My Father in Law is Lu Bu - Chapter 175
Chapter 175 – A Night Of Rest, A Moment Of Bonding
Translated by Bloodfalcon
“Is it true? The enemy retreated?!” Liu Mang kept asking his scout many, many times. He cannot believe that this event suddenly transpired, but then again, if Sun Ce retreated at this point of time, it is either he already have a sure-kill method to defeat them or Lu Su has proposed some stratagem to him. Liu Mang knew that even though he killed 10,000 enemies today, he recognized some of those soldiers behavior. That is why, he knew that Sun Ce not yet unleashed his full Danyang soldiers, he only send some desperate remnant of noble soldiers. With these thoughts swirling in his head, Liu Mang then concluded, that this retreat is a feint retreat. Sun Ce and Lu Su definitely have some plans to destroy them tomorrow.
At this point of juncture, Liu Mang can only hope that Bing Province Heavy Cavalry arrived tomorrow, because if they do not arrive tomorrow. They can kiss goodbye to Wancheng city.
Right now, Liu Mang really appreciates what Chen Gong is always doing, he will be able to think what is Sun Ce’s side thinking and will definitely outsmart them both. Liu Mang really cannot think of anything right now partly because of his fatigue due to Murderous Rampage earlier this morning and still need to join the battle on the second half of the day. “Fine then, let’s see your scheme tomorrow!!! I will deal with them accordingly!!!” Thought Liu Mang decisively.
“Sun Ce is retreating!!!” Huang Zhong said it in loud voice. Huang Zhong has been anticipating in case Sun Ce dispatch a veteran general. No elite soldiers will be able to withstand a general assault, so at that point, Huang Zhong will step in and dispatch him. So at this battle, Huang Zhong has no role to play except to help to repel enemies while others like Xu Sheng and Huang Xu, all have role to play leading their respective squad, Xu Sheng with his own Black Flag and Huang Xu is leading archer squad division from Urban Army.
Liu Mang sighed in relief and then ordered “Everyone, drop your gears and armors. Divide into 3 shifts for night patrol. Prepare hot food!!!” Luckily this is ancient times where visibility at night is very limited even with full moon, so one can get rest at night.
With Liu Mang orders, all of soldiers quickly put down all of their gears and preparing hot food, except for the first shift patrol.
Liu Mang then started to count his casualties. Today’s battle is really tiring his body and mind. Liu Neng then reported that out of 3,000 Black Flag soldiers, 400 soldiers were lost in battle and Urban Army, from 1,000 soldiers, casualties got 300 soldiers. After hearing Liu Neng’s report, Liu Mang just shook his head. “Now our number shrunk again and again. I wonder, can we survive until tomorrow?!” Thought Liu Mang while his eyesight gave a long gaze to the sky. Suddenly he was surprised by many of his soldiers are snoring on the ground. They already not bothered with blood, carcass and corpses around them, even some of them go straight to sleep without eating supper. When Liu Mang saw them, his heart softened up and began waking them up “Wake up, stand up. Eat well first, then go back to sleep!”
Seeing Liu Mang is waking up his subordinates, Xu Sheng go to Liu Mang’s side, Huang Zhong also come with him although super tired as he killed 300 soldiers by himself alone. Xu Sheng hold Liu Mang’s shoulder gently and said this in calm tone “Little lord, Sheng asks to let all of them sleep. They are already tired!”
Liu Mang then responded “Oh, good timing, Wenxiang. Help me to wake them up, tell them not to sleep on the floor. Cold air will make them got flu.” The one that Liu Mang helped to wake up is none other than Gu Jun who has been bleeding all this time, no one help him to dress his wound, but due to his pain tolerance very high, he is able to sleep while still bleeding.
TL: Gu Jun, One of Black Flag lieutenant from Chapter 122
Xu Sheng’s eyebrows raised and ask a question while confused “Little lord, if not sleeping on the ground, where can they rest?” Xu Sheng really cannot follow Liu Mang’s thinking. According to him, when one become a soldier, as long as can sleep, it is already okay.
Liu Mang then responded “On city gate tower, naturally. I can also apply first aid to them as the place is not quite dirty and quite warm compared to current place.” When Liu Mang answers that, Xu Sheng become more confused. Gate tower is a personal quarter preserved for a general to rest and for monitoring enemy’s movement, it is not a place for a regular soldier to touch, and right now Liu Mang said to put them all in gate tower for resting and also he said that he will apply first aid as well.
When Xu Sheng want to object again, Liu Mang quickly carried Gu Jun over his shoulders and started heading toward gate tower. When Liu Mang reached the doorway, Gu Jun stopped his steps and said “General, this is gate tower. A lowly person like me should not enter this place!” Gu Jun realized that he is a slave and a slave should sleep on the floor like a slave. Liu Mang felt a bit irritated and said to him “What’s wrong? Come inside. Here you can rest and I can apply first aid to you. Let me tell you, I never once consider my subordinate a slave. I consider them my comrades, now come on, enter.” Gu Jun and Xu Sheng who heard Liu Mang’s words become a bit touched but their mindset being a slave they are still firmly implanted in their head.
Gu Jun then said “General, the tower gate will be very dirty with our blood and sweat. We are dirty person, lowly person, a slave.” Hearing Gu Jun’s response, Liu Mang become really fed up with their submissive remark and said “All right, if you won’t hear my offer then HEAR MY ORDER!!!! ALL OF BLACK FLAG AND URBAN ARMY ARE TO REST IN GATE TOWER!!! NOW!!!!”
“General, I, we...” Gu Jun and all of Black Flag look each other with very awkward expression and turned to Xu Sheng. Their expression toward Xu Sheng is questioning him “We are Zhou clan’s slaves, Zhou Cheng slaves, what do we do to deserve this high treatment of us?” This new general of their, did not care about their status, treat them like human even want to care for them.
Seeing his fellow Black Flag demand answer from him, Xu Sheng just said “Why are you all looking at me? Little lord already given you your orders! Enter the place!!!” Xu Sheng really cannot fathom this Liu Mang.
“Yes, sir!!!” All Black Flag comply with Xu Sheng’s words. They are all walking cautiously in order not to dirty the floor and cost them their lives.
Liu Mang’s heart ached when he saw Black Flag’s soldiers walked cautiously, even though he has already given his approval, they still acted like a slave, still thinking that they will be punished severely if they are dirtying the floor. Then Liu Mang remembered something and said “Wait a moment!”
“General, what is it?!” Said some of Black Flag soldiers who quickly have a relieved face, hoping Liu Mang would change his order and not make them to dirty a general quarter.
Liu Mang then only said this “Have you guys eaten? If not, let’s have supper first together. After that continue to rest, I will also help to dress your wounds!!!” Liu Mang need them all to be in tiptop condition for tomorrow battle and to do patrol. He had a bad feeling since Sun Ce retreat and surmise that tomorrow, Sun Ce will not pull any single punches and the battle will progress badly tomorrow.
“Yes sir!” Responded Black Flag troops and they quickly pulled out their emergency rations. When Liu Mang saw it, he just shook his head, as the emergency rations is a small portion of military rations mixed with blood. It is really disgusting. But for Black Flag whose livelihood is as a slave, this is a highest luxury that they will eat. One of them asked Liu Mang for water.
Liu Mang quickly ordered “Black Flag brothers, discard your rations that has been mixed with blood. Come, let’s eat hot food with me, generals Huang and Urban Army!” That kind of food must not be eaten at any cost, lest they will get severe digestive disease in the future such as diarrhea or worse dysentery.
Yesterday, before Black Flag was subjugated, Liu Mang already asked army cook to prepare food for 8,000 troops. But those 8,000 troops were already gone, and the reinforcements is only 3,000 troops. So, the food portions is twice than the number of soldiers.
Liu Mang then helped to serve them food “Come, come!! Eat hearty, eat until you are full. After eating, all of you rest on the gate tower, later I will come and give you proper first aid!!!”
Liu Mang continued serving food to soldiers. When it is finished, he sat near Xu Sheng to eat then he asked him a question “Wenxiang, does Zhou Cheng really give you that kind of rations?!”
“Yes, little lord!” Xu Sheng nodded strongly and continued “When we ask him why, little lord Zhou…. No, I called him wrong... Zhou Cheng said that his grain and provisions is limited, so can only give hard bread like that. After Wancheng city retaken, Zhou Cheng will only provide better food for them!”
“THAT PRICK ZHOU CHENG!!!!” Shouted Liu Mang while smashing his plate. His reaction is so loud that made other soldiers looking at him. Liu Mang then calm himself down. After a while, he excused himself away from all of soldiers. Liu Mang is staring at the sky and thought “Goddammit you nobles. I guess killing all of you by my hands is a right decision after all. Looking back when father-in-law Lu was ransacking nobles granary and also their reaction after it is done, it is a big bluff from the their side. Father-in-law Lu only able to find a small fraction of their own food and provisions and it is already amounted to 100,000-shi. And even with only that number, our Lu Bu army’s potential is doubled. This Lujiang is a very bountiful land, last year got very good harvest, but was taken 80% by nobles. So Zhou clan, even though was robbed, Zhou Cheng is impossible to have no provisions. Some of the nobles that I spared from elimination, tell me in all honesty the whereabouts of Zhou clan provisions in Wancheng city. What the hell, man? Their provisions are amounted to 500,000-shi!!! Enough to feed whole Wancheng city for 2 straight years, without harvest. And he have the audacity to trick his men, the men who are fighting for his glory, that he have no provisions? What kind of monster are these nobles? Their spirit of merchantilism is wrongly misplaced and I will need to re-educate them severely!!!”
TL: Merchantilism, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercantilism
Liu Mang then returned to the soldiers and speak to Xu Sheng “Wenxiang, after this you also rest for tomorrow battle! I am counting on you for tomorrow!!! Those Black Flag and Urban Army who has already finished their supper, go toward gate tower, I am waiting for them with medical supplies!” After saying that, Liu Mang turn his back and goes toward gate tower. After a few steps, Liu Mang stopped and said this personally to Xu Sheng “Wenxiang, now Black Flag belongs to me, Liu Mang. No longer Zhou clans’ or Zhou Cheng. Remember this, as long as this Liu Mang still stands, I will never let any of you hungry!!!!” Liu Mang then continued his steps toward gate tower.
Even though Xu Sheng confused but he still said “Thank you, little lord!!!” Xu Sheng really cannot fathom this man in front of him. This man is complicated. There is no word can describe him. This man cannot be called good and also cannot be called a devil, as he embodies two sides of those extremities. This man’s heart is merciless to his enemies but act kindly to his allies and men. This is very different than any military general who only think soldiers is a stepping stone toward their future. Little did Xu Sheng and Liu Mang himself knew that Liu Mang is emulating Julius Caesar in regards treatment of soldier. The literature that he read about Julius Caesar in his childhood, is now helping him a lot now.