Chapter 224 - Zhou Yu defeated 1
Chapter 224 Zhou Yu defeated (1) (TN: I can see the Ending.)
Translated by Gamer@EndlessFantasyTranslations.com
“Mr. Zi Rou, where are we going now?” Although Deng Long’s navy were going upstream, they were elite navies. They moved quickly and proficiently as the soldiers peddled vigorously. They understood the hydrology of the river and knew when to accelerate or to change directions. In less than half a day, they would reach the waters of Jiangxia.
These were Liu Biao’s soldiers and the general in charge was one of Huang Zu’s subordinate, Deng Long. Although the navy belongs to him, he has to listen to Kuai Liang. This is because Kuai Liang’s rank and position is about the same compared to his lord.
Kuai Liang did not answer Deng Long’s question but asked back. “General Deng Long. Are you all already familiar with the ballista on the ship?”
“N?” Deng Long felt uncertain but he still replied. “Zi Rou, it is possible to fight now!” Deng Long was not boasting. The troops under his commands could also do it as the ballista was not difficult to use. All they need to do was aim. This is why Deng Long said that they could fight with it already. If something wrong were to happen, many people would die. Even then, Deng Long said that they were prepared with full confidence.
“Very good!” Kuai Liang asked Deng Long again. “General Deng Long. Do you want to obtain big merits in front of your Lord Huang Zu?”
“Big merits!?” Dong Lao was surprised for a moment. The Jiangxia army was currently being pressured by the Jiangdong Navy. Where was the merit!
“What do you think would happen if we manage to capture Jiangxia and chase away Zhou Yu! Do you think your Lord Huang Zu would value you? At that time, maybe you would even be promoted into a governor.” Kuai Liang continued to tempt Deng Long. He knew that Deng Long was serving under Huang Zu but he also knew that Deng Long has always wanted a higher post. He has ability, otherwise he would not be dispatched by Huang Zu in the first place. Before this, he was inferior to Su Fei and Huang Zhong. That is why he never had much troops to command. Now that Huang Zhong and Su Fei were gone, perhaps Deng Long would succeed. However, Jiangxia was occupied by the Jiangdong Army. Now that his Lord Huang Zu was unable to defend himself, nobody would be able to give him a promotion.
“Mr. Zi Rou, are you asking us to take these warships to do a decisive battle against Zhou Yu?” Deng Long was a bit afraid. However, Zhou Yu was the person who managed to suppress 70,000 soldiers with only 30,000 soldiers until a stalemate.
“Why? Is General Deng Long afraid?” Kuai Liang showed a trace of disdain which was about to become a ridiculing expression.
“It is not that I am afraid!” Deng Long said hastily. Which man was willing to admit that they are afraid or terrified? Before Deng Long could explain, Kuai Liang interrupted him.
“General Deng Long. The Lu Bu’s Army’s Gan Ning. Do you know him?” Kuai Liang asked as he walked to the front of the towered ship.
He looked at the vast Yangtze River. It was a wonderful place that should have belong to Jingzhou. Unfortunately, the river has changed owner.
“Gan Ning!” Deng Long knows this Gan Ning. Gan Ning was under the command of Su Fei as a Minister of War and did not get along well with Deng Long. Deng Long looks down on him because Gan Ning is a thief. However, he also had to admit Gan Ning’s ability as he had been defeated by Gan Ning before. Deng Long was very unhappy!
“Lu Bu’s Army’s Gan Ning, with only 7,000 weak soldiers, defeated 30,000 of the Jiangdong Navy unharmed!” Kuai Liang said. He noticed that Deng Long’s face has turned into disgust. Deng Long’s dissatisfaction told Kuai Liang that not only does Deng Long knew Gan Ning but has even crossed paths with him before. This was what Kuai Liang wanted.
“Mr. Zi Rou!” Before Kuai Liang could finish talking, Dong Leng interrupted him with a red face while breathing heavily. His anger has manifested. “No need to say anymore! I will listen to your commands!” Deng Long also knew that Gan Ning has defeated the 30,000 Jiangdong Navy. However, Deng Long knew that Gan Ning’s navy were not elites like his navy. He was not boasting but half of the troops that Gan Ning brought over from Jiangxia were recruits and were not comparable to Dong Leng’s troops.
“Hahaha, that is my Jingzhou’s fierce warrior! As expected of General Huang’s best warrior!” Kuai Liang was not stingy with praises.
“Mr. Zi Rou has praised me too much!” Deng Long also became happy. It is just a battle! As warriors, it is expected for them to die in battles! Rather than being unable to be promoted, it is better to risk his own life. At the very least he could have a brighter future. If Gan Ning was able to defeat the Jiangdong Army, why couldn’t he? After all, he is now also using the same weapon used by Gan Ning.
“Drop the banner!” Kuai Liang gave out the first command. Deng Long followed the commands without thinking about it too much and both Kuai Liang kept all the banners. Kuai Liang was also a prominent figure as he and his brother both helped Liu Biao to capture Jingzhou.
Unfortunately, Liu Biao lost his fighting spirit and did not want to conquer more new territories. As a result, Kuai Liang has lost a place to make use of his skills. If it was seen properly, the real military advisor would be Kuai Liang and not Cai Mao.
The Jingzhou navy continued on the river but did not return to Jingzhou. They went straight to Zhou Yu’s base at Sanjiangkou.
These days, there would be an outbreak of war every day. The two armies would usually fight at close combat at the Yangtze River. As Jiangxia was at a higher point of the river, dead bodies wearing armor could sometimes be seen floating down the river.
“Is it the Jiangdong navy’s main camp in front?” This was Sanjiangkou. It was not like the Wan Cheng rivers that could only have a temporary naval camp. This was a large base, or in other words, a naval city. Not only is it a place to garrison soldiers but it was also a unique geographical location and had 3 paths.
Kuai Liang could see the banners and the Jiangdong navy. The river was heavily guarded by elites. No one was sleeping and the soldiers were staring at the River. These were the elites under Zhou Yu’s command.
As Kuai Liang could see the Sanjiangkou and the opposing naval force. The lookouts could also see them and felt strange. This fleet did not have any banner. Yet, they already had 20 ships which was enough to be considered a small navy fleet. The lookout decided to report this to the higher authorities as he was unable to identify if the fleet were enemies.
“Outside of Sanjiangkou there is an unidentified fleet!” The message was delivered one by one until it reached the person in charge of guarding, which was Han Dang. This person was the Sun family’s old official that was proficient in horseback archery. As a result, he was appreciated by Sun Jian and was always taken along for expeditions. He broke through enemy lines and captured the enemy many times until he was promoted into a Minister of War. He also provided help in conquering Jiangdong. He was already at a refinement stage since he served Sun Jian and although he became old, his strength has not decreased.
After he heard that there was an unknown fleet, Han Dang quickly rushed towards the naval base. He glanced at the fleet and saw over 20 ships. The ships slowly approached the Sanjiangkou. “These warships?” Han Dang looked at the warships that did not have any identification mark. It was not the Jiangdong Navy. It was also not the Jingzhou Navy’s ship as the Jingzhou Navy’s camp was upstream while these ships came from downstream.
Han Dang thought to himself. Could these be the Lu Bu’s Army’s warships?
“Are these not the Lu Bu’s Army’s warships?” One officer beside him looked at Han Dang and asked.
“Lu Bu’s Army warships? Are you sure?” Han Dan asked back. Is it those that send Jiang Qin’s ships into the bottom of the river?
“General Han Dang. I am sure!” The officer nodded his head. He could not be wrong. The ships came from downstream and this officer was also one of the few in charge of patrolling the area during the negotiations. He saw Gan Ning’s Navy and was afraid that Gan Ning came to fight.
“It must be that disgraced Slave-with-three-surnames which is why the banner was not raised!” Han Dang showed disdain. His impression of Lu Bu has always been bad. His old lord Sun Jian and new lord Sun Ce has both been defeated by Lu Bu before. Han Dang was a person who considered those fighting against the Jiangdong Army as a bad person.
“General. Do you see those huge things on the warships!?” The officer pointed at the ballistae wraped in black cloth. “That weapon was something only the Lu Bu’s Navy has. It was the reason General Jiang Qin was completely defeated.
He patrolled at Huangzhou and even saved a few of the soldiers who fell in the Yangtze River and helped them escaped. He also heard from them that the ballista was able to shoot through the towered ships causing it to sink.
“The ballistae!” Han Dang was also a Sun Ce’s Army’s officer and naturally knew what the ballista is. “Hmph! What is the Slave-of-three-surnames doing here? Is he trying to show off his strength!?”
Han Dang was very unhappy. The Lu Bu’s Army and the Sun Ce’s Army were at a truce right now. It is impossible for Gan Ning to appear now and open hostilities. The Lu Bu’s Army would definitely follow the rules which means that this was just swaggering. “What are you showing off for! After a few days, we would also have ballistae!” Han Dang has learned about this from Zhou Yu. Jiangdong has obtained the blueprints for the ballista and has already begun constructions. The first one was already completed and they were just waiting for it to be transported with the other shipments. As they are in the front lines, all the materials needed to be given to them. When Han Dang obtained the ballista, he would use Gan Ning’s navy as a target practice. At worst, they would just pay gold as compensation for the accidental shot.
“This must definitely be Gan Ning’s navy!” Another officer spoke up. He has fought Gan Ning before when Gan Ning was less known. However, he made a shocking battle after he went under Lu Bu’s command. Gan Ning was the Jin Fan Zei which is why he likes to be on the warship using cloth to decorate the ship and also a bell. The ringing bell was the sign of Gan Ning appearing.
Kuai Liang’s ship had the cloth and the bell because Gan Ning did not manage to take it away in time. It was now mistaken as Gan Ning’s navy would be a pleasant surprise for the JIngzhou’s Navy.
“General, the soldiers are becoming restless.” Every day, Zhou Yu’s Navy and the Jingzhou’s Navy were fighting. Both parties were trying to attack each other’s weakness. Otherwise, it would be too costly as the amount of provisions needed would be more and it would take a long time for the transportation to arrive. Sun Ce could not give up half of Jiangxia. The Jingzhou Navy also could not allow the Jiangdong navy to swallow up the city. As a result, there is a deadlock. The consumption of forage every day was a lot as the soldiers need to prepare for war. Proper ratiosn were given to those in the Jiangdong’s army as yhe first was to prepare for war while the second purpose was to boost morale. Compared to them, the Jingzhou Navy’s morale was extremely low after fighting for so long. They were pretty much defeated by now.
In a little while, it would be time to leave the camp to do battle with the Jingzhou Navy. Now that there are so many ships, the soldiers were restless. Even then, they could not attack as there was a truce. If a war broke out, Zhou Yu would be the one suffering as he had no ballista yet. It made the navy very uncomfortable as it felt like there was someone else monitoring them. Their formation may also be broken because of this.
Han Dang frowned. This was also a problem and so he opened his mouth. “Afraid of what!” Han Dang waved his hand. “In the end they are just an additional spectator! Show them the strength of our Jiangdong elite navy and crush their spirits!” Han Dang ignored the spectators. Why not let you see it! Since you want to see, we will show you the difference between your Lu Bu’s Navy and our Jiangdong’s Navy and make you ashamed of yourselves!
“Yes!” Each of them went down and prepared themselves. The naval camp of the Sanjiangkou opened its doors and the warships came out. These were Zhou Yu’s navy. They were elites. Each of them were standing at the warships energetically. They then glared at what they thought was Gan Ning’s navy with provoking expressions full of disdain. They are a group of piranhas that have their own self-confidence. They are the overlord of the Yangtze River! Jiang Qin’s defeat was just luck!
“As expected of Zhou the Handsome Youth!” Kuai Liang watched the ships come out from the naval camp. The morale of the soldiers was extremely high. No wonder they could cause so much trouble to the Jingzhou’s Navy! Although the Jingzhou’ Navy were also elites, they did not have such ferocious fighting spirit. As an army, without sufficient spirit, they could only be elite at best but could never be trump cards. The Jingzhou Navy’s loss of spirit was his lord’s fault! The old and dying man would not have any drive to fight! The ship distribution was also excellent and the distance between each ship was also the same!
“Mr Zi Rou!” Deng Long went to Kuai Liang’s side. To be honest, Deng Long’s palms were already sweating. The camp in front was the Sanjiangkou. If the Jiangdong Navy surrounded them, they would be finished. On the other hand, Kuai Liang was calmly evaluating the Jiangdong Navy.
“General Deng Long, do not panic! They would not notice us!” Kuai Liang comforted Deng Long. The reason why he took down the banner was to impersonate Lu Bu’s Navy and the attack could also destroy the Lu Bu’s Army’s friendship. Although the Lu Bu’s Army’s banner was not raised, it would not prevent misunderstandings from the Jiangdong Navy. At the end of the day, even the Lu Bu’s Army could not blame the Jingzhou’s Army for the misunderstanding of the Jiangdong’s Army.
“I hope so!” Fortunately, they were downstream. If anything bad happens, it would be easier for them to flee.
Now more than half of the Jiangdong’s Navy has left the camp and the larger warships were starting to appear. One towered ship in particular was bigger than the others and had more soldiers. On top of it was also a figure wearing a general’s armour.
“He is here!” Kuai Liang sneered. What he wanted was that warship, the Jiangdong Navy’s flagship. This is the Jiangdong Navy’s Commander Zhou Yu’s ship. Kuai Liang wanted to attack this ship directly. Once the flagship is destroyed, the Jiangdong Navy would not fight back because the battle is lost.
“Hmph! Have you seen it? Slave-of-three-surnames! This is our Jiangdong Navy!” Han Dang was extremely proud. This was the trump card of the Jiangdong Navy. Especially their commander Zhou Yu who was an extremely talented person. Among the few commanders that Han Dang served under, Zhou Yu was the best one!
(TN: Wouldn’t Gan Ning be the one on the ship anyway? Or did Han Dang conveniently ignored his soldiers.)
“General! The ships have started to move!” The soldier beside Han Dang told him.
“Move? Of course they are moving! They would be ashamed and want to go back!” Han Dang carelessly said. Both the quality of Gan Ning’s Navy and the Jingzhou’s Navy could not even be compared to the Jiangdong’s Navy.
“No! They are moving towards us!” The officer shouted. “They have raised their banner! It is green!”
(TN: Whatever happened to ‘pretending to be Lu Bu’s Army’?)
“Green?” Han Dang was confused. Wasn’t Lu Bu’s Army’s banner black? Why is it green?
“It is Jingzhou Liu Biao’s Navy! It is the Jingzhou’s Navy!” The officer shouted. It was not the Lu Bu’s Navy but the Jingzhou’s Navy. Only Liu Biao uses a dark green banner.
“Liu Biao’s navy!” Han Dang was a little dumbfounded. Wasn’t it supposed to be Gan Ning’s navy? Why did it suddenly become Liu Biao? I thought he already discussed that it would be Gan Ning! However, Han Dang, deserved to be called a veteran and immediately roared. “It’s a surprise attack! All units prepare to meet the enemy!” Although he was an old man, his voice was louder than drums.
“Jingzhou’s Navy!” Zhou Yu also saw the 20 ships from the flagship. Weren’t they supposed to be the Lu Bu’s Army? Why is it filled with Liu Biao’s soldiers? It does not matter anymore. Since they dared to come, we cannot let them leave!
They only had a few thousand soldiers on the ships. If it was at least 10,000 Zhou Yu would have frowned. Only a few thousand soldiers? Are they courting death?
“Swallow it up! Give Liu Biao another big present!” Zhou Yu’s flagship issued a command and the entire fleet began to move. Zhou Yu’s flagship also started to move and the other warships moved out of the way. The warships at the back started to fill up the empty space.
“Free merits! Do not blame me, Han Dang, for taking it!” Han Dang has already reached a refinement stage. The enemy only had 2 dozen warships while they had 100 or more towered ships. Also there were too many Jiangdong soldiers and these few thousand Jingzhou’s soldiers would not give enough merits.
In the first place, there were many other desperate warships. Besides that, Zhou Yu evaluated Han Dang as someone who could only be a deputy general if they excluded his martial arts. Even then, Han Dang had 5,000 soldiers under his command. They were pretty much independent from the army.
“The Han banner?” Kuai Liang saw the war banner and smiled. “It is Han Dang!” Han Dang was the old man he met when he killed Sun Jian.
The people with the biggest contribution to the death of Sun Jian was not Huang Zu but the Kuai brothers. Huang Zu was just the one implementing the stratagem. The fierce tiger Sun Jian made Liu Biao feel threatened. This is why the Kuai brothers helped their lord to get rid of the threat. Sun Jian was shot to death by Huang Zu’s men with arrows. Liu Biao thought that he could relax since the threat is gone. Little did he know that the tiger’s son, Sun Ce, would emerge along with his brothers and this old man to conquer the entire Jiangdong and threaten Jingzhou again. But it no longer matters. Today, Zhou Yu’s navy will sink and Jingzhou would be peaceful for another decade.
Once Zhou Yu is dead, Sun Ce would lose an arm. Sun Ce has 3 main forces. One was lost in Wan Cheng. If he lost another one here, there would only be one more in Jiangdong. Even self-protection would be a problem. As a result, he would not attack Jingzhou.
“First, target Han Dang!” Kuai Liang’s fleet was 500 paces away and it slowly approached Han Dang’s fleet. Deng Long’s men were elites and showed a calm temperament. They were not like Gan Ning’s men who may shoot accidentally before the command to shoot was given. The Jingzhou Navy would not move until they were commanded to shoot using the ballista by Kuai Liang.
“300 paces!” Deng Long looked at Kuai Yue. They were told that 300 paces is the effective range of the ballista by Gan Ning’s Navy. They could shoot already but Kuai Liang stayed silent.
“250 paces! 200 paces!” If they had continued on like this, they would need to start engaging in melee combat. The Jiangdong Navy has also started to draw their bows.
“Shoot!” Kuai Liang gave the order. From the deck of the ship, giant arrows started to fly out of the 20 warships. Over 100 giant arrows started to fly towards Han Dang’s warship.
“What is this!” Han Dang was dumbfounded. He has not seen this before. Each arrow was bigger than the oar of the warship and was extremely powerful.
Han Dang started to stagger without support. Over 20 arrows hit his warship. The thick wood could not withstand the powerful arrows and the arrows even pierced through the hull causing the bottom of the ship to have a hole.
The river water entered the cabin of the warship. This was already considered lucky. One of Han Dang’s deputy was hit directly by the arrow. His internal organs all spilled out as his body was torn apart.
The same happened to the other warships. In just a moment, Han Dang has lost 6-7 warships.
“Rush to them! Rush to them!” Han Dang was like Jiang Qin who knew that it was powerful but thought that it could only shoot once. He thought that the other warships under his command would be able to catch them before they could shoot again. Unfortunately, Liu Biao’s warships shot out another arrow.
At this moment, Zhou Yu was no longer calm. “Continous shooting? With such power?” Zhou Yu did not expect the power of the ballistae to reach this extent. Although it was stated in Sun Ce’s letter, Zhou Yu did not believe it. However, he now had no choice to believe. The second volley of arrows even send a few towered ships sinking into the river water.
“Hateful!” Han Dang roared loudly. His warship was already sinking halfway into the water. As the wood were mostly submerged, Han Dang knew that he could not stay on the boat any longer. Even if he could swim, the large ship would form a whirlpool and pull him in.
The thing Han Dang was angriest about was his soldiers. All of the soldiers that he personally trained were defeated before they could even cross swords with the enemy! He now understood how Jiang Qin got the whole navy routed. How could there be such a weapon! The destroyed warships, the injured soldiers and the dead soldiers made the river water muddy.
“Shoot!” Kuai Liang could not sympathize with the enemies and ordered again. The sky was once again filled with giant arrows.
Zhou Yu’s Army and the whole fleet started to become chaotic. What people were most afraid of was the unknown. The second thing they were most afraid of was new things. They have fought as navies for so long but they never expected that navies could fight like this as well! A few warships started to move to a less important position while others hide behind crevices so that the other warships in front would be shot at first!