Chapter 36 – Casualties of the Cao Army (1)
Original by Bro Got a Gun, Translated by James
“Hungry. Starving.” Outside of Kaiyang, in the current of steel, an odor reeking of blood started spreading out.
“The Bing Province Wolf Cavalry troops?!” Old Cao abruptly ran to the observation platform. His eyes were almost popped out in shock. “Where did the cavalry came from?! Where did the horses came from?!” Lu Bu didn’t take a single horse with him when he fled from Xiapi. Majority of the war horses from Kaiyang was already pulled by Lu Bu to Xiapi. The remaining small amount of war horses were given away by Zang Ba. How could there possibly be all these horses now?!
An ocean of cavalries wider than the eye can see.
“Two horses per man, five thousand horses, three thousand cavalries?!” Xu Huang was certainly above all other Cao generals when it comes to cavalries. With a single view, he could already tell the situation.
“Three thousand cavalries?!” Only through great difficulty did Old Cao managed to grow a cavalry unit of five thousand. Now, more than half of these cavalries were here in Xu Province. They are precisely the three thousand Ferocious Cavalry. Cao Cao would be distressed to lose even a single one of them. That’s because a single one of these Ferocious Cavalry soldier cost as much as a whole infantry unit, a unit of heavy infantries.
And now, Lu Bu who was once a cornered beast had unexpectedly brought forth three thousand cavalries out of Kaiyang, the city that was soon to fall. And they’re heavy cavalries! Five thousand war horses! Cao Cao could tell that these five thousand war horses are not some inferior horses but instead genuine good horses!
Old Cao felt as if he was scammed. The opposing side was also heavy cavalries. Even if the Ferocious Cavalry are elites, there’s certainly still going to be casualties from the engagement against other cavalries. Not to mention, the opposing cavalries are their old enemy, the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry.
Say, if you Lu Bu had the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry in your hand, then you should’ve broken out of Kaiyang earlier. Instead you had to go and play a defensive battle in Kaiyang. Now that you cannot stop the city from being captured, you decided to play a final decisive battle. While Lu Bu you had lost Xu Province, Xiapi and was willing to put all your reserve in this major battle, Old Cao cannot afford to do that. These three thousand Ferocious Cavalry was as expensive as an army of a hundred thousand. If he were to lose them in this battle, then Old Cao would certainly grieve till death.
“Bing Province Wolf Cavalry?!” Cao Chun had already led the charge with the Ferocious Cavalry. Although he was surprised, he cannot stop. What the cavalries needed was high mobility. Only through high running could they annihilate their enemies with their speed.
He who is more brave shall win when met with his rival! This was a confrontation between two cavalries.
“Follow my lead! Sweep everything before us!” shouted Cao Chun. The Ferocious Cavalry troops that were following him too began to shout vigorously. Their horses began to increase their speed and further increase their speed and even further. They wanted to pulverize the enemies in front of them.
“So what if they’re the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry! Today, I, Cao Chun, shall let you know that the number one cavalry unit in the world is the Ferocious Cavalry! Lu Fengxian, prepare yourself!” said Cao Chun as he took the lead and advance toward Lu Bu.
“Prepare? Heh. It should be you Cao Chun and Cao Cao who should prepare yourselves! “ Lu Bu raised his trident against the sky and shouted. “Brothers, show these women what exactly our Bing Province Wolf Cavalry is made out of! Follow after me!”
“Hungry! Starving!” A group of starving wolves charged into the likewise battle-ready Ferocious Cavalry.
“Spears!” With a shout, Zhang Liao gave off an order and the spears that was originally pointed toward the ground were simultaneously faced forward. “Charge!”
“Pulverize them!” With an ominous glint on his face, Cao Cao began to squeeze his horse tighter.
[TL: I found out squeezing horse is the way to make horses run… not kicking them… oops]
The two currents of steel collided into each other.
The strength of cavalries was determined by their impacting prowess. The first row of the Ferocious Cavalry had collided with the first row of Bing Province Wolf Cavalry. Like the rest of the heavy cavalries in this era, the Ferocious Cavalry soldiers were armed with blades and spears. However, upon colliding with the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry, they noticed that their spears were a whole segment shorter than their enemy’s.
As the saying goes, the longer weapon wins the fight. The vanguards of the Ferocious Cavalry met with some rather unlucky fates.
“Die!” These Bing Province Wolf Cavalry Soldiers who have been besieged and attacked by the Cao troops all this time have kept within their stomach an immense amount of anger. Now that they have their horses, armors and spears, they were finally able to express their anger.
With great enthusiasm, they thrust their spears toward the Ferocious Cavalry.
“Pu pu pu!” One by one, sounds of armors being pierced through resounded through the battlefield. There were even some Bing Province Wolf Cavalry soldiers that were going so fast that they pierced through two or even three Ferocious Cavalry soldiers at once.
“Close engagement!” Cao Chun noticed the prowess of the spears that the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry possess and decided to tell his troops to engage in a closer range. No matter how strong the spears are, their usage is limited to long range. Once the distance between them decreased, the spears would only become obstructions. At that time, the Ferocious Cavalry would have the whole battle.
“Raise shield!” Zhang Liao shouted again. Only now did Cao Chun notice that attached behind every Bing Province Wolf Cavalry soldier was a large shield. Those shields were shining brightly under the sun. It was obvious that they were of metal construction. Such large shields, don’t they know that cavalry would no longer be mobile with those?!
Cavalry. Cavalry are known as cavalry due to their high speed movements. Once the rider wears too much armor or too heavy equipment, then not only would it be hard for the person to bear the weight, it would also be hard for the horses to bear the weight. The mobility of the horses would be lost. Once lost, not only could they no longer travel long distances, they would also be unable to engage enemies.
Initially Zhang Liao had thought of the same thing as Cao Chun. When had cavalries ever possessed shields? The motto of cavalries had always been engage, engage, engage and attack, attack, attack. Never once had cavalries ever used shields. Even if they had shields, then it had always been just small armshields and never such large shields.
However, upon donning his equipment, Zhang Liao was instead very happy. These shields, although big, were very thin and tough. So tough that it shocked Zhang Liao. So tough that his blade was unable to break through those shields.
Liu Mang had originally brought those shields for the Formation Breaker. However, all the Formation Breaker troops had jumped onto a horse. Thus, everyone ended up having a shield.
“Abominable!” Cao Chun dodged an incoming spear and returned with a slash with his Horse Beheading Blade. “Die for me!” His blade accurately went through the gaps between the shield and landed on the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry soldier’s body.
[TL: 斩马刀, https://www.google.com/search?q=%E6%96%A9%E9%A9%AC%E5%88%80&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMIt-mx0PSGxwIVToCSCh1VPwSK&biw=784&bih=771]
“Die!” Cao Chun had an ruthless expression. All the general had their expression turned ruthless upon entering the battlefield. This was due to being influenced by the atmosphere of war. This had caused some to be unable to calm themselves even after the war is over.
Cao Chun had an expression of excitement. Blood was soon to be sputtering. This Bing Province scrub was going to die.
Before Cao Chun’s excitement could reach its climax, he suddenly stiffened up. That was because his blade, his blade was unable to break through the armor! That white armor looked exactly the same as before. The only difference was that now there was a white blade mark.
“How could this be?!” Cao Chun’s weapon wasn’t just some ordinary large blade. It was a weapon bestowed upon him by Cao Cao to represent the might of the Ferocious Cavalry. It was originated from the same master blacksmith as Cao Cao’s Sword of Heaven. Cutting apart metal and leather armor was like cutting tofu for it. However, it was currently unable to cut through the Lu Bu soldier’s armor.
That Bing Province Cavalry soldier didn’t care about Cao Chun’s state of mind at all. On the battlefield, it’s either you die or I die.
“Hungry! Starving!” The Bing Province Wolf Cavalry was like a pack of hungry prairie wolves. In their eyes, only through tearing apart the enemies in front of them could they obtain food to satisfy their hungry and obtain survival. Thus, these Bing Province Wolf Cavalry soldiers were fighting desperately to find a way out of the impasse.
“Abominable!” Cao Chun immediately returned a strike to block the incoming attack. Although he could block the incoming attack with his great martial skills, his subordinates were not as lucky.
“Ahhhh ahhh ahh!” One by one, the Ferocious Cavalry soldiers fell. Other than the few first row Bing Province Wolf Cavalry soldiers who were dismounted during the initial impact of the horses, they were practically unharmed.
Although the Ferocious Cavalry were wearing heavy armor, their armor was still full of gaps everywhere. Some of their heavy armor was even unable to defend against the attacks from the spears. That was because although their armor was classified as heavy armor, they were not fully composed of metal like those of infantries but instead a combination of metal and cloth.
Their Horse Beheading Blade was originally a nightmare for other cavalries. However, against the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry, their blades was unable to even break through their defences. If they can’t break through their defenses, they can’t possibly win.
“Break through!” Cao Chun knew that this time the Ferocious Cavalry will suffer great defeat. However, as the commanding officer, he knew that he cannot retreat and could only break through the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry without any regards to the amount of casualties. Only through that might the Ferocious Cavalry be able to regroup themselves. That was because once a cavalry unit stops, then it will soon suffer complete annihilation.
“Break through! Break through!” The Ferocious Cavalry was indeed worthy of being the elite amongst elites within the Cao army. In an instant they immediately understood the thought of their general – when meeting enemies face to face, he who is more brave shall obtain victory. On the battlefield, there is no begging for forgiveness; there is only life and death.
“Sha!” Lu Bu’s eyes flashed. Although Zhang Liao is the commander of the Bing Province Wolf Cavalry, he was the commander before Zhang Liao. He admired Cao Chun’s action of breaking through and not to panic. He knew that Cao Chun was a good general who is very familiar with cavalries.
“You think you can leave whenever you please?!” Lu Bu perked his horse, his sword like eye fixed onto Cao Chun.
“This sensation!” Cao Chun was leading the Ferocious Cavalry in their breakthrough when he suddenly sense a tightness on his chest. He was trembling as if some ferocious beast had fixed its attention on him.
“Not good!” Cao Chun suddenly lowered his head. His whole body was like a turtle hiding within its shell. At this moment, Cao Chun could care less about his image. He wanted to survive and sure enough, his experience of over hundreds of battles saved his life. Atop his head, a golden colored trident flew by like a flash.
“Poof! Poof!” Instantly two heads flew to the sky. Two Ferocious Cavalry soldiers that had been following Cao Chun close-by suddenly became two fountains of blood and lifelessly fell down their war horses.
“Lu Bu!” Only now did Cao Chun manage to have a view of the incoming person. Donning in a golden armor, holding a trident and with murderous aura all over; wasn’t this the Lu Bu that he said he will kill earlier?!