Chapter 21 - Trapped in Kaiyang
Original by Bro Got a Gun, Translated by James
Kaiyang was a big city in the Langye region. However, it was currently empty, like a deserted city!
The whole city was intact without a single sign of battle. However, the city’s banner and its troops were all gone! The gate was also without guards! The whole city was like a naked young woman waving its hands at the incoming army!
Effortlessly, the Lu Bu army entered the city. Once entered, they immediately closed the gates!
“What’s with this?! Where’s Zang Ba?! How come there isn’t a single soldier in Kaiyang?!” Lu Bu frowned. Had Cao Cao attacked Langye, then it would be impossible for there to be no sign of battle in Kaiyang! If Cao Cao didn’t attack, then how come Kaiyang was completely without any defense or fortifications?!
Perhaps Zang Ba surrendered to Cao Cao? Impossible! If he did surrender, then they would not be able to enter the city!
“My lord, we have asked around and obtained information! Zang Ba, he, he dismissed the troops!” Zhang Liao had taken some people with him and inquired some remnant soldiers that had not yet left the city.
“Dismissed the troops?!” Lu Bu was stunned. In this chaotic era, how could one survive without troops?! Lu Bu thus burst into rage. “Zang Ba, Zang Xuangao, I originally thought you were a person of standing, never would I have expected that you are such a spineless coward!”
“My lord, please quell your anger! Please quell your anger!” Chen Gong came forward “Dear Lord of mine, did you know that when Xiapi was under siege by Cao Cao, the only general who was sending troops to help you break the siege was general Zang Ba?!”
“Is that so?!” Lu Bu’s anger ceased but a bit. Immediately he returned to his irritable state! The only reason for him to come to Langye was to obtain troops from Zang Ba and steady himself for a chance to make a comeback! Now that Zang Ba had dismissed his troops, where are the troops for him to obtain?! How could he possibly make a comeback now?!”
“Zang Ba, where is he now?!” Lu Bu rubbed his head and asked.
“General Zang is currently rushing over!” When Zhang Liao found Zang Ba, Zang Ba was already packed up and ready to flee. This was certainly not something that Zhang Liao could say. Thus, he could only say that Zang Ba was on his way here!
Soon Zang Ba entered the city donning a war armor!
“My lord, Zang Ba, Zang Xuangao, is here to pay his respects!” Zang Ba was extremely formal! Unlike Lu Bu’s other generals, he wasn’t someone who have fought life and death battles with Lu Bu! Instead, he was someone who had his ass handed to him by Lu Bu!
Toward Lu Bu, Zang Ba admired him wholly! He originally thought that Lu Bu cannot escape being trapped in Xiapi! After all, being flooded from all sides was not something anyone could resolve! Zang Be had also once sent force to help. However, his forces was driven back by the Cao army!
Lu Bu’s gone. Zang Ba’s heart too grew cold. For Lu Bu to not be able to stand up against Cao Cao, how could he, Zang Ba, possibly be able take on Cao Cao?! Thus Zang Ba dismissed his troops and was set to flee to the countryside to and become a wealthy man there!
Now that he had seen Lu Bu was alive in front of him, Zang Ba’s heart began to liven once again.
“Zang Ba, Zang Xuangao! You still know how to call me as your lord? Oh how silly you are! Silly to the extreme!” Seeing that Zang Ba came all donned in armor, Lu Bu’s anger subsided a bit. How could he possibly not know what Zang Ba was thinking. “You thought that I, Lu Bu, lost and that when the Cao army comes, you would simply be no match against them. You’ll be caught by the Cao army and nothing good would come out of that, isn’t that right?! So you decided to dismiss your troops, flee to the countryside, change your name and become a wealthy man there?!”
“My lord?!” Having his whole thought laid out in front of him by Lu Bu, Zang Ba’s face was red full of shame!
“Zang Ba, Zang Ba, oh how silly you are!” As they said, heros think alike! Lu Bu was genuinely fond of people like Zang Ba who had the same arrogance as himself!
“Although I, Lu Bu, am known as being unparalleled in the world, I still dared not to take on the world alone. Why do you think that is?!” Lu Bu said pointing at Zang Ba. “Two fists cannot rival four hands! Had you not dismissed your troops, then Cao Cao may still fear you and will persuade you to surrender to him! However, once you dismissed your troops, you’ve became a fish on the chopping block! Cao Cao could dispatch any ordinary battalion of troops and you, Zang Ba, would be captured and executed by him just like that!”
“I...?!” Zang Ba was totally ashamed.
“Reporting!” A scout ran forward and kneeled to the ground. “Reporting to the lord, outside the city... the Cao cavalry was found outside the city!”
“Oh?!” Lu Bu finally let Zang Ba go, he brought all his generals and ran toward the front of the city.
Underneath the city walls was a bunch of black armored cavalries arranged neatly in numerous rows. Under the leadership of a leading general, the army of cavalries surrounded the city in absolute silence and without any movement. This army of cavalries was certainly the elite amongst elites!
“Ferocious Cavalry!” Lu Bu narrowed his eyes as he watched the heavily armored cavalry that surrounded the city.
Once upon a time Lu Bu also had cavalries that rivals the Ferocious Cavalry that currently surrounded him - Bing Province Cavalry! With them, Lu Bu was able to go wherever he wishes, rushing into armies of tens of thousand like taking a stroll! No one could stop him in his tracks!
Alas, now! Although the Bing Province Cavalry still remained, their horses are gone! From the breakthrough of Xiapi, the Bing Province Cavalry that once numbered in the tens of thousands now only had a thousand remaining.
All of them were brothers who had followed Lu Bu all the way from Bing Province!
“Had we had our mounts then I, Zhang Liao, would rush out to have a match against the Ferocious Cavalry!” Zhang Liao regrets not being able to go out. Although the Ferocious Cavalry are elites, in the eyes of Zhang Liao, they are nothing! The Bing Province Cavalry never fear challenges!
“Enough!” Lu Bu stopped Zhang Liao’s discontent and turned to Chen Gong. “Gongtai, what should we do now?!” Their original plan was to replenish their troops from Langye and then distant themselves from Xu Province.
However, currently in the whole city of Kaiyang, there was only the less than ten thousand troops that he brought with him! And outside the city there’s the Cao army’s Ferocious Cavalry!
The Ferocious Cavalry belonged to the Heavy Cavalry class troops. Although they aren’t capable of besieging a city, their movement was fast. Should they decide to coil around the city, the Lu Bu army would really be trapped inside the city!
For infantries to try to break through cavalries was more difficult than hard! Having just escaped Xiapi, are they to be trapped in Kaiyang now?!
Lu Bu closed his eyes. He was full of rage! He fears that should he not close his eyes, he might not be able to resist his urge to kill Zang Ba!
“Sigh!” Chen Gong too did not expect that this Zang Ba, Zang Xuangao, would do things so thoroughly! To dismiss his troops, this was a task that must take a certain amount of resolve!
“General Zang, are you aware of how much provisions, armors, weapons and war horses are currently left in Kaiyang?!” Chen Gong held his fist toward Zang Ba.
“This!” Zang Ba was brought to an awkward situation. Having dismissed the troops, naturally he would’ve distributed the provisions. Currently in the city there remains less than five thousand stones worth of provisions!
[TL: 1 stone = one hundred liters.]
Zang Ba braced himself and said “There remains five thousand stones worth of provisions. The amount of weapons and armors was also lacking. At most, it’s only enough for a battalion! As for war horses...!” Xu Province belonged to the central region where there wasn’t a lot of horses to begin with! “...there’s less than a hundred war horses!”
“Five thousand stones! One hundred horses! A battalion worth of weapons?!” Although Kaiyang was a big city, it could not compare to Xiapi. Although ten thousand troops was a lot, it could not compare to the seventy thousand that Lu Bu once had!
An army numbering ten thousand would eat over a hundred stones worth of provisions in a single day! Five thousand stones, it would only be enough for a bit over a month!
“Zang Xuangao, good, very good!” Lu Bu was determined enough to kill Zang Ba now!
“My lord, quell your anger! The only thing we can do now is to wait for the opportunity! We shall see if we can break through at night!” Chen Gong too was at a loss Once they are trapped here by the Ferocious Cavalry the Cao main army will come and then they will be unable to escape for sure!
Now, this was all that they could do!
Zhang Liao, Gao Shun and them soon arranged the tasks for the city defenses to the troops. They were extra careful because of the newly surrendered soldiers that they took in. Once the situations turns bad, these soldiers are likely to revolt!
“Lu Bu? Kaiyang?!” Cao Chun who was outside the city laughed! Had the Lu Bu army decided to take the side roads to Mount Tai, then perhaps he, Cao Chun, could not do anything to Lu Bu! However, Lu Bu was silly, he decided to enter Kaiyang to obtain reinforcement from Zang Ba!
Cao Chun had obtained information from the refugees enroute here. He knew that in Kaiyang, Zang Ba had dismissed his troops. The whole population of Kaiyang had already left to take refuge! Thus, in the whole Kaiyang, there was only ten thousand troops who could stand up against the Cao army!
“Since Xiapi did not take your life! Let this Kaiyang be your grave!” Cao Chun said with a smile. “Pass my orders, send my message to the Prime Minister. Tell him that the tiger was trapped waiting for the tiger killer!”
“Yes!” The messenger took the order and left!
“Ferocious Cavalry soldiers, listen up! Divide into groups of two hundreds and alternate to patrol Kaiyang day and night! You are not to allow a single Lu Bu soldier to escape!”
“Yes!” Two hundred heavy cavalries was something that cannot be beaten without at least a thousand infantries! In this amount of time needed to beat them, the rest of the Ferocious Cavalry would have quickly came to their assistance!
Although the Ferocious Riders cannot besiege a city, but to fight on the fields! Heng heng, even if it’s the Lu Bu army’s strongest Formation Breaker, Cao Chun dared to take them on!
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