A feeling of unease spread over Hu Che Er’s heart. It was a general’s sixth sense. His feeling of unease made him immediately leaned down onto his horse. He then heard the sounds of large arrows. There were five arrows heading towards his direction.
Two arrows had originally went towards him but missed as Hu Che Er had leaned down. Of the remaining three arrows, the first one struck the Arabian horse in the head. The horse died immediately and the inertia from its movements threw Hu Che Er off. Hu Che Er that fell off became at risk of being trampled by his own men. Even if he was the Deputy General, it would not have been easy to stop the incoming cavalry.However, this also saved Hu Che Er’s life as the remaining two arrows would have hit him had this not happen.
“General!” A Qiang warrior immediately grabbed Hu Che Er. Hu Che Er was also very skilled and was able to mount the man’s horse with the help of a single hand. The two of them would definitely give that horse a lot of pressure. Fortunately, a horse whose rider had been killed, suddenly appeared. Hu Che Er immediately jumped over to the other horse.
“What a pity!” Liu Ye stood at a distance and shook his head. Earlier he had attacked Hu Che Er with five shots but failed to kill him. Liu Mang was afraid of Hu Che Er. Liu Ye had also been influenced by Liu Mang and wanted Hu Che Er dead. This is why he had aimed five shots against Hu Che Er. If the Xiliang Cavalry saw their leader get killed, they would become too afraid to fight.
Although Liu Ye regretted not being able to decide the outcome of the battle immediately, he did not stop and continued to order the firing of the ballista. Fifty ballista fired, bringing along the smell of death.
“Ballista! Ballista!” The Xiliang Cavalry have already seen the might of the ballista. At Shouchun, Xu Shu used twelve ballista to kill more than a thousand of them. Now, there was a total of fifty ballista. Fifty large arrows flew out from each volley. It had powerful penetrating ability that could pierce through ships at three hundred paces away. Now, the Xiliang Cavalry had gathered together at around one hundred paces away.
If both armies were to fight until the end, the Xiliang Cavalry would be extinguished here.
“Phew.” Liu Mang and Huang Zhong breathed a sigh of relief. Liu Ye had truly appeared at the last second and not a moment earlier. He only appeared after seeing that Liu Mang and Huang Zhong were unable to hold out much longer. However, it was worth it as the first volley became very effective.
“Steady the formation!” Liu Mang did not relax. Although the ballista were powerful, they were long range weapons and were extremely fragile in close combat. After all, it was only made from wood. It was just like how Zhang Fei managed to destroy them in a single strike. At close distance, the ballista was no longer powerful and had even less purpose than firewood. This was why Liu Mang wanted to take advantage of the Xiliang Cavalry’s confusion to regroup the troops and reform the Tortoise Formation. Liu Mang also felt his heart ache when he saw the Urban Army troops lying down on the ground. In this short moment, he had already lost half of his troops. Countless of them lay dead on the ground. However, he had no time to feel sad and could only stimulate those that were still alive. The Tortoise Formation now became smaller. However, because of its thickness, it now had better defence. The eyes of his men were filled with rage. Their enemies were before them, their friends lay dead at their feet and the battle had not yet ended. As Liu Ye had saved them, their morale did not drop. On the contrary, it continued to rise.
“Shit! Where did the ballista come from?” Hu Che Er roared as he gnashed his teeth with anger evident in his eyes. He was about to tear apart Liu Mang’s Tortoise Formation but ballista had suddenly appeared. Hu Che Er saw the ground tear open. He never expected fifty ballista to be hiding underground.
“Fall back! Fall back!” Hu Che Er was a calm headed general. He knew that he was in a bad situation as the ballista was shooting endlessly. The heavy armors were useless against the ballista. The ballista was originally only able to intimidate the heavy cavalries but now, Liu Mang’s ballista showed even greater power and were the Xiliang Cavalry’s mortal enemies.
“You want to leave? Impossible!” Liu Ye had placed his own Lord in danger to wait for this moment. Naturally, there was a reason for this. He wanted Hu Che Er to believe that he was winning and go all in like a gambler. Hu Che Er would not only be able to kill Liu Mang but also obtain thousands of the Urban Army’s armor. However, Hu Che Er would not be able to escape so easily after going all in.
The vanguards of the Xiliang Cavalry was now trapped fighting Liu Mang’s Urban Army and was not able to escape. Both Liu Mang and Liu Ye understood that they needed to attract the Xiliang Cavalry and prevent them from leaving.
If Hu Che Er wanted to leave, he would need to leave behind five thousand men which would also be Liu Mang’s victory. Hu Che Er gritted his teeth. He could not afford to lose. He would also be unable to escape if he were to return to Zhang Xiu after losing five thousand of his Xiliang Cavalry. So, Hu Che Er could only continue to fight desperately.
“All units, charge! Kill these Southern barbarians!” Hu Che Er was no longer able to avoid confrontation and decided that he needed to destroy the Tortoise Formation. He and the Xiliang Cavalry would be able to live as long as he could destroy the ballista. There would be no problems as long as they could charge forward. There was nothing left to consider.
“Are you desperate now?” Liu Ye sneered at Hu Che Er. The Xiliang Cavalry was now trapped. Had Hu Che Er chose to retreat, he would lose half of his troops but he would be able to retain some of his troops. However, as he could not afford to lose, he had opened up the possibility of being completely destroyed.
“Milord. The rest is up to you!” Liu Ye would be able to destroy Xiliang Cavalry but he needed time. The only one that could buy him time was Liu Mang and the half annihilated Urban Army. Right now, the Urban Army was acting as the ballista’s city walls and moats. These were what gave them their strength.
“Kill! Kill! Brothers, we are no longer able to retreat! If we can fight our way through, we will live! Otherwise, we die together!” Hu Che Er’s eyes were now red. He was a Qiang. A bloodthirsty existence existed within him. It had been hidden as he had spent a long time in the Han society. Now, this existence had burst out. Hu Che Er firmly held his sword as his horse sped along.
“Kill the Southern barbarians! Protect the General!” It could be said that a general was the fighting soul of the army. Hu Che Er’s commands also caused his subordinates to burst out. They were the Xiliang Cavalry, an existence that had defeated the Wolf Cavalry. They were the largest heavy cavalry in the world.
“Hold out! Hold out!” Liu Mang roared. Hu Che Er was not the only desperate one. Even Liu Mang had been shouting until his voice became hoarse. His eyes had also turned red and was like a cornered rat1. In such a situation, if Liu Mang were to fail, his Urban Army, Liu Ye, and the rest of Yangzhou would be finished. The destruction of the Lu Bu’s Army would also not be far away.
Cornered rat was phrased slightly differently in the raws. To be precise, it had the same meaning but was 4 sentences longer.