Chapter 31 – Battle of Kaiyang (4)
Original by Bro Got a Gun, Translated by James
“Cough cough cough cough!” With great difficulty, Lu Bu resisted the rage in his heart. He began coughing blood repeatedly.
How many years?! How many years have it been since he fought to the death like this?! Ten years?! Twenty years?!
“Lu Bu is near death’s door!” Like Lu Bu, Xu Huang was also gasping for air. He was soon to be unable to lift up his giant axe. The web between his thumb and forefinger have already ruptured. Had it not been his willpower and determination, then perhaps Xu Huang would’ve long since kissed the ground.
Too strong! Way too strong! Even with Xu Chu, Li Dian and over a hundred guards that have survived through hundreds of battles with him, they still suffered immense casualties. Over half the guards have been killed. Li Dian have been gravely wounded. Xu Chu and Xu Huang was about to fall too. Only then did they manage to push Lu Bu this far.
“Again! One more time! Just a bit more and Lu Bu will fall!” With immense struggle, Li Dian stood up. The giant blade that he held was already chipped everywhere from the confrontation with Lu Bu.
After all, the amount of Lu Bu soldiers on the city wall was too few. The Cao troops have already ascended the city wall now. Additionally, Cao Cao wasn’t reassured of Xu Chu and them and decided to dismount the Ferocious Cavalry and sent them up the walls as reinforcements. The Lu Bu soldiers were submerged by the ever growing Cao reinforcements and forced onto a single corner.
“Lu Bu! Today is the day you die!” Xu Huang spoke with a cold and fierce expression. In order to kill Lu Bu, Xu Huang’s personal guards that have followed him for years have basically all been killed. These guards have followed him ever since the Luoyang and Changan campaigns. Not only were they like brothers to him, they were also very capable soldiers. Just from a single one of his guards dying would cause Xu Huang immense heartache! And now, pretty much all of them have died!
Li Dian didn’t speak. However, his pair of murderous eyes have already spoke for him – he cannot possibly let Lu Bu flee.
Xu Chu, on the other hand, was a bit gloomy. Although Lu Bu’s demise was near, he knew that Lu Bu was much stronger than himself. If he had fought Lu Bu mano a mano, then certainly the one who will be dying today will be him. Now that Lu Bu was about to meet his maker, Xu Chu unexpectedly had a desolate feeling. The curtain drops for yet another hero!
“Hahahaha!” Lu Bu suddenly bursted out in laughter.
“What are you laughing about?!” said Xu Huang with a cold expression.
“I laughed because I thought of some funny things.” With great struggle, Lu Bu stood straight. Although he was seriously injured, he would never yield to others. “There existed a magnitude of people in this world who wanted this Lu Bu’s demise. I have long since set my resolution! As a general, my death shall be on the battlefield!”
“Back when I was a soldier of Ding Jianyang, I, Lu Bu, thought that I will die on the expedition against the foreigners. Alas, I hasn’t!”
“After killing Ding Jiangyang and started following Dong Zhou, I, Lu Bu, thought that I will die by the hands of the eighteen warlords. Alas, I still hasn’t!”
“Having lost the Battle of Changan, I once again thought that I will die by the hands of the Western Liang Heavy Cavalry, by the hands of Li Ru. A major disappointment. Guo Si and Li Jue were gutless like mouse. They dared not even pursue after me!”
“In Xiapi, I once again prepared myself for death. Who would’ve expected the appearance of my good son in law, Hanyang. This Lu Bu once again didn’t die. Ever since my days at Bing Province, this Lu Bu have unwittingly swindled death for countless years!”
Lu Bu grew ever more exhausted with every laugh. However, not a single person dared to act. “Cao Mende have indeed won. He won this war. He won the whole Xu Province. However, he still haven’t best this Lu Bu! He is afraid of me!” A trail of blood dripped down the corner of Lu Bu’s mouth only to be wiped away by him.
“My lord is afraid of you? Jest! Who do you think you are? You’re but a ordinary man! My lord is afraid of you?!” Disdained Xu Huang.
“Is that so?” Lu Bu raised his brows and stared at Xu Huang. “If Cao Mende wasn’t afraid of me, then why must he raise an expedition against my Xu Province? If Cao Mende wasn’t afraid of me, then why must he dispatch the Ferocious Cavalry and his army of hundred thousand to pursue after me? He’s afraid! He’s afraid that I could really take his life?”
Lu Bu set his sight toward Xu Chu. “Xu Zhongkang, you’re Cao Mende’s personal guard, right? Cao Mende was known for his suspicious disposition, he trust but a few selected individuals. Wherever he goes, he brings you with him. However today he sent you to the battlefield just to kill this Lu Bu! Say, is he afraid of me or not?!”
Xu Chu did not speak. That’s because what Lu Bu said was mostly correct. He was standing guard outside the tent in most of the conversations between Cao Cao and Guo Jia. As generals have great hearing, how could he not have heard the conversations. Wasn’t the reason why his lord spoke in such a heavy tone precisely because he was afraid of Lu Bu?!
“Regardless of afraid or not, from today henceforth, my lord shall be able to obtain a good night’s sleep!” Xu Chu grasped his giant blade. Because of Lu Bu, Cao Cao had already failed to sleep comfortable for multiple nights.
“Marquis of Wen, accept your misfortunes as decreed by fate!” With a deep and low tone, Li Dian spoke. “In your next life, you’d best not set yourself against the Prime Minister!”
“Come! This Lu Bu’s head is waiting for you!”
Fifteen rounds. Lu Bu once again killed some twenty guards. His hands could no longer lift the trident, feeling as if the trident weighted over a thousand jin. “Hanyang ah! Hanyang, I’m afraid that I might not be able to last until your return!” Lu Bu was too tired. He was tired ever since Xiapi. Lu Bu was a lone wolf that belonged in the prairie. However, fate didn’t smile at him. He was born at the wrong time. Had he been born into an era of peace and prosperity, even if it was before Emperor Ling’s era, he would possibly become someone like the Flying General Li Guang or Huo Qubing. He would even have titles bestowed upon him and famed throughout for his military glory. Alas, he was born to the wrong era. Being born into the warring era, he was doomed to only be a hero and never a warlord.
[TL: Emperor Ling of Han reigned China from 168-189AD. Battle of Xiapi = 198 AD. So basically author meant that even if Lu Bu was to be born before his time, he’s still do great.]
[TL: Li Guang, died 119BC = A general from the Western Han Dynasty (early Han dynasty) who is famous for stopping the foreigners/barbarians from entering China. Nicknamed the Flying General.]
[TL: Huo Qubing = another famous general from the Western Han Dynasty.]
“It’s the end!” Xu Huang’s axe came crashing down. Even though Lu Bu had armor to defend, to be attacked by an axe in such a close range would have taken his life for certain.
Right at this moment, an arrow came piercing through like a ray of light. Following the arrow was an impatient voice.
“Don’t you dare injure my lord!” The arrow directly landed on Xu Huang’s giant axe, impacting it enough to deviate it a bit. This tiny bit of deviation saved Lu Bu’s life. Sparks came flying as the deviated axe came down on the Poiseidon Scale.
“Gongtai?!” Lu Bu knew exactly who this voice belonged to – Chen Gong, Chen Gongtai. Chen Gong’s archery skills was no less than his own. “Why bother?!” Lu Bu knew that even if Chen Gong came, there’s nothing he could possibly do. Regardless of how strong he was, Chen Gong was still a scholar. There’s no way that he could possibly match against these generals.
“Milord, please don’t panic! Zhang Liao is coming!” In the wake of sounds of fierce battle, another general emerged in atop the city walls.
“Burst the formations, death to all enemies!” It was Gao Shun. Gao Shun’s deep and low voice was as calm as always.
“Lu Bu, Lu Fengxian, you can’t die! If you die, how then could this Zang Ba defeat you?!” This was Zang Ba. He was always thinking about how to defeat Lu Bu but always lose to Lu Bu.
“You all?!” Only then did Lu Bu notice. Black army banners. Black clothings. The Lu Bu army have once again occupied a part of the city wall. “That’s right! How could I, Lu Bu, die like this?! This Lu Bu still haven’t lost yet! I still have them! I still have them!” Lu Bu once again grasped the trident and shouted toward the sky. “Cao Cao, Cao Mende, I shall be your forever nightmare!” Radiating a golden shine, the tiger have recovered.
“Lu Bu! Lu Bu!” Cao Cao grasped his fist tightly. His fingers have pierced his skin. His hands were bleeding. However, he didn’t care for it at all.
Seeing the ever increasing amount of Lu Bu soldiers on the city walls, Cao Cao closed his eyes and said “Beat the gong to recall the troops!”
“Abominable!” having heard the gong signaling retreat, Xu Huang, Li Dian and Xu Chu showed a face full of bitter. Lu Bu’s head was in front of them. They were about to win. But now they have to flee with their tail between their legs. Should they hesitate for a moment longer, then perhaps they could no longer flee. Zhang Liao, Gao Shun and Zang Ba. Neither one of these three are some easy foe. Let alone that, Li Dian was also seriously wounded.
“Withdraw!” Xu Chu protected Li Dian and Xu Huang as they fought while retreating to the edge of the city walls, down the siege ladder and back into the army camp.