhao Country is no more.
Wen Ping afraid that this Zhuge Liang, by being a military adviser, is just another Zhao Kuo. If it is true, might as well just surrender to Jiangdong!!! But better than captured, better to die with honor, fighting to the end. While Wen Ping is still thinking, Zhuge Liang opened up his voice first “General Wen Ping!!! Zhuge Liang of Nanyang paid his respect to general!!! All of people said that general possessed the prowess of General Meng Tian now that Liang has seen, it seems like it is the truth!!!” (TN: A general of old ages known for his heroics act by defeating Xiongnu)
Wen Ping is a commander, so no matter what Liu Biao had ordered Wen Ping, he still cannot abandon hiscourtesy. It is also in order to get close to Wen Ping and also to show that he is inexperienced. With this, Kongming and Wen Ping’s relationship will inevitably be harmonious. Wen Ping then said “Military adviser Kongming praised me too highly!!! This old official just performed his duty, to defend one’s homeland!!!”
Being assaulted by sweet words by Zhuge Liang made Wen Ping smile. Even though he is still distrusting Zhuge Liang and his abilities, they are one people now. Now since Sanjiangkou is still under Jing Province navy units, of course their internal political weather will be a subject of observation by Jiangdong’s scouts. And now, if there is any discord among them, they will not last, for the situation is really dire now.
Zhuge Liang then said in sincere tone “Kongming is still young, Kongming asked for general Wen Ping’s guidance in military method!!!” It is true that Zhuge Liang had the ability but it is only on theory. If they are requesting for debate bout, one Zhuge Liang can outwit several scholars of Jiangdong, but in regards of Yangtze river’s water cycle, warship anatomy and other problems in army, Zhuge Liang needs Wen Ping’s help big time. They are engaged in small talk for quite sometime when finally Wen Ping’s deputy said “General, military adviser, it would be better to continue your conversation inside the city” Zhuge Liang and Wen Ping nodded together. Sanjiangkou half territory is comprised of Yangtze river and a harbor. It is a Navy HQ rather than a city and since it is much bigger than Wancheng city Navy HQ it can be considered a city, therefore the deputy is asking them to enter the city.
When they are started to walk, suddenly Zhuge Liang shook his head and said “General Wen Ping, first we must go toward the fleet!!!” Eh? Wen Ping stunned. Wen Ping should entertain Zhuge Liang with his capacity as a commander, but that plan did not happen as they are going toward the fleet instead. But Wen Ping, being a general, more interested in sword rather than banquet, so he just silent all the time and gave no comments at all and quickly led Zhuge Liang toward the fleet. Sanjiangkou is very big and this place is useless for horse riding. Therefore, they need to walk half of Sanjiangkou in order to reach the place.
So this is our army’s warship. Zhuge Liang talked to himself while observing the naval base. Although Jing Province Navy was defeated two days ago, their casualties only amounted to 20,000 troops. Added what Huang Zu left behind, total of their troops is 50,000 troops. So right now, their troops consisted of 50,000 troops and 160 warships and these 160 warships are Jing Province final stand. Even then out of 160 warships, those which are still operation are around 150 ships. Wen Ping then said “Yes, military adviser, this is our total warships! Sigh, if only military adviser were here 2 days ago, we will still have 200 warships!!!” Wen Ping felt really dejected seeing those warships. His lord Liu Biao assigned 50,000 elite naval soldiers with 200 warships. If all of them were to sortie, Yangtze River will be filled with them completely. So unfortunate that out of 200 warships, only around 150 warships left.
Zhuge Liang then knitted his brows, confused and said “How come the casualties from two days ago was so big?!” 40 warships out of 200 warships is a truly big loss. Wen Ping then answered “Two days ago, Sun Ce Navy launched a fierce and continuous assault. Even at night, the assault doesn’t stop. Our army can only retreat to Wuchang from Huangzhou and finally from Wuchang to Sanjiangkou!!!” Wen Ping is really helpless against such assaults. It is true that they had ballistae installed on each warships but the reloading time is the biggest drawbacks from the assault. When they are reloading, their ships are closing in and it become melee battle. Their loss also it is because Wen Ping’s officers who can really fight is too little in number while Jiangdong is massive in number. They had Taishi Ci and Huang Gai to attack, even had Sun Ce to assault once in a while and other generals are not weak. But even then it is not the crucial point of their loss, their main point of their loss is because Jing Province had been spending resources too much and it became unbearable.
On war that first two said that 200 battleships caused, finally came back remaining 160, dozens were wounded, was shortly useless, but opposite Sun Ce naval units! Although their warships also threw nearly thirty battleships similarly, the battleship that but these hit a target by the bed crossbow does not submerge, so long as the above bed crossbow were not destroyed them is negative the fort on water surface! That is the main reason they lost 40 warships these two days. Wen Ping also reported that Sun Ce Navy warships is very sturdy now. They are harmed by ballistae arrows but did not sink and their troops are towing back those warships for repair. And after that 10 days later, they reappeared on the battlefield. It can be said when they are doing a direct ballistae duel, Jing Province Navy lost 20 warships while Jiangdong Navy only lost 4 warships. Loss 5 to 1, unbearable.
A warship cost at least 100 taels of gold. The ballistae were also really expensive. Five ballistae equaled to one warship. Jing Province spending is already too much, that even Liu Biao start to practice thrift on himself. And with Jiangdong dock is not far from here, in a few days Sanjiangkou will fall. Zhuge Liang then examined those warships and their ballistae wounds. They are mostly damaged on the lower side, their castle is virtually woundless. Because if you can sink a ship by attacking its bottom, no need to attack the upper side (castle). Zhuge Liang then said “We can reinforce the bottom!!!” While he pointed toward bottom of the ship, he looked at Wen Ping.
“It is impossible!!!” Wen Ping shook his head in response. Wen Ping had tried it before, when he saw Jiangdong Navy had reinforced their ships bottom. He saw that they are reinforcing bottom ships with molten copper, combined with multi-layered iron sheet. However, when Wen Ping tried their method in his own warships, the result is the payload is too heavy and the warship start to sink even at the repair shop. That is why Wen Ping can give response almost immediately. (TN: raw too much bullshit, so I took liberty to shorten it, to make it more concise and readable. If any of you SJW want to complain, come on, I will pummel you all down)
Zhuge Liang then suddenly said after observing the warship for a while “Then we get rid the unused parts!” Hnh? Get rid what? Wen Ping is confused. What is this military adviser Zhuge want to do? Get rid what? Get rid of warship? Zhuge Liang then pointing toward a certain location at warship and said “This, we get rid of this!!!” Zhuge Liang and looked back at Wen Ping. Wen Ping then followed Zhuge Liang’s finger. Zhuge Liang’s suggestion is to remove the castle part of the ship.
“Impossible, how can they be get rid of?!” Wen Ping said in angry tone. The castle that were built on the castle ship worked as an outlook and commander’s quarters. It also represents how much strength they had in their navy. So, compared to Wen Ping’s castle flagship, Zhou Yu’s castle is a lot more magnificent. These castles can also served as city walls on water, so according to Wen Ping, getting rid of it is out of option. Zhuge Liang then responded in impolite tone “WEN PING!!! If you don’t get rid of that castle, the only thing that is waiting for you and your officers are turtles at the bottom of Yangtze River, courtesy of Jiangdong Navy!!!” Zhuge Liang had said he is lack in experience but in engineering and architecture, he is one of the best. He already saw one critical flaw in warship design. With ballistae incorporated in naval battle, their target will definitely be the bottom of the warships and castles are basically useless and only a distraction. (TN: Another paragraph of bullshit, cleaned them up and compress them)
The only viable options now is to reinforce the ship’s bottom, putting a lot of iron.
“What about the crow’s nest? And what about the sail? Is it removed as well?!” Wen Ping said it in calm tone, swallowing his anger. This person is a person that Liu Biao’s highly regarded, so high that he even wrote that all affairs must be consulted with him. If no words like that, Wen Ping will paid no attention toward him, perhaps he will just leave Zhuge Liang on the sidelines supplying him with delicacy. These very words is actually thought by Zhuge Liang and persuaded Liu Biao to add it in his orders. He knows that even though he is inexperienced, he already had most of basic knowledge covered. The rest of them just need to be nurtured by experience or his true talent will not come out by itself. Zhuge Liang then said “Crow’s nest can remain and sail can remain!!!” Zhuge Liang heard what Wen Ping said and agreed with him. Crow’s nest is important as it provide eyes to a ship and providing various information for its ship. Sail also important, as it can boost the speed a lot and helped ship to brake as well.
Ha-ha-ha-ha Wen Ping laughed silently in his anger and then he asked Zhuge Liang a series of inquiry “Military adviser, sir, if we had no castle, how can we board enemies’ ships? How can we do melee? Then if the enemy approached us, we will be sitting ducks, rained by arrows!!!” As we already described above, castle is a means to do battle with enemy. You can climb up atop of the structure and rain arrows toward enemy. Moreover, higher castle meant higher vantage, they can just jump toward enemies and do melee. “Are those still needed?!” Zhuge Liang did not reply Wen Ping’s words, he just directly asked Are those still needed, as if his question series is not worth answering. “YOU!!!!” Wen Ping is pointing toward Zhuge Liang. He is choked by Zhuge Liang now. In Wen Ping’s mind, Zhuge Liang the first-class strategist had turned into Zhao Kuo. But, Zhuge Liang’s next word, made him thinking.
Zhuge Liang then said “General Wen Ping, let us be honest!!! Since ballistae appeared, what is exactly the change in naval battle?!” Zhuge Liang speak in a very sincere tone as he is very admiring ballistae. This thing can rapid fire and had a strong piercing capability, directly changed the method of naval warfare conducted. If it was before, those who had a lot of generals is the one who will win naval warfare. But right now, even if they are not head to head yet, you can just launch salvos of ballistae’ arrows and the enemy ships will sink to the bottom of the river. And the very reason both sides are doing intense battle is because of the appearance of ballistae, they are causing each side a big casualties.
As much as Wen Ping agree to a certain degree, he had a little disdain and said “Oh, that. Yes, I agree ballistae is very strong. However, its usefulness is only BEFORE it runs out of ammo. The reloading is very cumbersome!!! And one more, if this were not placed on the castle, it is useless!!!” Wen Ping regarded ballistae usage is only can be used on the ground and believed that the higher it placed, the more well of it is efficiency same like siege tower when it was used in Wancheng, Lujiang. Siege tower principle is, if they are higher than their enemies, they will rain death upon them.
Oh, useless eh?! You don’t know how to use it!!! Zhuge Liang is sneering in his heart. Zhuge Liang then said “General Wen Ping, please look here!!! Once these large ships had demolished their castle, do tell me, how many people can be put into this?!” Hm, what is this Zhuge Liang talking about?! Wen Ping knitted his brow. A large ship’s heaviest thing is its castle. Once it is removed, of course it can be more lighter and can put more people on the ship. But it is a useless thinking because when this ship was launched, it will definitely easy to sink and how many people will die?
When Zhuge Liang sees that Wen Ping is knitting his brows, he knows that he is trying to figure out his meaning and that is precisely what Zhuge Liang want. Zhuge Liang then said “General Wen Ping, Liang asked you to think again. If ship’s bottom was covered all with iron sheet and coupled with molten copper. You can achieve the same defensive properties as Jiangdong Navy!” Zhuge Liang currently don’t know how Jiangdong Navy can make their ships still floating even after penetrated by ballistae’s arrows but with this reinforcement, it will yield the same result as Jiangdong Navy did. Thus increasing Jing Province Navy survivability. Wen Ping then answered “Military adviser Kongming, this is a very good improvement but this old official still stands on his words regarding ballistae. Once it runs out of ammo, it is the end. We will not be able to melee.” Even with ballistae, the old rule of engagement is still not changing after ballistae run out of ammo.
Zhuge Liang then replied “I am not only just reinforcing ship’s bottom. I can also put ballistae. Jiangdong warship had 5 ballistae right? With this arrangement, Liang confident that we can put 10 ballistaes!!!” Zhuge Liang had shared his idea regarding this. Substitute the castle with warship reinforcement and more ballistaes. Since ballistae emerged, the naval engagement had been changed a little. Now, Zhuge Liang is going to change almost everything about naval battle, starting from ship’s structure. TEN ballistaes!! Wen Ping’s eyes is widened from shock. Five ballistae with 25 arrows is already a terror and this Zhuge Liang increased them more. Zhuge Liang then smiled and said with utmost confidence “Yes, ten ballistaes for each warship!!!” Then Zhuge Liang continued “Twice the amount of ballistaes fitted to Jiangdong Navy did. When our warship engaged with Jiangdong Navy, they will be able to keep up with the pressure and when they run out of ammo, we will have the upper hand. I really cannot believe 50 ballistae’s arrows cannot destroy their warship. If we are fighting a dragged battle, then we just put those 10 ballistaes into 2 groups consisting 5 ballistaes. Group 1 will fire first and then while reloading, group 2 will fire at them while group 1 reload, vice versa. With such efficiency, General Wen Ping. Could you still say that the ballistae is useless for our army?!”
“This, this, this!!!” Wen Ping also excited when he heard about Zhuge Liang’s idea. If everything is as Zhuge Liang words, then ballistae can be used for a true rapid-fire. And with much less time needed to reload, it made melee battle lost its meaning. “General, military adviser advice is really good!!!” His deputy also excited. 10 ballistaes will be loaded in his warship. Who did not feel their terror?!. Wen Ping nodded and said “Yes, I know!” He finally knew the difference between military commander and adviser. Military commander is much stronger than military adviser is weaker in terms of strength. But the true value of military adviser is they can use their brains in order to achieve victory, even if they must sacrifice people to do so. And right now, Zhuge Liang is about to modify naval battle with his idea. And if Zhuge Liang’s idea is good, naval unist will no longer have melee battle.
Wen Ping then ordered “Transmit military orders to our army!!! All warships’ castle must be torn down, reinforce ships bottom, add more ballistae!” Wen Ping is not a person who turn a deaf ear to good advice. When he pictured Zhuge Liang’s description, he is also convinced himself. Zhuge Liang then said “General, no need to tear down all. Just a fleet is enough for now!!!” If all warships is to disassembled, it would take too long. In this war time, everything is unexpected. If Sun Ce Navy attacked while they are disassembling, they will all die. So, right now, they can only disassemble a fleet first and do a test drive.
Wen Ping nodded and said “I will do as you ask, military adviser” He really cannot underestimate this military adviser sent by his lord. Everything that posed a problem to him, was quickly solved by this adviser. Wen Ping really cannot imagine, once all fleets had been re-equipped, what will happen with Jiangdong Navy. However, since ballistae in Sanjiangkou left only a few!!! He sent a request to Xiangyang, Jing Province.