Chapter 9 – Home?
Original by Bro Got a Gun, Translated by James
“Prime Minister, Prime Minister! We have been accused wrongly!” Song Xian and Wei Xu turned pale with fright. The raging man on the city walls was indeed Cao Cao. They risked their life on capturing Lu Bu in hopes of attaining wealth and prosperity. And now? Their wealth and prosperity was gone and their new boss even ordered for their death!
Although Song Xian and Wei Xu cried of being wrongly accused, no one stood up for them because there were already Cao troops that have started executing the orders from Cao Cao. Maybe the sensible Yu Jin would try to constrain his men but Xiahou Yuanrang wasn’t one who would do that! Like brothers, he grew up together with Cao Cao. For Cao Cao to be surrounded, he was already burning with anxiety. Adding onto that, he had received news of the injuries that his elder brother Xiahou Yuan suffered – causing Xiahou Dun to be burning with rage!
“Kill, Kill, Kill!” He could care less about some Song Xian or Wei Xu. All he cared was Mende’s orders, to kill them!
“Yuanrang, Yuanrang!” Yu Jin tried to stop the berserk Xiahou Dun. But alas, he was too late. Xiahou Dun’s army had already began killing Wei Xu and Song Xian’s men. Although Wei Xu and Song Xian’s men were all surrendered Lu Bu soldiers, they are not people who would just stand there and be attacked without fighting back.
You dare slash at me with your blade, then I shall return you a thrust of my sword – the four armies were immediately thrown into chaos! Before they could reach the Lu Bu remnants, they themselves were thrown into chaos – confronting, attacking and killing each other!
“Vile!” With his sword, Yu Jin killed a soldier from the Song Xian army that was about to bring him harm. There was nothing he could do. While he could keep his head cool and control his own army, he cannot control the other three armies!
“Attention Men! Kill them all!” Yu Jin cannot help but give out such an order. After all, as a general, he cannot just stay there and not fight back. If he did, then how would he be able to lead an army in the future?!
“Sha!” Under the White Gate Tower was a field of chaos. Xiahou Yuanrang’s army was attacking Song Xian and Wei Xu’s. Song Xian and Wei Xu fought back but also included Yu Jin’s army in their retaliation, forcing him to join the fray. With the sky already being dark, now with this chaos, soldiers ended up not being able to tell allies from enemies apart and sometimes ended up fighting their own people.
“Men, onward! Generals Song Xian and Wei Xu are trying to right themselves. Our purpose here is to kill Cao Cao!” shouted Liu Mang as he saw the increasingly chaotic battle that he created.
“This, this!” Gao Shun led the Formation Breaker and began charging straight ahead. He was already prepared to fight till the death when he saw the four Cao armies’ arrival. Even if the Formation Breaker was to be completely annihilated, he planned to protect his lord’s escape. But with what had happened now, his Formation Breaker was instead able to take things leisurely. It was all because of that scholar (from Gao Shun’s point of view, Liu Mang was a scholar because had neither facial hair not strength). With a single speech, he actually managed to cause the self destruction of the four armies.
What is the stratagem of sowing dissension? This was the stratagem of sowing dissension!
[TL: 反间计 is one of the Desperate Stratagems within the 36 Stratagems.
Undermine your enemy’s ability to fight by secretly causing discord between him and his friends, allies, advisors, family, commanders, soldiers, and population. While he is preoccupied settling internal disputes, his ability to attack or defend is compromised.]
A few words came out of the the rarely spoken mouth of Gao Shun. “Teacher, what profound talent!” Teacher is what the ancients called the learned people. Gao Shun had recognized Liu Mang. Before Gao Shun could finish his praise, his eyes suddenly widened and he immediately shout “Teacher, careful!”
[TL: The word Gao Shun is calling Liu Mang is 先生, which means mister. It could also mean teacher. This is especially true for certain chinese dialects. Thus, I am putting it as teacher because mister makes no sense.]
“Fuck!” Liu Mang heard Gao Shun’s shout, a spear was being thrust toward his face.
“Brat, prepare to die!” The man thrusting the spear at him was Song Xian. Song Xian was enraged at how he believed this man called Liu Mang. And now, not only did the Lu Bu army want to kill him, his new boss wanted to kill him too. In this extreme hatred, his luck seemed to have increased and actually found Liu Mang in this chaos. Even if Liu Mang took off his golden armor, Song Xian still recognize him. Hell, even if Liu Mang turned to ashes Song Xian would still recognize him. Afterall, his voice was already familiar to Song Xian.
“Bastard, not allowing me to live, then you might as well die for me!” Song Xian went crazy. Current Xiapi was filled with Cao troops. Song Xian and Wei Xu was currently stuck between Xiahou Dun and Yu Jin on one side and Lu Bu and the Formation Breaker on the other side. Thus, his death was pretty much guaranteed. Therefore, he went crazy.
All because of this brat! All of this happened because of this brat in front of him! Kill him! KILL HIM! Under such intense hatred, Song Xian actually managed to break through his limit, his abilities increased from that of a second rated general to that of a first rated general.
“Oh shit, I’m totally fucked this time!” Liu Mang felt very bitter. To be the target of two generals in a single day… while he had Lu Bu’s rescue during his encounter with Xiahou De and also his Aries Gold Cloth helping him defend… but now? Boss Lu had yet to come back and he’s wearing only an ordinary soldier’s armor! His death was pretty much guaranteed!
“Teacher!” Gao Shun eye sockets were about to burst. He wanted to rush forward and rescue Liu Mang but he could not get there in time – he was tens of steps away from Liu Mang and there were soldiers blocking the path.
“Having Cao Cao fall for my scheme, I think my name should be going down in history!” Watching the approaching spear tip, Liu Mang no longer had any fear. Instead, he had a relaxing feeling.
From saving Lu Bu till the breakout of now, Liu Mang’s concentration had been at the highest degree, never once slacking. In order to survive, he had risked his life and given his all. Now that the inescapable death was coming toward him, his tauted nerves could now ease up.
“Ding ding dang!” A series of sparks flashed. Song Xian’s rapidly approaching spear was knocked flying away. It flew by the corner Liu Mang’s mouth, cutting it.
Under the stinging pain of the wound, Liu Mang finally came to. He was saved by someone!
Better alive than dead. Liu Mang, without regard for appearance, immediately drop and rolled to the side. Survival was of utmost importance!
Only after having escaped the range of Song Xian’s spears did Liu Mang had a chance to see who exactly it was that saved him.
Golden armor, huge horns, gorgeous patterns all over and some decorative gemstones – a great armor!
Wrong, wrong! Liu Mang shook his head strongly. Isn’t this my fucking Aries Gold Cloth?!
Did the Cloth moved on its own to save the owner? Bullshit! This ain’t some fantasy novel!
“Song Xian, my father has treated you well and you dared to betray him! Today, on behalf of my father, I shall clean house! Prepare to die!” A sharp and clear voice of a female resounded.
“A woman?!” The person wearing his armor was a woman?!
“Miss!” Song Xian put away his spear and nervously watched the female Saint standing in front of him. “It really wasn’t that I, Song Xian, wanted to betray your father. Instead, it was because Marquis of Wen treated us like damnable livestock! What did Hou Cheng did wrong? He recovered the warhorses of the Armored Cavalry of Bing Province and should be rewarded for his accomplishments. But Marquis of Wen not only did not reward him, he almost executed him all because Hou Cheng drank a little wine! How exactly do you expect us to fight for him when he treats us so?!”
[TL: translating 大小姐 as Miss. 大小姐 literally means eldest ojou-sama. Yep, used japanese because I cannot think of a better way to describe it. Miss is the closest english counterpart.]
[TL: Saint… from Saint Seiya… because… well… she’s wearing a Saint’s Cloth so she’s a Saint… 圣斗士 literally means Saint Warrior]
“Miss?!” Liu Mang remembered. Lu Bu did have a daughter borne to his wife Lady Yan. Originally planned to be married to Yuan Shu’s son for an alliance but that was utterly canceled due to Chen Gui’s prevention.
Is that her? Liu Mang cannot see her face. However, based on her back view and that sweet voice, he knew that she was a beauty that could damage the country and cause suffering to people.
[TL: Basically he said based on her back view and her voice, he knew she would be super beautiful and enough to cause wars and suffering cause people will be fighting over her due to her beauty.]
Afterall, with the handsome genes from Boss Lu, his daughter can’t possibly be ugly.
A girl! A beauty! Unable to help himself, Liu Mang’s facial appearance became like that of a pig. One cannot blame Liu Mang, anyone else would also be like this if they were a virgin of twenty some years!
“And thus you decided to betray, right?!” An tranquil and calm voice appeared.
“Eh? Boss Lu?!” Liu Mang wiped away the saliva on the corner of his mouth. He did not know when Lu Bu appeared behind him. Being in a battlefield, if it was an enemy instead of Lu Bu, he would’ve been killed.
Lu Bu set his sight on Liu Mang. Seeing the corner of his mouth, Lu Bu had an expression like a smile yet not like a smile. Seeing Lu Bu’s expression, Liu Mang had a guilty conscience. He hoped that Lu Bu did not see through him checking out his daughter.
“Father!” The female Saint stood to the side for Lu Bu.
“Lo-lord!” Seeing the sudden appearance of Lu Bu, Song Xian’s heart jumped. His speech started to tremble and he unknowingly called out ‘Lord.’
“I am not your lord nor am I worthy of a subordinate like you!” Lu Bu’s speech gradually got colder that even Liu Mang felt it.
Hearing Lu Bu’s speech, Song Xian got even more scared. He looked behind and saw that his guards were still far away. If Lu Bu wanted to kill him, he really can’t escape.
Seeing that he was going to die either way, Song Xian gritted his teeth and said “Lu Bu, didn’t you want to know why we betrayed you? I’ll tell you why! You’re obstinate and self opinionated! Advisor Chen had planned for the setup of a garrison outside Xiapi to take the shape of a horn with the city! If you had listened, how would Xiapi possibly be flooded by the Cao army?! But you didn’t! You were doting on your beautiful concubine the whole time, engrossed in gentle and soft pleasures the whole time! With a single word from her, you were like an entranced drunk! Xiapi was flooded? So let it flood! It’s not like we have never fought against enemies on all sides! However, you should never ever ever have been suspicious of us, thinking that we are secretly planning to surrender to Cao Cao just because the Cao army shot a letter demanding for surrender into the city! Do you know why Hou Cheng was drinking? It’s because the Cao army outside was approaching, causing us anxiety. We drink to strengthen up our morale so that we can fight to the death with you, Marquis of Wen! You really thought we would be celebrating just for some horses?!”
“Song Xian! You are being presumptuous!” Gao Shun had rushed here. Seeing Song Xian’s dissing Lu Bu with every word from his mouth, Gao Shun was displeased.
“Let him speak!” From Lu Bu’s eyes, there was signs of self blame, regret and various unclear emotions.
“You caught Hou Cheng and even wanted to execute him! It’s Hou Cheng! We have followed you Lu Bu, Lu Fengxian, ever since Bing Province! And you wanted to kill us just like that! Hehe, if we really wanted to betray you just for wealth and position, would we be doing it now?! When you killed Ding Yuan and your reputation dropped to the lowest, we followed you. When you killed Dong Zhou and were forced to fled Chang’an by Guo Si, we still followed you! When you defected to Yuan Shu and Yuan Shao, living by relying on their charity, we still followed you! Even when you were driven out of Yan Province like a dog by Cao Cao, we still followed you! When Xiapi was surrounded, if we really wanted to surrender then we would’ve done that before he flooded Xiapi. However, we didn’t! We didn’t! We were still hoping. Hoping that you, Lu Bu, our eldest brother, our lord, will be able to lead us to either glory or death!” The more Song Xian says, the louder his voice gets.
Liu Mang noticed that the spear that Lu Bu was holding had been dented by Lu Bu’s grip, leaving behind marks of his fingerprints. This was a freaking metal spear!
“It is not us who betrayed you but rather you who betrayed us!” Song Xian almost shouted.
“Enough!” Lu Bu shut his eyes, his murderous aura was leaking all over like a wild beast that could attack you at any moment.
“What, you were hurt by my speech? Ha ha Ha ha, Kill me! Lu Bu, Lu Fengxian! To die in your hands is something that, I, Song Xian would be proud of!” Song Xian laughed. He was not this happy even when he betrayed Lu Bu and obtained the rewards from Cao Cao. Instead, he was very happy now having said all that’s in his mind.
“Leave!” said Lu Bu while choking back his murderous intent.
“What?!” Song Xian was stunned. He was already ready to receive his death but was instead brought to confusion by Lu Bu’s word.
“Leave!” repeated Lu Bu. He turned his body around. “Before I regret it!”
“Lu Bu, this time you didn’t kill me. You will certainly regret it!” Song Xian was not afraid that Lu Bu will be cruel to him nor was he afraid that Lu Bu will kill him. What he was afraid of was that Lu Bu will ignore him.
“Hehe, regret? I, Lu Bu, Lu Fengxian, have never been afraid of any threats!” Lu Bu was very confident.
“Humph!” Song Xian picked up the spear near his foot and humphed before leaving.
“Wait!” Lu Bu’s voice came again.
“Hehe, did the Marquis of Wen regret? Well then, make haste and kill me!” Song Xian sneered.
Lu Bu shook his head, sighed and said. “Boli, good luck to you. Big brother was unable to give you riches and honor. If you are ever tried, the Bing Province Army will always be your home!” Boli was Song Xian’s courtesy name. For years, Lu Bu have not referred Song Xian by that name. Ever since he started out his career, he have been calling himself as the lord. Bing Province Army was where the place these Lu Bu and his brothers started out from.
“Brother!” Song Xian heart softened and was about to kneel to the ground. He choked back his tears. “Marquis of Wen, I shall take my leave now!” After holding his fist to Lu Bu, Song Xian rode his horse away, leaving behind a trail of dust. That rear view of his was very lonely.
“Let’s go!” Lu Bu said with a low voice. Liu Mang saw that above Lu Bu’s temples, there was a little gray hair. Lu Bu had gotten old!