Ban Chao had just heard news of Xu Da taking the risk of reorganizing. With this in mind Ban Chao had no worries anymore and completely redid his battle plan and focused mainly on taking out as many of Xu Da's forces. Just as the two forces were about to clash there was a large smokescreen enveloping all parties involved. Then, Ban Chao heard numerous explosions ring out in the vicinity of the ships around him. This was quite odd considering the ship he was in was near the back of his overall forces and usually no one would target this area.
Then Ban Chao realized something he had overlooked the previous day. This was Xu Da's turf, so how come Xu Da didn't deploy his home defenses on the surrounding islands the day before? It was to lull Ban Chao into underestimating Xu Da's forces and such a simple tactic worked.
Caught up by this sudden barrage, Ban Chao was slow in sending out forces to deal with the home defenses he had disregarded. This two hour period of confusion was more than enough time for Xu Da to reorganize and the newly organized fleet was making it's way back to the other fleet.
The key difference between the new and old fleets was the ability to harmonize and support each other. This formation was taught to Xu Da by the Meng Duo and Xu Da had seen just how terrifying such a formation could devastate the enemy. After a few more hours of fighting Ban Chao realized just how big of a difference in effectiveness the two opposing fleets were and decided to momentarily retreat a few hundred kilometers.
Xu Da knew when to quit when he was ahead and decided to call it a day as well. The overwhelming amount of superiority they showed over their opponents was very inspiring to Xu Da's men. It was just before the last light of day when he received some ill omens.
(M) "Admiral, our recon air force has nearly been wiped out by enemy forces." The messenger quickly briefed Xu Da.
(XD) "Is this done by Ban Chao?"
(M) "Likely, one of the pilots managed to send us some information before he was shot out of the sky."
(XD) "Is Ban Chao planning a night raid? They lost three carriers today alone and multiple ships plus military aircraft, should they not be coming up with another strategy?"
(M) "I wouldn't know about that sir, the pilot said that it seemed like close to a quarter of the enemy's forces were making their way to the Philippines in a manner that made them not encounter our forces."
(XD) "The Philippines? Hmm, we don't have any strategic position there that should arouse their interest, what could they be after?" Xu Da thought for a hard moment until he realized just what it was. "Tawi Tawi, our supply depot and our secret refueling station. Quick how many of our ships are docked at Tawi Tawi?"
(M) "I believe I heard the captain say about 8 or so ships? One of them is a heavy carrier."
(XD) "Tell the captain to take 5 ships and set out to pincer this fleet. Also warn the ships at Tawi tawi to get prepared for battle. This is likely the last ditch attempt by Ban Chao to deal some damage to us."
(M) "Yes sir."
As the messenger left quickly to carry out his orders, Xu Da gave commands to the rest of his fleet. All submarine and aircraft units were to set out and spread out tens of kilometers into any direction. baron had an inkling of idea on what Ban Chao would be planning. Ban Chao planned to use the rest of his forces to attack Xu Da in the night to catch Xu Da off guard.
Too bad night raids were Xu Da's new interest. He had learned of this new interest when he was practicing sims against the Meng duo and his unique style really surprised his mentors. With those two teaching Xu Da the basics as well as some more advanced tactics, Xu Da became more and more proficient in night raids.
Just as he had predicted, the enemy fleet came in guns blazing within an hour. This time was different than the day clash that they had had just hours earlier. For one, Ban Chao's fleet was structured in a way that didn't allow Xu Da's ships nor planes to escape. The light and heavy carriers, or whats left of it, surrounded Xu Da's ships. Many ships were periodically placed behind these carriers so that even if something escaped, they would be picked off rather easily.
Something else that's different was that Xu Da's home defenses couldn't attack Ban Chao's ships in the black of night so they were of no help at present. It was a good thing that Xu Da sent out all his submarines and aircraft earlier.
With a wave of the hand, these military machines came back to splendidly pincer the enemy. This unexpected double barrage of torpedoes and bombers from the flank completely caught Ban Chao off guard. Once again he reacted too late and his losses were once again steep. The battle raged on for the entire night and by the morning the victor was clear.
The majority of Ban Chao's forces were destroyed while Xu Da still had a few good ships left to fight. Excluding the ships at Tawi Tawi, Ban Chao was done for. The news of Tawi Tawi reached Ban Chao first and he was depressed to find out that his men had failed to destroy the ships there. It wasn't like he could win even if his men did succeed. After all, Xu Da had shown his superiority in thewater and air. Ban Chao could not compete.
This was how the simulation ended and everyone was astonished to see this result. This sudden increase in Xu Da's strategic prowess was shocking to say the least.
(BM) "Color me impressed Xu Da. You have improved quite a bit. These mentors of yours sure know their stuff. I wonder if we can invite them to get a few sims through. I don't think these two participated in our mini tournament we had a few months back."
(XD) "These two are just a step away from becoming aerial masters, what use would they have for a few measly silver coins?"
(BM) "That's true, any master can earn hundreds of times more just by doing official tournaments. Can you invite these two over Xu Da?"
(GY) "I think I speak for the rest of us when I say we'd all like to meet this Meng Duo, and perhaps exchange a few blows if possible. It's not everyday that we can get such a good opportunity."
(XD) "I don't know guys, these two like to stay in recluse. Heck, these two left their faction because they disliked the people there. And the people there included their father and grandfather."
(BM) "Just try please Xu Da. This could be a really great chance for all of us to improve. We trust your skill ,but these two are true geniuses that we could benefit a lot off of."
(XD) "Alright, but I'll warn you. I still haven't paid these two for their service so that might be a factor in their decision making."
(BM) "Just payment? Give them my regards and tell them I have a proposal that might benefit all of us greatly."
(XD) "You got it."
The next few days went by relatively quiet as they anticipated the return of Xu Da and the news that he bears. Then one day, Xu Da came by the HQ with two handsome and young looking fellows. These two had their family name Meng tattooed onto their left arms. Though they looked like thugs with their stature they exuberated confidence and intelligence. These two were the genius Meng brothers, Meng Tian (older) and Meng Yi (younger).
(MT) "Hello there fellow Chinamen. How do you do? We are the Meng duo."
(BM) "Greetings, esteemed masters. I am Baron, I'm sure Xu Da has told you about me. Have you given any thought to my proposal?"
(MT) "Yes, I hear you've got quite the library of blueprints up in your head. I would like to see if there is anything of interest to me."
(BM) "Excellent, will it just be you and me or will your brother be joining us?"
(MT) "Just you and me. Meng Yi, go ahead and have a few sims against these guys. This could take quite a while."
Yue Fei and Guan Yu both approached Meng Yi for a sim and Meng Yi decided it was best if these two would team up to go against him. Guan Yu and Yue Fei were the best aerial strategists under Baron, yet they had no idea just how big the gap between them and an actual master was. They figured this would be the perfect time to properly test their abilities.
Meng Tian and Baron entered a separate room and sat down to discuss and see if they could work out some kind of deal.
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