Chapter 249 – Decisive Battle?
Chapter 249 – Decisive Battle?
Now, we leave Cao Army and Liu Bei Army and we goes to Yuan Shao camp in Guandu. Right now, in Yuan Shao’s main camp, the aura is very festive, because they kept on offensive while Cao Army were just doing defense, cutting down their numbers severely, while Yuan Shao also lost 50,000 troops, but his roster still got 200,000 troops. Enough to beat Cao Cao and all of his sons until their ass is destroyed. So, all of the army is implying, one more push, and it is the end of Cao Cao and right now they are celebrating ahead of the victory.
“Congratulations Milord! Guandu is broken as if a twig stepped by you!!! We are only one step to enter Central Plains. At that time, who can hope to match your Yuan clan’s grandeur? Milord now is more glorious than Duke of Zhou once!!!” Said Guo Tu. That adviser is known to have honeyed tongue and is Yuan Shao’s favorite. Yuan Shao just replied with a hearty laugh.
Also, it should be a no-brainer as to why Yuan Shao is really prideful right now. He managed to pacify the entire Hebei, a full 4 province by his power alone. Ji Province, which is his HQ right now, is one of this nation’s granary. Bing Province, Qing Province and You Province, three of them also prosperous, although always under attack by those beyond Great Wall. However Yuan Shao and them were able to make peace by providing tributes to them, leaving north undisturbed for now. Also, his core generals Wen Chou and Yan Liang each of them commandeered 20,000 elite troops. Even his lesser generals like Zhang He and Gao Lan, all leading 10,000 troops. He still had Qu Yi’s suicide squad and his Halberd Troops even though he executed him not a while ago. (TN: Previous translation, wrote Qu Yi as Ju Yi. The real name is Qu Yi, sorry for the confusion) Right now, Yuan Shao thought With such excellent roster like this, who is my match in this world? After that, he raised his head up pridefully. In just a few moments, this very country’s surname will change into Yuan. Liu has been decadent for so long, it is Yuan clan time to rise!!! Thought Yuan Shao again.
Yuan Shao’s mind then flew back to the event that already passed. He remembered how his father Yuan Kui often ignored him when he said his advice, he also remembered how Yuan Shu always sneered him in front of their father and always adding more insult when Yuan Shao’s advice is rejected by him, telling him to know his place for he is just a maid’s son. Yuan Shao then looked at Xu You, he remembered when the three of them are scoundrels. Scoundrels who liked to visit brothel. When remembering about the brothel, he remembered how delicious Lady Bian was and want to eat her, but was taken by Cao Cao who proposed to her after losing his wife Lady Liu. Yuan Shao then licked his lip in lust and thought Oooo, Cao Aman, I will not kill you for I will make a show only for you, where I fucked your wife in public!!!
“Yes, yes. Milord is the one who can change the fate of this nation. Han Dynasty is already corrupt so much it become Cao Aman’s plaything. It is time for Yuan clan to take charge of this nation!” Said Feng Ji who sat near Guo Tu. This person had honeyed tongue same as Guo Tu, even more sweeter than him. Yuan Shao then scolded him “Hey, Yuan Tu. Stop that immediately!” Although he appeared to be scolding him, but Yuan Shao’s lip curled up a smile. Feng Ji then said “Yes, Milord. Student said too far!!!” All while grinning toward Yuan Shao. Then all of them is toasting around as if Cao Cao is already yesterday’s news.
Out of all of them, only one person who drink to drown his sorrow. That person is one of Yuan Shao’s MOST CAPABLE AND MOST EARNEST advisors, besides Tian Feng. That person’s name is Ju Shou. His courtesy name is Guangping. A little trivia about Ju Shou; he hailed from Ju clan, a prestigious clan from Ji Province, his family members comprised of father Ju Hu, younger brother Ju Zong and son Ju Gu. Historians from original timeline, always cited that Ju Shou is a person who “had a magnificent ambition and excel in military strategy” and this is also true in this timeline. During his early days, he took office as a clerk and a magistrate under previous Governor of Ji Province, Han Fu. When Han Fu surrendered himself, he took post under Yuan Shao and proposed many brilliant advices to him, and proved to be very useful to Yuan Shao, however Ju Shou did not possess honeyed tongue, so his words is very lightweight and Yuan Shao used him only for last resort. Right before this Guandu war happened, Ju Shou already proposed to attack Cao Cao and invade Xu Du while he still recuperating from his big loss from the Battle of Kaiyang, Ju Shou also proposed to ally with Liu Bei of Xu Province at that time, to stall Cao Cao by launching feint attacks, to make him busy. His friend Tian Feng also urged Yuan Shao to do this, for they knew that fighting a war in Guandu will result in a very catastrophic disaster. However, Yuan Shao did not listen to his excellent advice due to Yuan Shang was sick also in this timeline. Ju Shou, who is always straightforward in his speech, wanted to challenge Yuan Shao, but was prevented by Tian Feng, who then lamented silently “It is such a pity! Just as a unique opportunity presents itself, everything is spoiled by the illness of a child.” Yuan Shao then dismissed those earnest warnings just as if a fly passing by his ear because he is too drunk with his own victory to the point senility reached him earlier before he is as old as Liu Biao. Readers, put yourself in his shoes and think what is his feelings right now after gaining FOUR provinces as his own, defeating everyone in his path.
His feelings must be really bloated to the top and it caused him to underestimating Cao Cao as if he is just an ant. Therefore, he really did not care how unorganized his army right now, how disunited, how tired they are after doing battle nonstop and how undisciplined they all. Seeing Yuan Shao like that, it made two of his civil advisers Guo Tu and Feng Ji, who were mentioned earlier, took Yuan Shao’s condition as a chance to promote themselves further. Guo Tu and Feng Ji praised Yuan Shao endlessly and pushed Yuan Shao further to do a decisive battle in a manner of fair and square by overwhelming Cao Cao with his sheer numbers. Yuan Shao took the bait and right now, they are in Guandu doing this overtly-stupid maneuvered battle.
Regarding Ju Shou, even with his lord rejected his idea, he is still remained loyal and vigilant, since the first time they began battle, he noticed that Cao Cao is puttiing up an act by providing his troops 2 meals-a-day and those soldiers are singing during meals. In Ju Shou’s eyes, it is a very poor act of covering up that his provisions left only a little as Cao Cao had been fighting all this time, before even started fighting his lord Yuan Shao. With that newfound knowledge, yesterday Ju Shou quickly reported back to Yuan Shao and proposed him to do war of attrition, however, again Guo Tu and Feng Ji refute his knowledge and he himself was ridiculed by Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao said “Ju Guangping, you said that Cao Cao is lacking in provisions. Have you lost your mind?! This is the beginning of summer, even we just harvested our crops. How can Cao Aman not harvest his own? Given his provinces more bountiful than mine’s own. Is your brain damaged, huh?” Finished Yuan Shao while doing gesture that Ju Shou had screw loose, the nearby Guo Tu and Feng Ji also doing the same gesture, further insulting him and tell Yuan Shao “Milord, you will not need to afraid of Traitor Cao. He is an ant compared to your magnanimous presence. We, Guo Tu and Feng Ji, implore Milord to keep advancing like this. Give Traitor Cao no space to even breath!!! We surely will take Guandu in just matter of weeks now.”
Guo Tu and Feng Ji’s words at that time, represented the whole nobles’ words who supported Yuan Shao. They cannot wait to enter Central Plains to divide the spoils amongst themselves, even if they have to kill each other.
Before Ju Shou retreated from Yuan Shao’s main tent, he reported battle damage. Ju Shou then said “During that skirmish, our casualties is 50,000 troops while Cao troops is 30,000 troops. In Shou’s opinion, this amount of casualties is not healthy at all. Shou implore Milord to do war of attrition once more, direct assault did not give the best result at all. Shou had strong faith that as of now, Cao Cao is losing provisions severely while our provisions is not lacking at all as we are already lost 50,000 mouths to feed. This is a good advice, Shou implored Milord to act on this!!!” Again, that good advice was halted by two of Yuan Shao’s most favored advisers, they told Yuan Shao “Milord, again another rubbish spouted by this lunatic. War of attrition is not efficient and is not fit for a victor like you.” Yuan Shao then snorted “Hmph, that is right, Gongze, Yuantu!!! War of attrition is foolish suggestion of a brain-damaged advisor!!! We lost 50,000 troops, yes. But I still have 250,000 troops. By the time I defeat Cao Cao, I can still stand strong in Central Plains!!!” Hearing that retort, made Ju Shou lose heart and he is already think that this battle is a lost cause and it is the end of Yuan clan.
Right now, Ju Shou is just attending the banquet out of etiquette and secluded himself, drinking the fate of this lord of his and him own for serving an already gods-forsaken lord. Ju Shou really hopes that what are they saying and what they are praising to Yuan Shao proved to be true all along and his uneasiness will be proved wrong. When Ju Shou drink once more, suddenly there is a messenger, he kneeled and said “Milord, the enemy appeared on the river. Enemy incoming!!!”
“Hrm, enemy?!” Yuan Shao put down his wine glass and quickly goes out of his tent. Tonight, the moon is full, and so the night is bright. He saw that all of his generals Wen Chou, Yan Liang, Zhang He and Gao Lan already at the front, vigilant and watching their movements, however they are not talking to each other, for they are all similar to Yuan Shao’s advisors. Playing politics among themselves. This is the greatest cause that when Yuan Shao died, Yuan clan destroyed completely by Cao Cao. What the messenger is reporting is correct, as on the river, there are many torchlight, indicating a lot of ships incoming, but because there is dense fog, he could not confirm whose fleet is it. But, when he saw it, Yuan Shao quickly knew that this is Cao’s Army fleet, definitely not a merchant fleet and not any other warlord’s fleet. Yuan Shao then smiled and said in his heart “Oh Cao Aman!!! You are truly seeking quick end. Let this great Shao grant your wish, as your oldest friend!!!” Yuan Shao then returned to his camp, and continued to drink his wine. He reviewed Ju Shou’s report and sneered. He thought With only 70,000 troops, what can you do, Cao Aman?
He then stood up and exclaimed “All troops, follow this general and prepare for battle!!!” All of the troops said “YES SIR!!!” And quickly prepared for battle. Yuan Shao then asked his troops to help him wear his armor. Yuan Shao did not mentioned it at all, but this battle is kind of personal vendetta to him. Dear readers, we already established that Yuan Shao wanted to NTR Cao Cao’s wife but the real reason is established here. Yuan Shao had been a handsome man for his entire life, he had taken a liking to Lady Bian for quite sometime. Before Cao Cao’s wedding, Yuan Shao wanted to purchase Lady Bian, but Cao Cao said to give the money to him. However, when Cao Cao purchased her, he also proposed marriage to her. So Yuan Shao can only bite his finger when he read a wedding invitation from Cao Cao. Money stolen, girl stolen, Yuan Shao had been nurturing that feeling of vengeance for a very long time, and right now the time for revenge has come and his vendetta can be fulfilled.
Right now, Yuan Shao quickly allocated his 100,000 troops to become naval troops as well 150,000 troops as archers to shoot Cao’s Army fleet. Who in their right mind want to resist such easy merit? 70,000 Cao troops vs 250,000 Yuan troops. Even a child could know who would win.
“I’VE GOT IT!!!!” Exclaimed Ju Shou while jumping on his feet, tumbling his table and the other table, scattering food on the floor. Hrm, what the hell is Guangping doing?! Thought Yuan Shao while his brow is knitted very hard. This act of throwing food is an act enough to warrant for death in times of war, especially in Cao Cao’s camp, where he doles out slow slicing to anyone who throws food. However, since Yuan Shao’s mood is very good right now, he just stay silent and goes out of tent after he already dressed. I’ve got it, I’ve got it!!! Muttered Ju Shou. He wanted to report his findings to his lord, but alas, it is already too late for all of them already preparing to sortie, also preventing Yuan Shao to go sortie at this point is fatal to Ju Shou, so he just shook his head, lamenting this certain loss. Ju Shou had been paying attention to Cao Cao the most since he is inducted into Yuan Shao’s army. He did not pay attention to most of warlords as in Ju Shou’s opinion, they are just waiting for their slow death. Now, we will elaborate a little on what Ju Shou had found out. Ju Shou thought So that is it, that is why Cao Army just doing defense all this time. IT IS BECAUSE HE FOUND A STRATAGEM OR APPARATUS TO DESTROY OUR ARMY. He got a whole heap of strategists and got Liu Ye, the genius inventor, at his beck and call. This will end really bad for our army. Ju Shou then took a deep breath and exhaled dejectedly.
And as always, Ju Shou’s prediction is correct again. Cao Army’s fleet was lead by Cao Cao himself and bringing a sure-kill weapon. Each of ships got 2-3 ballistae installed. Although Cao Cao got an excellent weapon, he is still nervous, his hand is holding the hilt of his Sword of Heaven and trembling. Guo Jia then approached Cao Cao and said “Milord, don’t you worry too much. These weapons will definitely work and our army will win big time!!! Jia is willing to bet his life for this!!! Milord, Yuan Benchu is an arrogant man, he is a person who will dismiss good advice out of his ego. Jia had no doubt that Yuan Benchu knows about ballistae, but he is too proud to inquire further. That is the very reason Jia is confident, we will win this battle. We got the element of surprise this time.” Guo Jia then finished by beating his chest, showing his confidence. Hearing Guo Jia’s words, made Cao Cao regained his confidence again and said “Fengxiao, you are correct. We shall win this battle and this battle will decide that the victor is to become king and the loser is to become a bandit.
One by one, Yuan Shao launched his naval force, and slowly all of 100,000 naval troops are ready for showdown. Cao Cao dispatched only 30,000 troops in this battle and most of them are ballistaes operators. 30,000 troops vs 100,000 troops, it should be logical that 30,000 troops are pissing in their pants right now, but when they look at Cao Cao’s absolute confidence expression, they all know that this battle is 100% on their side. While Cao Army is calmer, the Yuan Army is restless. They cannot wait to obtain easy merit.
Cao Cao then goes to the edge of his ship and shouted “Brother Benchu, are you there?!” Yuan Shao then responded “Hahaha, Cao Aman. It’s been a long time!! You still energetic as always!!!” Yuan Shao had positioned himself above Cao Cao as he is certain to be the victor of this war, so now, he belittle Cao Cao.
“RUDE OAF!!!” Exclaimed Xu Chu angrily. Cao Cao is THE PRIME MINISTER of Han, and this oaf, although he had title of Grand Commandant, he still must respect Cao Cao as his title is higher than him. Cao Cao then waved his hand toward Xu Chu and said while smiling “Enough, Zhong Kang. fall back!!!” This time, Cao Cao just swallow his anger for he need to be calm down now. Cao Cao then replied “Yes, brother Benchu. Aman still energetic like always. Aman sees that brother Benchu still not change, naturally Aman will stay the same!!!” Yuan Shao then laughed and sneered “Hahaha!!! Cao Aman, oh Cao Aman. Your tongue is still really smooth, eh. This big bro of yours heard that you dispatched 30,000 troops. You managed to put out 100 warships so magnificently, this big bro of yours really impressed.” Cao Cao then humbled and said “No, no. Aman is more impressed with brother Benchu’s army, all 100,000 troops dispatched magnificently!!!”
“Oh Cao Aman, for what reason must you bring your people here? Is not it shameful to see their lord beaten like a naughty boy by this big bro of yours?!” Yuan Shao spoke as if Cao Cao is a naughty boy. Cao Cao then fought back and smiled sinisterly “Hahaha… Brother Benchu, is not the weather hot these days? Mengde’s visit here, is to invite brother Benchu to swim together in this Yellow River. Cool our head together!” Yuan Shao then stopped smiling and thought This little man, actually have the audacity to tell me to die in this river? I will show him his place this time and replied “Well, Cao Mengde, I hope you prepare your coffin as well, for you will drown in this place as well!!!!” Then he returned to his castle in his flagship. Cao Cao then replied “Well, come and get me, brother Benchu!!!” While taunting him by taking out his tongue and his eyes is flashing killing intent nonstop. Yuan Shao then commanded “ALL ARMY, BEAT DRUM, WE MARCH!!!” Followed by drum. He must kill this Cao Cao, he had been a thorn at his side since they are teenagers. Cao Cao also exclaimed the same command while muttered “Oh brother Benchu, you are agitated by that sentence alone, you are not worthy to be my opponent. This battle is mine!!!” Then Cao Cao roused morale of his soldiers “All soldiers, do not fret. This battle is ours!!!” Then all of his soldiers responded “THIS BATTLE IS OURS!!!!” Then the first decisive battle of Yuan Army vs Cao Army begin.
At the north, a big decisive battle erupted, while in the south, a similar battle will erupt in just a few moments. Right now, Fledgling Phoenix’s fleet is around Shouchun’s Naval HQ vicinity which was also taken over by Liu Mang. This HQ was built by Yuan Shu and although was abandoned for a long time, it is not in a state of unrepairable, therefore Liu Mang ordered a quick restoration and installed many of defense maneuvers and stationed Black Flag here to guard.
In Naval HQ, Liu Mang can be seen discussing with a scholar as they need to create battleships immediately, Liu Mang then pointed out to the blueprint on the table “Look, sir. I want the new battleship to be more efficient than before. Therefore, we remove the castle. The only thing that is left behind is only the crow’s nest and sail.” The scholar replied with doubtful tone “Milord, the castle also served as a balance, will the ship not tumble?!” Liu Mang then smiled and said patiently “Ziyang, this ship is the latest design. See, I add a pole here. This one is called the keel and this is what we need to reach the balance you are questioning. I also add rudder for maneuver. However, if you are asking its effectiveness, you should build it first and we can revise it afterwards if it is still not satisfactory to you!” Hmmm….. Liu Ye hold his chin. This Liu Ye, is the same Liu Ye who fled from Cao Cao’s camp. He arrived in Hefei while holding job advertisement ad, that he obtained on the road. Early chapters we had established that Liu Mang’s job advertisement had offended all nobles, and logically speaking, Liu Ye should be offended too right? No, Liu Mang’s act did not offend Liu Ye at all, instead it invigorate him as now he is able to show his talent to this nation.
When Liu Mang still in heated discussion, suddenly a messenger came and reported “Report to General, numerous enemy has been sighted at Shouchun Naval HQ vicinity. Request for general’s instruction!” Hrm… Liu Mang’s brow knitted hard. That Liu Bei is really restless and hasty, I want to know what he is going to hit me with Thought Liu Mang and proceeded to go outside of tent.