Chapter 270 – Trap Fortress
Feng Ji finally realized his flaws. His face sunk as he could not retort Tian Feng's words.
Tian Feng asked him again, "Now, how are you going to save your men's lives without gunpowder? Since you went against my order, I need to hear about your ingenious stratagem that you've come up."
"Err, this …"
Seeing the stuttering Feng Ji, Tian Feng snorted and walked away. He did not want to waste his time with this incompetence strategist anymore.
'I've misjudged him! He's not talented, but he's useless!'
Feng Ji watched the leaving Tian Feng in awkward. Then, the awkwardness turned into hatred as his stubbornness could not accept that everything was his fault.
"Screw you, Tian Feng! One day, I'll kill you!" Muttered Feng Ji.
He did not realize that several soldiers heard his remarks. They hurried back to their friends to spread what they had heard.
Tian Feng sent a messenger to Qu Yi, asking him to give some of his gunpowder to the northern army. He planned to seek an audience with Yuan Shao to replace Feng Ji with Te Langpu the next day so Feng Ji could not ruin the battle plan again.
Finished with the inspection on the northern camp, he also visited Wen Chou Camp to check their status.
Wen Chou had bandages covering his hands, arms, and shoulders as the battle against Lu Bu injured his arms.
"Was it that difficult?" Asked Tian Feng.
"He's a monster, alright. I can't face him by myself."
"What if you two attack him together?" Tian Feng looked at Yan Liang, who was by the side of his friend.
"That might be impossible. All Jinyang generals are across the moat. We can't get that opportunity again," Wen Chou sighed.
Yan Liang chimed in, "Yeah. If we want to take down Lu Bu, we will have to go through Gao Shun and Zhang Liao. And I have to update your intel, Li Feihong is also a dangerous fellow. That guy has the same mentality as us, and we suspect that he can also use Zhang Tong's thunder magic. All Chou's aides are dead in the last battle because of that thunder magic!"
Tian Feng nodded, "I understand. I'll reevaluate our plan. For now, keep Jinyang generals in check. I'll leave Gao Lan here to support you two."
"Aye. So … what do we do?"
"Keep trying to cross the moat. Fill it while you're at it. We'll take down the forts in a few days!"
A day passed without anyone trying to move on the other, which surprised Tian Feng. He had thought that Jia Xu might try to sortie and harass their army, but Jia Xu did not even bother sending out any man.
Within Yuan Shao's main camp, a change occurred.
Feng Ji's remark that soldiers had been gossiping yesterday reached Yuan Shao's ears. With the support of Tian Feng, Feng Ji was discharged from his post and was replaced with Te Langpu.
The sacked strategist was terrified by the direct order of his lord, and he pleaded to Yuan Shao to change his mind. However, his sentence got worse.
"This is the second time that you disobeyed my order! Guards, arrest this fool and send him back to Nanpi! Once we get back, I'll decide what I'll do with him. For now, he's demoted to a common slave!"
Feng Ji fainted because of the shock while the guards dragged him away from the camp.
Te Langpu did not like taking the responsibility of an army as he thought it was too troublesome. Still, he had to follow the natives as he was powerless.
"Is there something wrong, sir Te?" Yuan Shao noticed the dissatisfaction on Te Langpu's face.
"I'm feeling unworthy of the current position. My forte is businesses and financial management. I don't think I can meet your expectation on a battlefield."
"Hahaha! I see. I might actually be using the wrong person for the wrong job. But for now, can you temporary hold the post? I don't have any other trustworthy man that can calmly oversee ten thousand men at the moment. The others are busy on the other fronts, you see?"
Te Langpu clicked his tongue in secret, yet he bowed and accepted his post.
Jia Xu still had not moved. All Julu and Jinyang Army stood firm like mountains.
Tian Feng was depressed as he could not read Jia Xu's mind. However, he did not care if the old fox never moved as he had another agenda.
The paths for siege weapons had been paved with soil and mud. They could be transferred beyond the moat today!
As they maintained their position, the troops at Yuan Shao Camp had constructed more siege towers and trebuchets. Each battlefront was sporting 300 trebuchets, 100 siege ladders, and 300 siege towers.
By the time that they brought all the siege weapons across the moat, it was already 3 PM.
Te Langpu glanced at Tian Feng, who came here to assist him at the northern fort.
"Should I attack today? We don't have enough bomb sacks."
"Yes, please. We've been delayed for too long. Let's get this over with."
Te Langpu gestured his aide, and the booming sound of war drums alerted all Yuan Shao forces. All soldiers pushed all siege weapons to the inner wall.
Because they did not have enough gunpowder, Tian Feng decided that they would try to attack the wall in an orthodox way.
As they moved in, the slanted [V] wall made Tian Feng frowned.
'That formation … it's Zhang Tong's trap walls!'
Tian Feng had learned about Tong's tactic in the Battle of Anping two years ago. The crossfire and the unusual setup of the wall was Tong's signature that every scholar in the Northern Provinces knew about.
This wall reeked of Tong's ploy.
"Do now move into the center between the walls! Aim at the corner!"
Te Langpu also noticed about this, too. He pointed the edge of the wall and ordered, "Target that corner side of the wall. Do not move in too deep!"
Trebuchet crews moved in their siege weapons, aiming at the corner of the wall. A battalion of 5,000 men pushed siege ladders forward.
The strange sound of irons came from behind the wall. Dust flew up, and soldiers on the wall were busy cutting something.
10 Seconds later, Te Langpu and Tian Feng widened their eyes in shock. The garrison soldiers cut the ropes that connected the inner wall with the outer palisade walls on the side, which the side walls collapsed outward.
All walls fell down on top of the moat, becoming a bridge for any soldier to cross!
Similar boom noise came from the central fortress walls, which Yuan Shao archers on the siege ladders could see the change.
"The central fort is laying bridges!"
"They're laying bridges! Several bridges!"
A horn sounded, and the ground shook as horsemen exited the fortress. They were rushing out using the pathway between the center fort and the north fortress.
In less of a minute, they reached the sidewall, which had collapsed on top of the moat. The cavalries crossed the deep ditches with the wooden wall bridges, charging at the unprepared trebuchet crews.
Tian Feng and Te Langpu were shocked by the sudden change.
"The entire fortress is a trap! All forces, retreat!" Shouted Tian Feng
"No shit, Sherlock!"
The abrupt change of events put Tian Feng and Te Langpu's men in chaos. Horsemen slew all trebuchet crews as they passed, and they continued charging toward the other soldiers who were running away.
Archers on the towers tried to provide the covering fire for their comrades.
The arrows from the tall towers either missed or ricocheted by the thick armors of the horsemen. It was then that they realized that they were up against a group of heavy cavalries.
Te Langpu commanded his men while he mixed in with the crowd on one of the archer towers, "Throw the bombs at them or shoot down the horses!"
Tian Feng, who was by Te Langpu's side, did not bother commanding the panicking men. He searched through the enemies as if he wanted to check something.
In an instant, he found what he was looking for, the flags of their commander. It was a [Zhang] flag.
'Zhang? Wait, is there another Zhang beside Zhang Liao, Zhang Tong, and his family? Zhang Ji and Zhang Xiu have gone to Ye. There shouldn't be any more this Zhang commander in the fort right now.'
Tian Feng's doubts were answered the moment the heavy cavalry unit commander bellowed after he sent ten the reserve spearmen of Tian Feng Army flying with his halberd.
"I AM ZHANG LIAO, ZHANG WENYUAN!!"
The power of this general was a bit lower than Lu Bu, but his psychologic warfare was better than his boss. He always shouted his name when he dove into the enemy formations to make himself stand out and draw out enemy generals. His shouts also intimidated his opponents and distracted them at the same time.
Another group of five men was severed in half.
"I AM ZHANG WENYUAN!!"
Five armored spearmen were sent flying.
"I AM ZHANG LIAO!!"
Zhang Liao crushed all soldiers in his path without fearing the bombs that Yuan Shao Army was hiding. In addition, 10,000 armored cavalries made quick work on the siege crews and began destroying the siege towers where archers were on top of them.
A tower was hacked down by the horsemen's axes. It collapsed with several hundreds of archers on it.
Te Langpu saw the collapse of the first tower. He ran back to the tower ladder and climbed down. On the other hand, Tian Feng was busy sending signals to the flagbearers, so they could relay his messages to the other troops below.
Fortunately, the tower Tian Feng and Te Langpu were using hid deep within the formation of a battalion of 5,000 soldiers.
Thousands of archers rained their arrows on the armored horsemen of Zhang Liao, but only a few hundreds of arrows managed to find their ways in the fresh of the riders or the horses.
Spearmen managed to form a line that could limit Zhang Liao's movement, which slowed their charge speed and momentum.
Tian Feng wiped his sweat and sighed a relief. There were 20,000 soldiers in his army when the 10,000 Zhang Liao's battalion charged in. His men were in disarray at first, but all men recovered their sense after a few minutes of battle.
Zhang Liao's charge was slowing down, and the archers regained their calm. It was a matter of time that they could wipe out this group of horsemen.
A horn sound came from the north of Tian Feng's location. Everyone turned to the north by reflex, and they noticed an omen.
The sidewall on the northern section also fell down on top of the side moat, making a path for any soldier to cross.
On the horizon, another army appeared. They were carrying the flags of [Li], [Zhang], and [Lu].
Lu Bu, Lu Zhi, Li Feihong, and their soldiers rushed at Tian Feng Army.
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