Huang Shè laughed as he watched his enemies’ desperate attempts to dodge
his archers’ attacks and said, “See, Han
Xi, how we can still show these ignorant men our superiority!”
“You won’t get me as you got my father, Huang Zu!” Bofu screamed. “Your head will be mine to sacrifice to his altar!”
Taishi Ci crouched low and braved the arrows in order to advance on the nearest level archery position; he and his men hopped from boat to boat, dodging the strikes of the Jing swordsmen and pike-men until they were close enough to cut down the bowmen and end their assault.
“Why has the archery support thinned???” Huang Shè cried.
Huang Gai’s men reached the front and started to fire at the Jing ships: many of the archers were forced to take cover, and that reduced the Jing defences further.
“I’ll confront them personally!” Han Xi suggested as he fled the deck of the command ship. “Consider a strategic retreat!”
Huang Shè’s brother Yi was leading the vanguard, and the loss of the archery divisions left him exposed: he tried to stage a fighting retreat, but Bofu, Sun Yi, Sun Hè, Song Qian and Zhou Tai surrounded his position.
“…Jiangdong scum!” Huang Yi cried as he tried one last futile attack on Bofu; Sun Hè advanced and cut him down.
“Huang Yi is dead!” Bofu said. “Huang Shè, you’re next!”
Huang Shè could sense that something had happened to his brother, and that the battle might be lost after all: he lowered his head and said, “Death to you, Sun Ce! If Yi is dead… then I can’t let you live now!”
Han Xi led a group of his elite men onto the maze of small boats in order to confront Bofu; he screamed when he learned that his lord’s son had already been killed and charged blindly, shouting, “We’ll have our revenge, Sun Ce!”
“Not before I have mine!” Bofu retorted as he shoved Sun Hè aside and engaged Han Xi directly.
The bobbing vessels proved to be hazardous duelling ground, but Bofu and his allies
had no choice but to meet the swords and pikes of Han Xi’s men with their own.
“…I have to fight!” Huang Shè decided. “I-! …What???”
Cheng Pu and Lü Fan had ordered the Jiangdong ships to close in on the Jing ships: in addition to that, Gongjin, Jiang Qin and Ling Cao had approached the Jing ships from all sides during the chaos and were overseeing the boarding of the medium-sized vessels, which left the command ship dangerously isolated.
“…Han Xi, Brother, I shall soon join you!” Huang Shè cried as he prepared to join the battle on the smaller boats.
“Dogs of Jiangdong!” Han Xi heckled as he pressed an attack on Bofu, who had momentarily lost his footing; Bofu recovered and slashed at Han Xi’s midriff with his sword, wounding him fatally.
“D-dogs…!” Han Xi gasped as he collapsed and fell into the water.
Huang Shè might have stood a chance if Han Xi had still been alive to provide support: his command ship was now under attack from all sides, and with his cause lost, he tried to retreat on a small boat.
“Where are you running to?” Taishi Ci shouted as he and his men pursued and cut down two of Huang Shè’s bodyguards.
“Faster!” Huang Shè screamed. “FASTER, DAMN YOU!”
“Jiang Qin, Zhou Tai, Ling Cao: pursue!” Gongjin ordered.