Chapter 6 – Formation Breaker
Original by Bro Got a Gun, Translated by James
Just as Lu Bu put away his bow, the general who stood next to him raised his hand and immediately a group of soldiers wearing armor and shields rushed forward shouting “Burst the formations, death to all enemies!”
“Formation Breaker?!” Liu Mang finally got to meet this so called most elite soldiers of the Three Kingdoms Period.
[TL: Gao Shun and his troops are collectively known as the Formation Breaker. They would break into enemy formations, get surrounded by enemies and destroy the formations.]
There exists many elite troops in the battlefields of the Eastern Han Dynasty.
Amongst the cavalries are the Heavy Cavalry of the Bing Province, Jiang Cavalry of the Liang Province, Penetrating White Horsemen of You Province and Ferocious Cavalry of Yan Province.
[TL: Wolf Cavalry of the Bing Province: 并州狼骑, I do not know if they actually ride wolves, highly doubt that. Chapter 6 mentioned 并州铁骑, which means Armored Cavalry of Bing Province, I think this is the correct one instead of the Wolf Cavalry. So I’m changing it to Heavy Cavalry.
Jiang Cavalry of the Liang Province: 凉州姜骑兵
Penetrating White Horsemen of You Province: 幽州白马义从
Ferocious Cavalry of Yan Province :兖州虎豹骑, lit. Tiger and Panther Riders of Yan Province]
Amongst the infantries are the Soldiers from Xu Province’s Danyang County, Great Halberd Soldiers of the Ji Province, Skirmishers of the Ji Province, Qing Province Soldiers, and last but not least, Gao Shun’s Formation Breaker.
[TL: not certain if the other troops have special names.. but I tried…
soldiers from Xu Province’s Danyang county: 徐州丹阳兵，
Great Halberd (ji) Soldiers of the Ji Province: 冀州大戟士，
Skirmishers of the Ji Province: 冀州先登营，
Qing Province Soldiers: 青州兵，
Gao Shun’s Formation Breaker: 高顺的陷阵营]
Although the Formation Breaker numbered only eight hundred, they rival army of thousands.
One of the reasons why Lu Bu was able to become a warlord in this era of heroes was precisely because of Heavy Cavalry of the Bing Province and the Formation Breakers.
Xiahou De getting dismounted and shot in the hand caused his troops to suddenly panic. Coupled with the reinforcements Lu Bu brought with him, Xiahou De’s troops became lost.
“Sha!” Another general walked out leading the remaining Lu Bu army to attack the Cao troops.
The Cao troops’ morale collapsed on the first encounter.
Having dispersed the Cao troops, Liu Mang was helped up. Lu Bu walked toward him. He saw the bloodied Liu Mang and frowned. “Brother Liu Mang, why are you still here?! Didn’t I tell you to break out of Xiapi?!”
Before Liu Mang could answer, Cheng Yu who was on the side already helped him answer. “Reporting to General, Sire brought us to find General. We wish to assist General in protecting General’s family!”
“Nonsense!” Although Lu Bu said this, he was moved.
“Sire?!” The general leading the Formation Breaker puzzled.
“Right, I forgot introductions. Brother Liu Mang, this is general Gao Shun. He leads the Formation Breaker – eight hundred strong but could rival an army.” Lu Bu certainly did not hold his praise back. An army in ancient times numbered at least in the ten thousand. For eight hundred men to rival ten thousand, the Formation Breaker was certainly the elite of the elite.
“This is Liu Mang of the Han Dynasty royal family.” Lu Bu did not mention that Liu Mang was the younger brother of Emperor Xian. He feared that he might hurt Liu Mang by mentioning that he was a bastard child. “For I to escape ascension to heaven,it was all because of brother Liu Mang” Lu Bu had a face full of gratitude. Had it not been for Liu Mang, perhaps he would’ve already been tied up before Cao Cao, enduring shame and insults.
“I, Gao Shun, thank sire for saving my Lord!” Gao Shun was indeed a person of few words. Without saying much, he immediately held his fist toward Liu Mang.
[TL: In case you forgot, held fist is a sign of respect toward another individual.]
“You’re too kind. General Gao Shun, your Formation Breaker is very admirable!” Honest men of few words are the most worthy people to associate with.
Gao Shun did not speak. However, his facial expression was full of pride. He had accepted the compliment.
Lu Bu went toward the Province Governor’s Mansion in the inner city. However, even if he was the God of War, trying to save his wives and daughter alone was near impossible. Luckily for him, Gao Shun and Zhang Liao brought with them the eight hundred strong Formation Breaker toward the inner city. They knew that once that Xiapi was lost when the White Gate Tower got broken through. After discussing, they gave up on West Gate and rushed directly toward the inner city and rescued Lu Bu’s family and met up with Lu Bu enroute.
“Milord, the Cao troops have been repulsed!” Another general returned.
“You must be Zhang Liao, Zhang Wenyuan. I am, humbly, Liu Mang.” Without Lu Bu’s introduction, Liu Mang already knew who he was. In the battle of Xiapi, the only generals that didn’t betray Lu Bu was these two.
[TL: Wenyuan is Zhan Liao’s courtsey name.]
“This is?” Zhang Liao was confused. He did not know Liu Mang.
“He saved our lord!” Gao Shun said in a matter of fact manner.
“Thank you for saving my lord!” Like Gao Shun, Zhang Liao immediately showed his gratitude.
Only after the exchange of introductions did Liu Mang noticed that not only did Zhang Liao repulse the Cao troops, he also brought back a captive. Wasn’t this the man that almost killed Liu Mang earlier?
His hand disabled, hair loose and a desolate expression. Compared to the man charging on the horse, there was not a single hint of the heroic appearance he had earlier.
“Zhang Liao, why bother bringing back this Cao general? Just kill him as an offering to our banner!” Lu Bu frowned. He held no goodwill toward Cao generals. Had Cao Cao not attacked him, he would’ve still be the General Who Pacifies the East, still be the Province Governor.
[TL: By Province Governor, author likely meant the Governor of the Xu Province. Lu Bu declared himself that. He was earlier the Governor of the Yan Province.]
“Yes!” Zhang Liao, following the orders, was about to execute Xiahou De. However, he was stopped by Liu Mang.
“Xiahou De? Xiahou De!” Liu Mang remembered. In the Romance of Three Kingdoms, there really was a person named Xiahou De. He appeared chapter 70 of the novel. Elder brother of Xiahou Shang. He dismissed Huang Zhong for seeking battle. Slain by Yan Yan at Tiandang mountain.
Although Liu Mang doesn’t know much about Xiahou De, he knew who Xiahou Shang was. He’s Xiahou Yuan’s nephew. Being Xiahou Shang’s brother, he should also be Xiahou Yuan’s nephew. And now amongst the troops sieging the city was Xiahou Yuan. Perhaps something could come of this.
“What we need to do right now is to break out of the city. However, the surrounding Cao troops numbered tens of thousands. It is utterly impossible for us to break out with force! Thus, we could only use this trump card in front of us!” In the issue of breaking out of the city, Liu Mang was very concerned. After all, it was a matter of life and death to him.
“General Zhang Liao, is this Xiahou De’s army banner here?” Liu Mang asked Zhang Liao.
“Yes!” Due to Xiahou De being demounted, his banner was dropped by his troops. Luckily, the banner was not damaged in the strife.
“Brother Liu Mang plans to…” Zhang Liao seemed to have thought of something.
“Correct, I am going to do this…” Liu Mang said laughing. “Boss Lu, may I borrow your troops again?”
“Brother Liu Mang needn’t ask. Go ahead.” Lu Bu was neither a good person nor a bad person. He was just a genuine vile person. Whoever was good to him, he too will be good to that person.
[TL: I am translating Xiaoren (small person) as vile person. Xiaoren basically refer to individuals who aren’t necessarily bad per say but only seek immediate gains. As opposed to Junzi, which means lord’s son, a gentleman. ]
“Good!” Liu Mang walked toward the front. “Is Gao Shun and Zhang Liao present?!”
“Present!” Zhang Liao and Gao Shun half kneeled on the ground.
“General Zhang Liao, lead your soldiers to remove our army’s black gowns and change into Cao army’s white gowns!”
“Yes!” Zhang Liao left following the orders.
“General Gao Shun, lead the Formation Breaker and conceal within General Zhan Liao’s troops! Be on standby at all time!”
“Yes!” Gao Shun started preparing with the Formation Breaker.
“Cheng Yu!” Liu Mang called out to Cheng Yu. “You are to remove general Xiahou’s armor and wear it onto yourself!”
“Ahhhh?!” Cheng Yu did not understand.
“Execute the orders!”
“Yes!” Cheng Yu also left following the orders.
“Boss Lu, as for you and I, we are to take off our armor and wait for the time of opportunity!” Yep, this was exactly what Liu Mang had in mind.
Xiapi had already been broken through. A steady stream of Cao troops was influxing the East Gate, West Gate, North Gate and the South Gate. To break out of the city was literally impossible. Even if the breakout was to be successful, high number of casualties would be needed.
Thus, a different method must be used – waving Xiahou De’s banner. Cheng Yu had a similar physique to Xiahou De. After wearing his armor, no one should be able to tell who he was without being up close. Additionally, the sky was getting darker.
Coupled with the troops Zhang Liao brought over changing to Cao army’s uniforms. As long as they do not encounter familiar people, they will not be found out.
While Gao Shun’s eight hundred Formation Breaker hiding within the disguised Lu Bu troops, ready to respond to any situations.
Having Lu Bu and himself change their armor was because the armors they were wearing was too obvious. Liu Mang was wearing a Golden Cloth. Even if the sky was dark, the armor will still reflect light. Lu Bu’s white armor, on the other hand, was already well known to the Cao army.
With Lu Bu, Gao Shun, Zhang Liao and the eight hundred elite soldiers of the Formation Breaker… they are like a spear going straight for the enemy’s chest.
Soon Zhang Liao and Gao Shun returned. They had finished setting up.
“Brother Liu Mang, let’s go!” Lu Bu had already brought over his family. The current him did not want to waste any more time staying here.
“Boss Lu, worry not!” Liu Mang shook his head. He took off his Golden Cloth and placed it inside one of Lu Bu family’s cart and changed into an ordinary soldier’s armor.
Only now did Liu Mang know the benefits of that Gold Cloth. Not only offering great protection, it was also lightweight from being constructed from aluminum alloy. The whole armor added up to only twenty some pounds. Opposing that, his current armor, which includes only the chest plate and the back plate, offering no protection elsewhere, was over fifty pounds with a helmet.
“Let the soldiers rest first. We will wait till night. Night is the time of our breakout!” Liu Mang found a place and laid down. He no longer minded the blood on the ground. It’s fine as long as it’s dry.