Chapter 281 – Field Operations Outside the City
Field Operations Outside the City
There was a loud sound. Interrupting Hao Shao’s thoughts was the fact that the walls did not shake. Instead, the ram below the wall were smashed by a rock dropped by the soldiers on the wall.
With two wheels scattered to the side and the huge rock blocking the way, Hao Shao’s Army has earned themselves a bit more time.
Rocks? Hao Shao looked at the pieces of rocks below the city and mumbled to himself. It was a large millstone. In ancient times, flour is made by a family’s own millstone. As Yangzhou was once a bustling city, it had a lot of millstones. However, large millstones like that could only be found in the noble families. After all, the poor would not have that much food to grind into flour.
“Move it away! Move it away!” Liu Pi’s Army’s commander shouted from below. The ram was smashed but they had dozens more in reserve. Having two break down was not a problem. What he needed to do was remove the rocks blocking the way.
“Use large rocks to smash it?” Hao Shao frowned. The effect was good. The earlier rock had smashed the ram. If they threw another one, the third ram would be smashed.
Hao Shao’s problem now was that he did not have so many of the huge rocks. Most of the rocks and wood were smaller than the millstone earlier and were of no use. Those could only injure people and could not even kill. Those small rocks could not even make those soldiers wearing heavy armor to spit out blood. As for the large rocks of similar size to the millstones, Hao Shao does have a few. Guangzhou may be small but there were still a few noble families. Hao Shao had found five millstones. After using one, there were only four left.
If they were all thrown out like this, they would only destroy a few rams. Just like how the huge rocks were lost after destroying the earlier rams. At that time, Hao Shao would have no way out.
“How many rocks could we throw? How many rocks do we still have?” Suddenly, Hao Shao had an idea.
“Do not stop throwing rocks and woods down! Prevent the rams from reaching the gates! Bring me those 4 millstones!” Hao Shao loudly shouted at his men.
“Yes general!” Li Er Ye responded loudly.
“Xuan Jian. Find me thick ropes! The thicker the better! The more the better! Also find me large wooden planks! The more the better! Get more manpower!” Hao Shao shouted at the thousand reserve troops.
“Understood!” Xuan Jian did not know what Hao Shao wanted to do but was not negligent. Ropes were not easy to find in the city.
After all, at night when the gates were closed, hanging baskets were used to bring urgent messages up. The body of that basket was definitely thick enough.
“Come up and help me! Tie up these four millstones as soon as possible!” Hao Shao no longer cared if they were reserve troops. If they do not help now, when the city falls, everyone is doomed.
Within a short while, the four millstones were tied up and hanged up by Hao Shao’s order.
“What are the defenders of Guangzhou trying to do?” What are they doing hanging up the millstones? Smash people? It takes a lot of effort to lift that stone and it is hard to hit anyone below the city unless they crowd at a spot. Blocking the road? That is a feasible method but even if you block the gate there is still the walls. How are you going to block such a big area? Hao Shao seemed to be doing something pointless.
Liu Pi then stopped thinking about whether the defenders have become stupid. In his eyes, Guangzhou was at its last. The huge rocks had been cleared and Liu Pi could feel that Guangzhou would not last much longer.
“Lu Bu’s Army is really filled with talents.” Pang Tong sighed as others looked at Hao Shao with disdain. When still studying under Shui Jing at Jingzhou, not many gave Lu Bu attention.
When appraised, Lu Bu was headstrong and ignorant that would sooner or later become dead. The only people they saw and thought of helping were people like Cao Cao, Liu Bei and Sun Ce. Even then, Lu Bu had won half of Yanzhou. He almost destroyed Cao Cao. Even though he captured Xuzhou and had hundreds of thousands of elite troops, nobody had good opinion of Lu Bu. They believed that Lu Bu would have lost Xuzhou. Lu Bu had really lost Xuzhou and was chased away like a dog of a deceased family. He became the laughing stock of the learning institution. They never expected Lu Bu to be like a hidden dragon that shed its skin and seemingly swim across the boundless ocean for a brighter future.
Incorporating Chen Deng’s Guangling Army and replenishing the Formation Breaker and the Wolf Cavalry, the two peaks once again appeared in the turbulent era.
Also appearing were two new troops. One was the Black Flag and the other was the Urban Army. Not only did they become the knife that could kill Sun Ce. They even captured Lujiang. With Lujiang as a springboard, they captured half of Yangzhou.
If this were to continue, Lu Bu would become a powerful warlord. The timing was good. Four powerful groups were fighting. Cao Cao and Yuan Shao were fighting at Guandu. Sun Ce was also fighting against Liu Biao. Lu Bu was really like a talent revealing himself. If this was the case, Pang Tong would become helpless. This is because Lu Bu now had a lot of people under his command such as the strategist Chen Gong and the veterans and powerful warriors, Zhang Liao, Gao Shun and Zang Ba. The newcomers, Xu Sheng, Cheng Yu, Zhao Yun, Yang Hong and Huang Zhong. These were people that Pang Tong knew about. He did not know about his good friend Xu Shu. One example was the general of the small city in front of him. He was just an officer with two thousand men but was better than Liu Pi who was one of the higher ranking generals in Liu Bei’s Army. How was Lu Bu supposed to be fought? On top of that, there was still the Sage King Liu Mang. Pang Tong’s eyes squinted as he thought about Liu Mang.
Fortunately for Pang Tong, Lu Bu had offended too many people. Sun Ce, Cao Cao, Liu Bei, Zhang Xiu and even Liu Biao was trying to get Lu Bu killed.
With Sun Ce heading the alliance, it would be hard for Lu Bu to escape.
As Pang Tong thought of this, the situation on the walls changed. This time, it was not the rams that threatened Guangzhou. Instead, Guangzhou was now a threat to the rams.
Hao Shao hoisted the millstones high. This was so that the millstones would smash the rams. Each stone could only smash a few wheels. One ram has about a dozen wheels. Right now, there were three rams at the gates.
It does not matter. Hao Shao let four of the millstones fall. The millstones smashed and destroyed a ram. It also blocked the other rams. As there was a rope attached, it could be dropped, pulled up and then dropped again. The three rams were quickly destroyed.
“Phew!” Seeing that the three rams were no longer a threat to Guangzhou, Hao Shao took a deep breath to ease his own tension.
“Xuan Jian. Do you dare to go out of the city with me?” Hao Shao looked at the hard fight below the city. The Liu Pi’s Army continued to vainly attack the gates.
“What is there to be afraid of!” This person does not have any fame. His martial prowess and his skills as a commander was also nothing special. However, Hao Shao liked him for two of his points which was obedience and courageous. As he was obedient, Hao Shao could use him as his arms without worry. As he was courageous, he could become a role model as he dared to fight and kill.
“Good! Open the gates! Today, we will counterattack once!” A group of defenders would be dispatched outside the walls, forming like a horn to protect the city. This is also to make the enemy afraid to attack the city. As Guangzhou was a small city, there were little people and those outside were not prepared.
They could only wait for the enemy to attack in Guangzhou and they could not harm the enemy. However, this time, Hao Shao took the initiative to attack.
“General. Can we really fight like this?” One of the commanders was suspicious if they could do it. They had little experience marching and fighting soldiers on the battlefield. They probably did not even know who was the general.
“We will not win!” Hao Shao did not lie as they really could not win. One against one, and they would win. Two against one and they had eighty percent chance of winning. Three against one and it became fifty. Only if he was on the opposite side would he believe he could win when the enemy had five times more.
“We cannot win but we are going out?” Li Er Bu could not understand. Can’t we stay inside the city?
“It is precisely because we cannot win that we have to go out!” Hao Shao replied. The rams below the city were not terrifying. The terrifying one was the heavy armors. It completely ignored all damage from the arrows. Although they could not siege, they could always go back and return with even more rams. Rams were not difficult to make and they also only needed to wrap the wheels of the rams with iron sheets.
If they do not remove those heavy armors, a steady stream of rams may continue to attack. The millstone that Hao Shao used could smash and chase away the three rams but this is only temporary. That method was also easy to defeat. One would just need to go up and then cut the rope tied to the millstone with their sword.
Hao Shao only had four millstones. Once the ropes were cut, he would really have no way to deal with the rams.
In treating illness or in weeding, one must get rid of the roots. Right now, the root of Guangzhou’s problems were the heavy armors. Once the heavy armored soldiers were removed, there would be no more problems. Without any heavy armor to protect themselves, the Liu Pi’s Army would be exposed to Hao Shao’s rain of arrows.
Liu Pi watched his rams get smashed one by one by the millstones in anger. He wanted to have his eight hundred soldiers return to once again build rams to once again attack the city gates. Once those ropes were cut, there would be nothing to stop the rams. Just as he was about to give the order, the gates opened.
“Haha. God is helping me!” Liu Pi was in high spirits. Liu Pi initially does not know what kind of soldiers were the defenders of Guangzhou but now he found out with his eyes opened wide. It was a group of second line troops. The troops were a mess. Liu Pi was not afraid even if there fifty thousand of them. There was a clever moat around the walls which made Liu Pi helpless but now the gates of Guangzhou were open. When he took a closer look, he saw troops assembling there. Is he trying to leave the city and fight? That’s great!
“Haha. Since you want to die, I, Liu Pi, will oblige you!” Liu Pi waved his hand. A group of three thousand appeared. Liu Pi was not stupid. Five thousand men earlier could not open Guangzhou. It was not a lot or little but Liu Pi felt that three thousand was enough because there were also about eight hundred at the gates. Amongst these eight hundred, four hundred were his bodyguards.
“Brothers! Our goal is right ahead! For survival! For fortune! Kill!” Hao Shao shouted. Soldiers rushed out of the gates one by one until they reached about a thousand.
Hao Shao had pulled out the reserve troops.
“Hmph! Hiding in your city like a turtle made your granduncle helpless. But now that you have come out, you can taste your granduncle’s formidable blade!” Leading Liu Pi’s four hundred bodyguards was Zhou Bao. He had followed Liu Pi for a long time.
“Brother’s. Let us show the Lu Bu’s Army that could only hide in cities like turtles how fearsome we, the Yellow Turbans of Yuzhou are!” A bandit was a bandit. Even after becoming part of an army, they still subconsciously consider themselves bandits. Eight hundred of a field army going against one thousand second-rate defenders. The results could be imagined.
“Kill!” The bodyguards raised their swords and rushed to the one thousand soldiers.
“Oh! You dare to counterattack! I was afraid that you would not come!” Hao Shao was the first to bear the brunt of the attack. He sneered as he looked at Liu Pi’s four hundred bodyguards charging at him.
“Kill them all!” Zhou Bao roared and rushed forward. Once they rushed into the Lu Bu’s Army, they experienced a headache. This is because he was not fighting archers or those using swords. Instead, he met with a door plank. They were doors Hao Shao had made Xuan Jian prepare. Most of it were planks from dismantled doorframes and were erected with huge planks of wood. Lu Bu’s Army did not went and engage in melee with Zhou Bao’s group. Four would surround one and block them, causing them to be unable to fight. Although their swords were sharp, they could not cut through the wood.
The four would keep ramming the victim. None was able to withstand it. Although they had armor to protect them from sharp injuries, they could not do anything to impact injuries.
The most important point was that those that followed Zhou Bao’s charge were also tired as they needed to push the rams to the gates. Pushing the rams took a lot of effort. Now when they were blocked, they were unable to struggle.
One by one, the bodyguards spat out blood. They were subjected to internal injuries and were exhausted. One by one, they collapsed.
“Drag them back!” The ones that collapsed had their weapons taken away before being dragged into the city.
“Detestable!” Zhou Bao was now helpless. He was a brave man that thinks highly of his own forces. He was wearing armor but now he was at wits end. He was surrounded by large wooden planks holding him in place. If they were ordinary soldiers, he could still break free but the ones not just Xuan Jian but also Hao Shao. Hao Shao was someone from the Wolf Cavalry and definitely had good martial prowess.
Zhou Bao who was surrounded violently struggled but was eventually knocked out. His sword was taken away before he was dragged into Guangzhou. Over three hundred of the bodyguards were finished off like this.
The remaining four hundred was even more easily dealt with. This is because they were mainly responsible for pushing the rams. They were the stronger men and also wore heavy armors. However, they did not carry weapons to push the rams better. Without any weapons, they had no choice but to surrender when glared at menacingly by Guangzhou’s defenders.
“Kill! Kill! Kill!” At this moment, Liu Pi’s troops of three thousand charged with rising killing intent. Leading the charge was Liu Pi.
Liu Pi’s eyes were like blood. Although those bodyguards were gotten rid off, Liu Pi was not worried. This was because the bodyguards had bought time. The three thousand troops charged over the moat and Hao Shao’s Army would not have time to retreat. Once they engage in melee, he believed that the Yuzhou Yellow Turbans would absolutely be able to swallow the second rate garrison. Most importantly, Liu Pi saw a general amongst the second rate garrison. Looking closely, he could identify that person as the young general that they had talked to. Once that general was captured, Guangzhou would fall.
“Shields!” Hao Shao roared loudly. It was already too late to retreat back into Guangzhou and they could only fight. The wooden plank was lifted up. “Form a line! Snake Formation!” Hao Shao ordered once again. The soldiers were quick as Hao Shao had taught them this before. Besides that, they had been fighting for a while and the recruits grew into half a veteran. They looked at the three thousand rushing over with fear but it was still manageable.
Three hundred were placed side by side on the flat ground. One by one, the defenders raised their shields. Three rows with a total of one thousand men were formed.
Like a surging wave, Liu Pi’s Army crashed onto the raised shields.
The huge impact almost made the shield formation crumble. Fortunately, the soldiers at the back filled up the vacant spots in a timely manner and the formation was not broken.
“Whats the use of using these wooden planks to block us? Hmph. Guangzhou is mine!” Liu Pi shouted in disdain.
“You are Guangzhou’s general?” The two armies clashed and Liu Pi could see Hao Shao’s face as the armies fought. The two of them had never been so close to each other.
“Stop struggling! Guangzhou will definitely be captured! I, the great Liu Pi, will pull out your tendons!”
“Pull out my tendons? Try it if you can!” Hao Shao also laughed coldly when he saw Liu Pi.
*Crack* Some of the wood was unable to hold on and broke. Liu Pi’s Army would not let go of this chance. They slashed at Hao Shao’s troops. As the troops did not wear heavy armor, the slashed went through and it would be difficult to survive. Horrible shrieks could be heard.
“You see! Your battered wood cannot stop us! Be sensible and take your own life here! The great Liu Pi will leave your corpse intact!” The wooden planks were not shields. Shields were made of iron sheets but this was only wood and would easily break.
“Kill myself? Haha. I am afraid the one that should kill himself is you!” Hao Shao lifted his head. The figures that had disappeared once again reappeared. Hao Shao only had two thousand soldiers. He had taken out one thousand. The remaining was left on the walls. Just now, he had captured eight hundred and arrangements needed to be made to avoid trouble. The one thousand soldiers on the walls had been tying up these eight hundreds at that time.
“What!” Liu Pi was stunned and the sound he did not want to hear the most came from the walls.
“Shoot!” Li Eryi gave the order and arrows started to rain down again.
Liu Pi had crossed the moat but he and his three thousand soldiers were obstructed. All three thousand soldiers were exposed to the arrows.