Pang Tong brought down a woman that was wearing armor from the carriage. She struggled with hands tied with ropes.
“Let me go!” The woman struggled but it was in vain as there were two powerful soldiers by her side.
“Zilong. Have you ever seen the Lord’s wife?” Xu Shu asked as he looked at the woman below.
“Military Advisor. We were both stationed here the moment we joined. How could either of us have seen her before?” Zhao Yun laughed bitterly and shook his head. In fact, Zhao Yun joined up a little bit later than Xu Shu. When Xu Shu already pledged his loyalty to Liu Mang, Zhao Yun was still being contained by Liu Mang in the camp. The only people that could have seen Lu Lingqi before were the Urban Army soldiers that had been transferred to the White Horses. However, none of them could recognize her. The woman’s appearance was in such a sloppy state that they could not recognize her even with the telescope. It was as though she had just came back from a long trek.
“Military Advsior, our Lord’s wife is a very determined person. If she is captured…” One soldier started.
Xu Shu nodded in understanding. Lu Lingqi would rather die than be used by Liu Bei. He decided to test this woman.
“People on the walls! Do not care about me! You must not let my husband’s city fall into Liu Bei’s hands!” Suddenly, evaluating her became hard again.
Pang Tong had obtained the information of Lu Lingqi’s character and displayed them one by one to Xu Shu.
“Ha!” The woman suddenly broke free and knocked down the two guards. She grabbed a spear and tried to break out.
“Good martial skills!” Zhao Yun saw what happened below. Liu Bei’s Army moved in to arrest her again but the woman killed about three people. Zhao Yun could see that the woman was good at martial arts.
“Little girl, come and fight this Zhang!” As the woman tried to escape, Zhang Fei stopped her. No matter what, a woman would definitely be no match for a man like Zhang Fei and she was quickly captured.
“Milady!” Zhao Yun became anxious. He already treated that woman below the city as Liu Mang’s wife and wanted to go down and save her. However, Xu Shu stopped him.
“Military Advisor! That is definitely Milady!” Zhao Yun felt confident of this fact because there were not many women that were good at martial arts. During ancient times, a woman’s virtue was to have no talents. They would not learn martial arts and nobody would instruct them even if they tried. This woman’s martial prowess was almost at the level of a general. It was not extremely good but it was already amongst the top for women.
“Do not worry. They will not hurt Milady.” Xu Shu also started to believe that the woman below was Lu Lingqi. If Liu Bei wanted to obtain Shouchun by using her, he would make sure that she is not hurt. Sure enough, Zhang Fei tied her up and pushed her back into the carriage without any further actions.
“What do you think about this?” Pang Tong smiled as he asked his friend on the city walls.
Before Xu Shu could speak, Zhao Yun cursed in anger. Zhao Yun was a person that usually would not curse but he could no longer hold it in on that day. “Despicable and shameless villain! How dare you use a woman to threaten us! Come and attack Shouchun if you got guts! Liu Bei Liu Xuande! I once believed you were a benevolent and righteous person but it looks like I was wrong! You are a despicable villain!” Even though Zhao Yun had joined Liu Mang’s Army, he had still held Liu Bei in high esteem. At Xuzhou, they were so close that they even slept together. At that time, Liu Bei was Zhao Yun’s idol that worked strenuously for the Han. However, Liu Bei now held a woman hostage, threatening her family, just for one city.
Pang Tong paid Zhao Yun no attention as he knew that only Xu Shu had any authority. Liu Bei felt ashamed but that feeling slowly disappeared when he thought of how Zhao Yun was helping his enemy.
“Pang Shiyuan. Are you not afraid that others would ridicule your Lord?” Xu Shu intended to place pressure on Pang Tong using righteousness. However, it was obvious that Pang Tong now intended to complete his objective by any means possible.
“Haha. The other would ridicule? What are they going to ridicule us about? You lost your Lord’s wife, we set out to help you find her! We then took care of her for you as we wait for your Lord to claim her back. What is there for anyone to ridicule? Xu Shu, you are simply going to be so thankful that you will give us Shouchun as a present!” Pang Tong’s words reversed black to white. It was obvious he wanted Shouchun in exchange for ‘Lu Lingqi’.
“You!” Xu Shu no longer knew what to say to his friend and furrowed his brows at the contradiction.
Liu Mang had placed him in charge of Shouchun before leaving. Not only did he have Shouchun but he also has half of Yangzhou. However, the lack of troops caused a few cities to surrender. This made Xu Shu feel ashamed. This was why he wanted to protect Shouchun with his life. If Liu Bei attacks, he was not afraid of destroying their hopes of capturing the city. However, Liu Bei now used a hostage to threaten him. This placed Xu Shu in a predicament. He would abandon his own family for Liu Mang were they the ones taken hostage. However, the hostage now was Liu Mang’s wife.
Keeping hold of Shouchun was necessary for Liu Mang’s great cause. It was also obvious that Liu Bei was in a hurry to capture Shouchun. There had to be some changes or else Pang Tong would not use this strategy as this method would bring Liu Bei infamy.
However, keeping Shouchun would mean a risk to Lu Lingqi’s life. Liu Bei could use an excuse to execute Lu Lingqi. As Liu Mang’s subject, he needed to ensure her safety. Besides that, this woman was also Lu Bu’s daughter. She was the bridge between the Lu Bu’s Army and Liu Mang’s Army. If she were to die, both armies would end up going separate ways even if they managed to defend Shouchun. Her death would also cause Xu Shu to no longer have any face to stay in Liu Mang’s Army. It was a difficult choice where either one would make them lose too much.
Cold sweat began to appear on Xu Shu’s head. “Pang Shiyuan. Give me a day’s time. I will give you a reply after one day.” Xu Shu could not make such a decision at this time. His mind was in a mess.
“Who has so much time to wait for you? Quickly give us this city or else!” Zhang Fei shouted coldly towards the wall. His threat was overwhelming.
“Third General, fall back!” Pang Tong stopped Zhang Fei and then smiled at Xu Shu. He also knew he could not excessively force Xu Shu to surrender. If Xu Shu refused to surrender, his entire strategy would be finished.
“Yuanzhi. The both of us are friends. The both of us should not be facing each other but we have to do so for our Lords. However, my favour is still there. You have one day. If you do not surrender by tomorrow, at this hour, we will attack!” Pang Tong gave Xu Shu a day to think. If Xu Shu still refused to surrender, he would kill Lu Lingqi and then attack the city. What Pang Tong wanted was for Xu Shu to be thinking rationally. A rational thinking Xu Shu would know what to do.
“Thank you Shiyuan.” Xu Shu replied coldly. He then took his subordinates down the walls for a rest. With troops guarding the walls and Pang Tong’s trump card, there would not be a battle that day.
“Military Advisor. How could you let him off?” Zhang Fei could not understand. When would they take Shouchun if not today?
“Third General. You must know that in some occasions, we cannot push too hard.” Pang Tong shook his head and left, leaving Zhang Fei to his headache.
“Milord, we would be able to obtain Shouchun tomorrow.” Pang Tong understood Xu Shu’s character. The man was unparalleled but his loyalty was his weakness.
“Teacher, I have troubled you.” Liu Bei was full of joy. Although not being able to take Shouchun on that very day was regretful, there was no harm in waiting out one more day.
“Milord, we must really thank this Miss Sun1.”
“Definitely! Hahaha!” Liu Bei was happy as Yangzhou was about to be his. He was about to become the hegemon for the Central Plains.