425 Battle of Jiameng Pass - Enraged Ma Chao
chapter 425 – battle of jiameng pass - enraged ma chao
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the sudden clan notification shocked ma chao, who was positioning on the jiameng gate's west mountain range.
although ma chao was brainwashed by khan, he still had a human's conscience.
the death of his father hit him hard. ma chao's lost his temper as he ordered all of his soldiers to rush forth, planning to counter-attack against lu bu and zhang he's forces.
he only had one goal in his mind.
"zhang he!! i swear, if i can't kill you, i won't call myself a man!!"
meanwhile, han sui was also shocked by the death notification. however, he did not have the time to mourn for his sworn brother.
he was in the middle of combat with zhang he's elite soldiers!
because of the fog, han sui could not see very far. he could only fend off the horsemen's charge to keep himself alive.
han sui's soldiers had not prepared for a fight. most of them did not even carry a weapon with them as they were still helping others packing their tents. some of them had not worn their cataphracts armors.
as such, they were easy targets for the pickings. han sui and ma teng's camp were overwhelmed by the charge.
still, zhang he's men seemed to be aware of their charging directions and could differentiate between friends and foes. han sui tried to observe their movements as he also tried to figure if the persons around him were his comrades or his enemies.
then, he found the clues. all of zhang he's men embedded feathers onto their helmets, which was easy to see.
it was an effective way to prevent a friendly fire situation.
'i see. there is this stratagem!'
by the time that han sui noticed it, someone had blown a signal horn.
*bwoo* *bwoo* *bwooooo*
then, there was an explosion to the north.
all zhang he's soldier turned around and galloped toward the sound of an explosion, withdrawing from the camp.
han sui and his bodyguards did not pursue the raiders as their army had not even been organized. rushing to counter-attack right now would be a suicide since they could barely gather a hundred men with this foggy environment.
they had to wait for the fog to disperse and reorganize first!
watching the clearing fog, han sui had a heartache.
the fog had disappeared, revealing the carnage scene on han sui and ma teng's camps.
there were ten camps, each housed 10,000 soldiers. however, three of them had been completely demolished while another four was half-destroyed. only three camps remained intact.
corpses of their men were everywhere, even though the raid took less than an hour.
han sui ordered a reorganization, so he could obtain the status of his remaining troops.
noon, the result came in.
they lost 40,000 men in this raid!
had it been a normal raid, they should have lost less than 10,000 men. however, these clone troopers did not fear death or know about the meaning of a word [escape], they charged blindly at the enemies and resulted in more death.
yet, they only found a few hundreds of zhang he's dead soldiers and their horses. they also found a few banners, which were written [ghost].
"the ghost legion … zhang he …"
han sui recited these names. in the past, he thought of this zhang he as an incompetent young general under tong since he did not have any noteworthy achievements like other generals. he even mocked the "ghost" name as something a pushover would name themselves.
his underestimation came back to slap him in the face. if zhang he could utilize a fog raid stratagem in the foreign terrains, he had proved to be a talented man.
now, the "ghost" nickname became a terror to han sui.
fortunately, his men were not ordinary humans. had it been humans, they would have lost the will to fight and deserted the camps.
the clone troopers did not fear death. they persisted on and followed every han shu's command.
"i admit i was wrong about you, zhang he. i'll be facing you seriously from now on!"
han sui ordered his men to withdraw from the mountain to the lower plain, so he could utilize his cataphracts better. still, he left several men to hide in the areas as scouts, so he could detect zhang he's movement.
zhang he, qu yi, gao lan, and their men returned from the raid. although they were exhausted, their face was brimmed with joy.
the fog raid tactic was a success!
before, zhang he had combined his picture memory abilities with the hud map system skill to create accurate geographic mapping. after getting the map, zhang he copied them to his vice generals, so they could also learn about the terrains.
with the terrain knowledge and the pinpointed locations of their enemies, they took out all ma teng and han sui's scout teams, disabled their news network.
after ma teng deployed a larger team, they probed ma teng's cataphracts strength by setting another ambush.
unfortunately, the heavy armors of the cataphracts were solid, which was difficult to kill the wearer. the ambush parties failed to wipe out all of the enemies before the reinforcements appeared.
still, they gained more experience dealing with these enemies.
then, yesterday evening, zhang he noticed from the hud map that han sui army had movements. upon scouting with his detached soul, he found that they were packing their belongings, planning to retreat.
since they were retreating, han sui and his men would let their guard down for a while, and that time was in the early morning when they woke up and had their breakfast.
in the state of slumber and drowsiness in the morning, soldiers were rarely energetic in a long campaign.
thus, zhang he ordered everyone to raid them in the early morning when the fog would be thickest. to prevent a fight between friendlies, they added feathers on top of their helmet to differentiate friends and foes.
afterward, it led to the present.
still, a thousand elites failed to return with them. they figured that the unfortunate soldiers might have died or run away during the chaos.
zhang he kept his eyes on the hud map, watching han sui's every move. upon seeing that han sui started retreating, he turned to his men, who were still celebrating.
"get a good rest, people! be prepared to march at late noon. our enemies have retreated back into their territories. they have given up fighting with us on the mountain."
qu yi was surprised, "sir, they have retreated, but why we have to be prepared? we have a bit of time to rest, right?"
zhang he shook his head, "wrong. don't forget what we've come here for. we're here as our force's secondary strike team. we have to push forward and pincer jiameng gate from behind. since their flank has retreated, there is a brief opening in their defense gap. you know what i meant?"
qu yi and gao lan were astonished by zhang he's insight. none of them had thought about that.
"o-of course, general!"
with the arrangement, zhang he reported his success to the clan chat.
xun you and ju shou were amazed by zhang he's result. it was better than what they had expected.
lu bu even revealed a faint smile. since he liked this young general, he was looking forward to seeing his growth, and zhang he did not disappoint him.
lu bu: "good job!"
he even forgot his pride and praised zhang he in the clan chat.
tong: "oh? you can praise someone?"
lu bu: "that's rude. i always praised my subordinates when they did a good job!"
tong: "since when has junyi become your subordinate?"
lu bu: "it's a metaphor and an example. are you dumb?"
as usual, tong and lu bu always bickered when they had a chance. because lu bu had been influenced by ju shou for years and he was turning a new leaf, his intelligence and wisdom improved, and he could beat tong in a debate sometimes. furthermore, the angelic cultivation calmed his temper. he could not be baited or provoked easily anymore.
to others, it became a friendly quarrel instead of insubordination. therefore, no one minded their squabbles.
zhang he: "i have pushed back the flank troops. requesting permission to pincer khan's main forces at jiameng gate, your majesty."
tong: "nah, you can't move in."
zhang he: "but we have an opening!"
tong: "khan is still alive, and he is hiding in the main force, no? what do you think will happen if you go gung-ho on khan in a one-on-one duel?"
lu bu: "tong is right, junyi. strategy wise, it's a good move, but the risk isn't worth it."
gao shun: "i agree with general lu. also, i have something urgent to report."
gao shun: "after i have retreated from my initial location, khan's west flank army has mobilized. they are coming for our west flank."
gao shun and han hao reported their finding and their battlefront with ma chao. although they had yet to fight in a direct confrontation, their scout teams had many skirmish battles, fighting to occupy an advantage ground and relaying information.
moreover, gao shun was on the losing side as ma chao's men did not fear death. most of the time, they double-suicided with his men.
xun you: "let's draw them to us, general gao. we'll welcome them with explosive traps."
ju shou: "bait a retreat and lure them to our main force, general."
lu bu: "let them come. since chase after you, make use of traps and ambushes."
gao shun: "understood!"
xun you: "general lu, we also need your men to place traps in advance. please come to our command tent, so we can discuss this."
in the end, zhang he only scouted the abandoned camps to clean the battlefields and buried the deceases, even though han sui had already looted and taken every weaponry and supplies with him.
as for gao shun, he baited ma chao deep north to where he placed several horse traps, gunpowder traps, and trenches.
the clueless chasers fell into the traps as planned.
the rigged explosive traps stopped their advancement on their tracks. unfortunately, only 5000 men were killed in the trap series.
ma chao averted from the traps and changed his direction.
"we're taking a detour! rush through their gaps and attack jiange county. we'll cut their supply line and attack them from behind!"
meanwhile, xun you had already taken a precaution. he had order han hao retreat ahead, so he could defend jiange county with 10,000 men, just in case ma chao planned to steal their supplies.
the moment ma chao slipped through their net, lu bu was the first to react.
he pulled back everyone from the main battlefield and chased after ma chao's 95,000 soldiers.
gao shun's battalions also followed after them, planning to defend the county.
after lu bu had pulled back from jiameng gate, khan reappeared!
he commanded all his men to rush forward, chasing after lu bu!
zhang he noticed the opportunities. instead of assisting lu bu and others, he sent his forces to zitong!
han sui received an order from khan, so he commanded his remaining men to follow after the main troops, pushing the battlefield toward lu bu's territory. upon spotting zhang he's ghost legion moving toward their zitong commandery headquarter, he recalled his men back to defend their county.
the exchange between these generals continued. the conclusion was far from over!