Chapter 43 – Complex Situation
October 1st .
Tong sat in the main tent in his camp, listening to the intelligence reports that his father's men and Yuan family had gathered for him .
Tong's face was distorted . He didn't like how the situation developed one bit .
Han Fu was preparing 8,000 men to attack An Ping County from the South!
And Guo Dian increased his troop funding and conscripted more men, he now had over 9,000 men! They would depart from Julu County and attack Tong's camp from the West .
And one more depressing news, Liu Yan from the Ji County on the North would send 3,000 men to aid Guo Dian!
'What a fudging honor for having you 20,000 sister****ers coming for my 2,000 soldiers . Why don't all of you just simply march along with your grandparents so you can increase it to 200,000!'
Tong retorted in his mind in a bad mood . This was the first time that Tong had tasted despair in this world .
But at the same times, he had heard a good news and another bad news . Feng Ji was considerate enough to send him two platoons of reinforcements leading by Yan Liang and Gao Lan .
Yan Liang would intercept Han Fu Army while Gao Lan troops would detach from Yan Liang forces and come to help Tong and his family .
The dispatch of the Yuan family was ordered by Yuan Shao himself . He was still in Luo Yang with his entire main family living there . But he already had heard about Zhang Jiao and Tong's business and cooperation between them and his branch family .
Yuan Shao also knew that the main purpose of Han Fu's mobilization was to humiliate him . So he didn't hesitate to answer Han Fu in kind .
A total of 15,000 Yuan family elites were coming from Nan Pi!
From a simple quarrel between Guo Dian and Tong had turned into a complex situation of the entanglement between five factions . It escalated into a scale that Tong didn't want to see .
Once the battle started, all eyes in China would be gazing and evaluating every participants of this battle . Then every otherworlders would know about his existence and his general location .
Tong had no choice but to raise more number of his soldiers for this larger scale of battlefield .
"Second uncle, third uncle . I need you to conscript the men in the nearby villages . I'll pay the soldier one gold per person if they agree to come and help us . "
Zhang Liang gazed at Tong in solemn . This was a crisis that they would face together so his personal feeling for Tong didn't matter anymore .
Zhang Liang and Zhang Bao nodded and left, leaving Tong alone in the main tent .
Another bad news that Tong had learnt, Zhang Jiao still hadn't come back from the beer business dealing . His father sent him a letter, telling him that Feng Ji intentionally held him back from returning . They wanted the Zhang family to quell the situation at hands first before they continued our business dealing, so they kept his father there for his safety .
It made sense at the first glance . But in Tong's opinion, Feng Ji held his father as a hostage . If Tong lost this fight, Zhang family would be forced to join the Yuan family . If Tong won, then the Yuan family could still take advantage from Tong by having Zhang Jiao there .
Tong could only blame himself for the development of this situation as the consequences of his greed . He shouldn't trust that old fox Feng Ji from the very beginning . Tong swore that he would remember this grudge and would pay it back 10 folds if anything were to happen to his father .
Tong glanced at one of the letter . It was from Ju Shou . It described the number of troops and the general that was dispatched in this campaign .
Tong was gratified by his action . He knew about this person .
In the history, Han Fu would abandoned his post and surrendered Ye City to Yuan Shao . Ju Shou would switch side and became one of the top advisors of Yuan Shao later .
Tong wished that he could have someone like Ju Shou as his strategist or a domestic minister . Tong couldn't continue handling everything by himself .
Tong went to see his camp and his fortress . No one was working around the fortress anymore . It had been finished last month and all tools and weapons were in places .
In front of the fortress, there were pill boxes made by bricks, woods and clay . Inside the pill boxes lied a human-size repeated crossbows .
On top of the fortress, arrow ballistae and more repeated crossbows were settled . Patrol soldiers also stood there, performing their duties .
The trenches had been finished and was hidden under piles of straw, leaves and mud . Wooden stakes and barricades were placed in between the trenches .
Inside the fortress, there were plenty of spaces for soldiers and for the villager sanctuaries . Once the war broke out and if the villagers couldn't escape in time, they could remain in the fortress until the fight was over .
Then Tong saw Wen Chou . At usual, he was inspecting the fortress layout and mumbled to himself .
"Sir Wen Chou, do you understand the meaning of this arrangement?"
Tong teased Wen Chou .
"Haiz, I'm a cavalry general for life . I've never handled a defensive strategy . But from the looks of it, even I can't think of a plan to siege and take down these things . "
Tong was happy to hear Wen Chou's praise . If one of the monster general like him acknowledged this, then Tong would have more confident in this battle .
"I can think of only one way that I can take down this camp, I'll just surround the entire thing and starve you out . "
"What if we have enough food that can last for 10 years?"
"Your army moral will collapse in a year and the fortress will be self-destructed from within . A portion of your troops will desert after they see any disadvantageous situation, so you won't last that long . Secondly, this is a wooden fortress . Any fire attack can burn this thing down . A combination of catapult assault and fire attacks from the edge of the fortress can do the job . Once bombardment is done, the moral of your troops is going to be in the blink of collapse . In the end, you won't last for a year . "
"You may have elite troops, mysterious weapons and your creativity . But you are still naïve in the terms of leaderships and army tactics . There are still small details that you have overlooked . "
Like a cold water pouring on Tong's head . It was too early to be proud . However, Tong took notes on Wen Chou's critics . A private lesson from a general of this caliber didn't come often .
Both of them chatted till the sun set . Wen Chou had many experiences leading thousands of men in many large scale campaigns against Xiang Nu tribes and the Mongols . So Tong learnt a lot from his tutor .
"Listen, why don't you come under the Yuan family? I know you have talents . I can put you as my aide or recommend you to our lord myself . You don't belong in this rural area . "
Tong had a bitter smile on his face . Then he reminded himself that his father was still being held as a hostage in Nan Pi . Tong shook his head and refused Wen Chou .
"Thank you for the opportunity . But for now, I enjoy living free and unfettered . The lifestyle of an official doesn't suit me . "
Wen Chou sighed in disappointment . After a few months of working together, although Tong was shameless sometimes, Wen Chou still liked him .
"Oh, by the way . Can you tell me the secret of your training? How did your troops become so tough so quickly? And why has most of them shaved their head bald?" Wen Chou asked .
Tong had a mischievous smiled on his face when he heard Wen Chou's questions .
"I had them run 10km, push up 100 times, sit up 100 times and squat 100 times every single day . And I told them that once they had done it to the point that they started losing hair and become bald, they would be peerless under the heaven . "
A sweat drop rolled down on Wen Chou cheek . What in the world was that training? He didn't understand any of it .
Tong laughed and gestured Wen Chou to follow him . Then he called Zhou Cang to demonstrate the basic training menu for all soldiers .
To Wen Chou's surprise, Zhou Cang was also bald . Was this a new trend in the army?
Zhou Cang did exactly to what Tong had ordered, leaving Wen Chou standing there with deep frowned .
Wen Chou thought that Tong didn't want to tell him the secret, so he bid farewell and returned to rest .
Seeing that Wen Chou left, Tong gave order to Zhou Cang for one more task .
"Punch that tree for me . "
"Aye aye, sir!"
Zhou Cang walked to the tree and gave it a full-power punch .
The fist made the tree dented and left a shape of a fist in it . Then five seconds later, the tree was broke in half and fell to the ground .
Tong smiled in satisfaction . He nodded to Zhou Cang and allowed him to leave .
When Tong answered Wen Chou questions about his secret, he wasn't kidding . Although all soldiers were being superstitious and shaved their head bald for the trend, there was one person that had really lost all his hair from this training .
That person was Zhou Cang .
"It's not as OP as Sai****, but it's reassuring to have someone like this in my army . "
Tong returned to his room to rest, but Hua Shi visited him again for another kissing session .
It was bad timing for her tonight . Tong had been stressed out from managing his men and planning for the incoming invasion from many forces, so he was not in the mood for entertaining her or be her food .
"You have 10 seconds to scram, unless you want me to test my dual-cultivation skill on you . "
Tong threatened her with serious face . However …
"Try it, cherry boy . "
Hua Shi mocked him and stuck her tongue out while lifting her skirt up, showing what's inside .
"Fine! you ask for it!"