Translator: Scar, Tchu
“Retreat?!” Old Cao felt slightly bitter. Xu Province would fall as soon as Lu Bu perished from this world. He had never expected that Lu Bu would manage a breakthrough. I really should have ended your life in Kaiyang! Cao Cao thought.
He did not expect that his unintentional act would push down old Chen and provoke an invasion of a Chen army. Furthermore, right now it was attacking Xia Pi.
If he pulled out now, Lu Bu would be able to escape. It was like letting calamity breed in the future, just like releasing a tiger back to the mountain. Then all of his efforts until now would vanish to nothing like a broken bubble. His childhood friend Yuan Benchu* was about to conquer Liao Dong in the north before long. As soon as Yuan Benchu achieved this goal, he would aim to swallow up Cao Cao’s territory Yan Province.
TL: Benchu is the courtesy name of Yuan Shao, a famous warlord in late Eastern Han dynasty.
If he let Lu Bu escape, he will be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I am not willing to retreat!
“We cannot pull out!”Guo Jia said while shaking his head. ”Though Chen Deng has besieged Xia Pi, it will take a while before he can breach the city.” There are military supplies for one hundred thousand soldiers restored in Xia Pi. But if the city fell, Old Cao would have to go back with his pants down!
“Tomorrow, we have to conquer Kaiyang tomorrow!” Cao Cao issued the order after awakening from his thoughts.
Tonight, many people could not close their eyes.
On the wall of Kaiyang, Lu Bu’s army had been fully prepared to fight to death tomorrow.
Under the wall, Cao Cao was intended to kill Lu Bu no matter how much casualty it was going to cost him. After which Cao’s army would go back to Xia Pi and attack Guangling.
”The Cao army is breaking camp?!” Zhang Liao got confused by the big moves of the army under the wall. He immediately reported the Cao army’s movement to Lu Bu.
“There are some changes to the camp of Cao army? Are they leaving?!”Lu Bu was surprised as well. What the hell is Cao Cao going to do? Is he really leaving or…?
If it was true that Cao Cao decided not to attack Kaiyang, the rest of the Lu Bu army would be ecstatic.
“Wait a second!” Only Chen Gong’s face became serious, “There must be some problems happening in the rear of the Cao army!” Chen Gong analysed. ”The situation in Xu Province has become soothed after the Cao army took down Xia Pi. There are only two possible explanations to the disturbing factors in the rear of his army!”
“What are the two possible explanations?” Lu Bu asked in doubt.
“The first explanation is that Yuan Shao landed in the harbour of Mengjing or is invading from the direction of Puyang. In that cause, the Cao army has to retreat! That means, that the whole Hebei was pacified by Yuan Benchu. What is now left is the fight of supremacy between Cao Cao and Yuan Shao and perhaps we have a slim chance of surviving! Before Cao Cao besieged Xia Pi, Yuan Shao was not able to crush Hebei or else Cao Cao wouldn’t march his army without worry to Xu Province!” If at that time Yuan Shao had conquered Hebei, it was highly possible that Cao Cao and Lu Bu might have become allies now.
“The second reason!” Chen Gong did not even finish his sentence before Lu Bu knew the answer. “Food supplies!”
“Exactly, it’s the food supplies! Before an army marches, the food supplies need to move ahead! There is an army of a hundred thousand, but it needs a lot of food to sustain it. Therefore, Cao Cao would certainly prepare his food supplies on the rear. Before laying siege to Xia Pi they might have been stored near Xia Pi, but after conquering Xia Pi they will certainly be stored inside!” Chen Gong declared.
“Someone is attacking Xia Pi?!” Gao Shun, Zhang Liao and Zang Ba all looked puzzled. Inside Xu Province, except Lu Bu who else would invade Xia Pi? Even Lu Bu has no more than a several thousand soldiers right now.
“Yes, there is such a force that can!” Chen Gong replied.
“Gongtai, you are talking about him?!” Lu Bu’s eyes lit up.
“Exactly, I am talking about Chen Deng of Guangling!” Chen Gong replied “My lord, the conversation you had on the plain has created an opportunity for our survival!”
“So, Chen Deng is taking revenge for his father?!” declared Lu Bu while squinting his eyes. Lu Bu released Cheng Deng on the plain not because he wanted Chen Deng to save him in the future. He did not bother to kill him because he wanted Chen Deng to see what kind of person his father and he choose to serve was. What benefits Cao Mengde can give them!
“Tomorrow is the time for the decisive battle!” Lu Bu sighed. He knew that even though Old Cao was getting attacked from behind, he would absolutely not give up this opportunity to kill Lu Bu.
“Gongtai, I will go and inspect the city defence!” Lu Bu stood up while talking.
“Alright!” Chen Gong watched Lu Bu leaving. He knew that there were not so many defenders left in Kaiyang. Tomorrow, the Cao army would do total assault and they would not stop until they killed Lu Bu. His Lord was going on a walk to have some fresh air and to get some time without being disturbed.
In fact, there were times when Chen Gong was asking himself, is it worth it to follow Lu Bu? Sometimes he was confused by Lu Bu’s behaviour. When Cheng Gong was a part of Hao Meng’s betrayal, Chen Gong thought that Lu Bu would execute him. Because Lu Bu, who was cold hearted, would never let go of traitors, but he didn’t behead Chen Gong! Lu Bu instead gave him a look. Did his eyes have doubts? Did he lose his confidence in Cheng Gong? It looked more like loneliness.
Did Lu Bu regard him as family? Chen Gong had only seen this look on Lu Bu’s face when Lu Bu was with his family.
Exactly because of these kinds of looks, Chen Gong had followed Lu Bu until now.
Lu Bu walked out of the city tower and watched how his soldiers collapsed on the floor. They all did a great job. They were Lu Bu’s loyal soldiers and his brothers-in-arm. Kaiyang’s nights were very cold. Lu Bu noticed that most soldiers had already fallen asleep since they were too tired. During the day, they had exhausted themselves with the endless battle spirit. They were shivering while sleeping in the cold.
“Wush!” Lu Bu took down his cloak and gave it as blanket to some teenagers who still had childish faces. He could only do this much for them.
“Nhh!” At corner of the city wall there came an extremely painful moan. Lu Bu went to have a look and saw that it was the man who lost his arm during the day. The cold wind which blew on his wounded arm created an extreme pain, but he did not make any loud sounds in fear of affecting his brothers’ rest.
“Is it painful?!” Lu Bu asked while kneeling down.
“So painful!”The men replied back unconsciously. He suddenly saw that it was Lu Bu and tried to kneel down, but was prevented by Lu Bu.
“I, Lu Bu, ask for your forgiveness!” Lu Bu’s eyes became moist. He turned his head to not let his tears fall down. “Go to the city tower and rest! Tomorrow is our final battle!”
“Right or wrong, success or failure, we will let the future generation decide! Tomorrow we will show Cao Mengde what I, Lu Bu treasure the most in my life!” declared Lu Bu with great fighting spirit and determination.
“Shing!” In Kaiyang city, most residents had already escaped. At night it was a like a ghost town without any life. Suddenly a huge beam of golden light fell from the sky.
“Bang!” A crashing sound appeared on the place where the sky shone. *Cough Cough* Liu Mang cried with a wry smile on his face “Shit I messed up!”
TL: The author made a mistake imo, he should be naked and say: “I. AM. BACK.!” Arny style!
*Clip Clop Clip Clop* more and more horses hoof sounds rang in this ghostly abandoned city.