Chapter 221 - Wolves offer sheeps warfare 1
Chapter 221 Wolves offer sheeps warfare (1)
Translated by Gamer @ endlessfantasytranslations.com
Jiangdong, Huiji started to make large movements. Meanwhile, Anhui and Jingzhou were also not idle. Kuai Liang was quite happy as he had made a good deal! Not only did he rescue Huang She but he also managed to obtain the ballistae. Although it was not the blueprint, it does not matter. The important thing is that he managed to obtain 22 warships from the Lu Bu’s Army. They would need time if they were to go back and make the ballistae. However, he now has ships that could be deployed immediately.
Another important thing is the Lu Bu’s Army gave him the information that they do not want to be on the Yangtze River. Kuai Liang assumed this as to the reason they sold the warships. The Lu Bu’s Army is going north and not south!
North is the place where Cao Cao and Yuan Shao are fighting at. It is at the Central Plains. These two are not people that Liu Biao wants to fight against. Now that Lu Bu is going north, Lu Bu would clear out the threat for him.
Kuai Liang also believed that they hated each other. Lu Bu chased Yuan Shao out of Hebei and Cao Cao chased Lu Bu out of Xuzhou. Lu Bu also gave everybody the impression of someone who seeks revenge. This is why Kuai Liang believed everything Lu Bu had said.
The warships and Huang She was sold for 50,000 gold and 6,000 craftsmen! However, Kuai Liang felt that it was worthit as Jingzhou was now more powerful than Jiangdong. The gold can be obtained from selling salt and iron. Jingzhou’s navy also had more than 15,000 craftsmen. After deducting 6,000 craftsmen, they still had 9,000 craftsmen! The Lu Bu’s Army now had 6,000 craftsmen and was still less than Jingzhou! If Lu Bu needed craftsmen for ships to go to Shouchun and fight with Old Cao, why not do it?
Jingzhou had to pay Zhang Xiu of Wancheng to fight with Cao Cao. Now there are people who wants to fight with Cao Cao without being paid any money. Why would they not be happy? Kuai Liang wants to go back and tell Liu Biao to cut off the support money to Zhang Xiu. There was barely any progress despite the amount of money and provisions used up. There was also news that Zhang Xiu wanted to surrender to Cao Cao. However, Cao Cao took Zhang Xiu’s aunt as a concubine and angered Zhang Xiu. Otherwise, Wancheng should belong to Cao Cao now.
(TN: Zhang Xiu was also the one who made the surprise attack on Cao Cao, which caused the death of Dian Wei.)
The supported provided all these years might end up raising a hungry wolf instead.
“Brother Zi Rou, after we part today, we do not know when we might meet again!” Yang Hong smiled in a way that seemed sad. Yang Hong was very good in acting otherwise he would not be able to stay in Yuan Shu’s good graces.
(TN: Zi Rou is the courtesy name if you didn’t already know. No, his courtesy name is not Subzero.)
“Brother Yang Hong, do not say that, this time I will go back and inform my Lord. There is a chance for me to come back here to sign an alliance contract. At that time, we will meet again. When that time comes, Brother Yang Hong, be sure to receive me!” Kuai Liang has completed his objective and was in a good mood. He became intimate with Yang Hong as both completed their profitless business transaction and build relationships.
“Worry not Brother Zi Rou. At that time, Yang Hong will certainly welcome you!” Yang Hong pretended to be sad but was actually very happy. Alliance? Impossible! Our Lord Lu Bu is anxiously hoping that you two will kill each other. Also, the alliance is just to scare off our lovable Little Conqueror!
“I will take my leave here!” Kuai Liang said as he boarded the warships. The ships were originally Gan Ning’s ship. They were now flying Jingzhou’s flags. The troops inside were also Jiangxia troops and the ballistae were already prepared. Gan Ning’s navy also showed the Jingzhou Navy how to use the ballista. The Jingzhou Navy also had talented soldiers who mastered the use of the ballista in 1 or 2 days.
“Master Zi Rou, we are ready to set sail!” A Jingzhou navy general came over to Yang Hong and Kuai Liang and cupped his fist. The anchor was already pulled up and the sails were already open. The ship was ready to leave Anhui City. This general’s name is Deng Long. He was one of Huang Xu’s generals. Although not as good as Gan Ning and Su Fei, he was still a rare water general. The guards that came over was Deng Long’s navy.
“We shall meet again!” Kuai Liang nodded his head and slowly left the shore. After they were gone, Yang Hong started to smile again.
Yang Hong knows that Jingzhou has dispatched their navy to take the twenty ships is not to become familiar with the ships but to go to Jiangxia from the other side and set Zhou Yu’s back on fire. With the power of the ballistae, Zhou Yu would take severe losses and when the battle escalates further, it would be easier for Lu Bu’s Army to finish them off.
Chen Gong’s stratagem was to use Lujiang and Yangzhou as a foothold, and to leave a few neighbours. These neighbours should not be allied with or offended. Weapons can be sold to the neighbours to help them fight better. Since Yangzhou is in the middle of the battlefield, it is not good to help anybody. If Lu Bu has helped Liu Biao to defeat Sun Ce, Lu Bu would have the strongest navy and would not want to hand over Jiangdong. That would cause their alliance to stop. The Jingzhou navy was also big and would be able to block Lu Bu’s way. Besides that, Lu Bu would also need to worry about Cao Cao.
Help Sun Ce? That was even worse. Liu Biao is a sheep and Sun Ce is a wolf. The sheep has horns that can hurt you but would never kill you! However, the wolf was different. The wolf is a carnivorous creature that eats meat. By helping Sun Ce, Sun Ce would attack Lujiang after defeating Liu Biao to obtain Lujiang as a springboard to fight at the Central Plains. The Lu Bu’s Army and the Sun Ce’s Army also still have hatred with each other.
The most important thing is that the Lu Bu’s Army needs time to build the army. Time was needed to recruit soldiers and train them. Gan Ning would also need new recruits. Although they have their secret weapon, the quality of the soldiers was still terrible.
In politics, there needs to be a stable environment. The stable environment was needed to obtain provisions. If there are insufficient provisions, soldiers could not be sent to war. The Lu Bu’s Army urgently needs time. Even Jiangdong, Jingzhou and Cao Cao has sufficient protection at their rear. For example, the Jiangdong Army has lost 100,000 soldiers at Anhui but they can still go back to Jiangdong and mobilize another 100,000 soldiers. This was not something Lu Bu is able to do.
At the government office of Anhui, a strong looking general was looking straight at Liu Mang.
Liu Mang drank a cup of tea, while eating snacks and reading a book. The books were brought from Liu Mang’s and had a lot of knowledge within it. Liu Mang was someone who studied finance and tries to understand the contents of the books by exploring and imitating paragraphs (TN: The long and fancy way of saying self-study). Liu Mang then raised his head and looked at the general.
“Why are you angry!” Liu Mang looked at Gan Ning and laughed. The Gan Ning that was like a water dragon and a big headache for Sun Ce, was glaring at Liu Mang like an offended wife for two hours.
“I do not dare!” Gan Ning quickly said but his expressions betrayed him. His mouth was stiff and had eyes that seemed to say ‘You owe me money!’
“Hahaha” Liu Mang almost could not recognize Gan Ning. This Gan Ning was a rebellious figure. Even at Jiangxia, he dared to talk back to Huang Zu’s son Huang She. In the original history, he did not even give face to Lu Meng. At that time, Lu Meng was Gan Ning’s superior. Gan Ning was pleaded by his superior to not kill the family servants. Gan Ning made that promise but went and killed them anyway. Lu Meng got angry and send soldiers to kill Gan Ning. However, Gan Ning shamelessly played dead.
(TN: Giving someone face does not necessarily mean respect. It is just that you do not embarrass the other person by making them feel guilty/wronged/stupid/etc. A bad example is if you had a terrible teacher who you hated and do not respect, at the same time, you would (probably) not announced to the world that said teacher farted an explosion on w/e date.)
This is Gan Ning is the same person! “Just say it! Speak out all of the dissatisfaction or else you will suffocate!” Liu Mang said with a smile. He knows that Gan Ning was not a person who could not hide his words. If he was not allowed to vent his anger, there is no telling what would happen.
“ I, I do not understand why Little Lord gave the warships away to the Jiangxia Navy!” Gan Ning spoke with a questioning tone. If it was anybody else, they would have jumped up and scolded Gan Ning for questioning his superior or accused him with the intention of rebelling. If this was done towards Huang Zu, he would be beheaded immediately. However, Liu Mang knows about Gan Ning’s temper. If it was not because of Su Fei’s help, Gan Ning would have died many times to Huang Zu.
The reason for Gan Ning’s unhappiness is because of the warships. Originally, there were not enough warships for his navy after Lu Bu increased the number of troops in his navy to 12,000. Now Liu Mang gave away all the warships to Liu Biao. Gan Ning is now questioning if his navy should go to war on rafts instead.
“Weren’t those warships exchanged for craftsmen?” Liu Mang knows that the twenty warships was exchanged for 6,000 craftsmen. Now, Lu Bu’s Army has 10,000 craftsmen. These were all people with talents and the steady supply of warships is worth more than 20 warships.
“But the craftsmen cannot immediately build ships. Even the towered ships would take 6 months to build!” Gan Ning knows that having craftsmen is good but time was needed to build ships. Right now, the craftsmen have not even finished building the shipyard in Shouchun.
“Who says I want to build those towered ships!” Liu Mang said. Towered ships? Are you joking? That kind of ships were more of an ornamental boat! It can only travel along the river and it was used as a warship? If there is a heavy storm, the ship would immediately capsize at the river. Not to mention the ocean! The definition of navy(水军) for Liu Mang is the navy (海军)!
(TN: Referring to waterborne troops of ancient time, and navy of modern times.)
The two different types of navies were completely different things. One is meant for inland sailing with calm waves while the other could even sail the rough ocean waters. Liu Mang would not waste money to construct more calm water navies.
“What else if not towered ships?” Gan Ning was confused. At that period, the strength of the navy was defined by their towered ships. The bigger the towered ships, the stronger they are!
“See for yourself!” Liu Mang laughed and showed Gan Ning a blueprint. A large figure of a warship was on the blueprint. The figure on the blueprint was a sailing warship.
(TN: The ‘sailing warship’ 风帆战舰 has 3-5 floors including the deck. The general structure is similar to the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Carribean except that may be bigger. )
It was not flat like the traditional towered ship but had a more triangular structure that could reduce water resistance and would also be able to travel in the ocean. On the other hand, the towered ships were so easily capsized that even the Jiangdong Army knew not to rely on it too much and made many smaller warships.
This sailing warship was able to hold up to 500 tons and it was only Liu Mang’s first experimental ship! If it is able to set sail at the river, it would also be able to travel the oceans. The towered ships of the 3 Kingdoms period may be big but there were too many structures on it. As a result, the amount of load it could carry was small. In comparison, Liu Mang’s ship could carry more load.
The sailing ship that Liu Mang showed were Galleons. (TN: Say that earlier you @$^&) The towered ships were tall so that the generals could get a good view of the battle. After the emergence of the ballista that allowed long range battles, the oversized towered ships would only be a target. That is why Liu Mang brought out the Galleon ship.
“Can this ship sail smoothly on the water?” As the bottom of the ship was sharp, the ship may be overturned. This made Gan Ning puzzled.
“This is why we need craftsmen to build and experiment it!” The most important part of the Galleon is the keel. Unlike flatboats, the keel is a sharp part at the middle of the bottom of the ship. It is equivalent to the spine. It increases the longitudinal strength of the ship and improves its ability to withstand storms. It is an essential part for ships to travel the ocean.
The keel was not something that can be built just by saying it. Although Liu Mang has the information, there is still a need to conduct experiments. If it was successful, the ocean would also become a place for Gan Ning’s navy. If they were able to travel the ocean, the Galleon would become an extremely great thing.
“Xingba. Do you still want your original warships?” Liu Mang smiled at Gan Ning. The Galleon’s overall abilities were at least 2 times better than the towered ships. It is better at both speed and attack. One was created at 200 A.D while the other is created at 1600 A.D. The difference in era was extremely long.
“Don’t want it!” Gan Ning believed that if the blueprint in Liu Mang’s hands became a reality, the Lu Bu’s Army would really become the strongest in the water. The blueprint states that if this warship was built, it would be able to hold up to 30 ballistae. Each side of the ship would be able to hold 15! This was an amazing concept. One of this ship was equal to 6 towered ships. However, Gan Ning remembered his problem. “Little lord! You have forgotten. Without any ships, how are we supposed to train the recruits!?”
“Aiya!” Liu Mang was dumbfounded and responded like this. Liu Mang constantly reminded himself to sell off the warships to Liu Biao so that Liu Biao would destroy Zhou Yu while Jiangdong was still building the ballistae. They would then want to take revenge and the battle would escalate. He also remembered to take the land route to Shouchun as the water route may cause misunderstandings with Jiangdong.
As a result, Liu Mang had forgotten that he would not be able to train the navy without warships! This is really bad! Liu Mang clutched his head and in order to prevent himself from embarrassment, he smiled and revealed a mysterious expression. “You will find out next time Xing Ba. Go back!”
“Oh!” Gan Ning nodded and left.
Liu Mang really had a headache as he watched Gan Ning leave. What to do now?