“I have to be the one to kill
Huang Shè!” Bofu insisted. “I have
“Did Huang Zu’s arrow kill your father?” Gongjin asked.
“It-! …No,” Bofu replied. “But the order was enough.”
“Right,” Gongjin said. “Huang Zu might be worth the risk, but not his son. He isn’t a hero like you: it doesn’t take a tiger to kill a mouse, any cat or dog will do.”
“I was going to chase him too, but I won’t now you’ve said that, Gongjin,” Sun Yi chuckled.
“…Seize the boats and ships, and kill any men that don’t surrender straight away,” Bofu ordered. “We have to cripple Huang Zu so that he can’t bother us again… and then, when the time’s right, we come back and finish him off.”
On the land, the battle against Huang Zu’s forces was being led by Sun
Ben, Sun Fu, Dong Xi and Lü Meng, with Qin Song providing what little advice
“If Lü Meng wants to live to see grandchildren, he needs to learn some sense,” Qin Song complained.
Dong Xi nodded and said, “He does need to learn some restraint. But then so do the lord and Ling Cao.”
There was no doubting Lü Meng’s talent on the battlefield, however: he was getting the better of every man that challenged him and had already defeated two of Huang Zu’s better majors.
“Commander Huang, we may be forced to withdraw to the camp!” Liu Pan said fearfully.
“Against reckless idiots such as this…?” Huang Zu scoffed. “This ‘Lü Meng’ is another Sun Jian, begging for arrows to end his career early!”
Huang Zu signalled to his archers, and a small volley of missiles was fired at the Jiangdong infantry; Zhang Shuo led an infantry charge moments later.
“Has he any other tricks, or is that it…?” Qin Song sighed.
“It isn’t the trap; it’s the man that it’s set for that decides its effectiveness,” Dong Xi retorted. “Lü Meng and Sun Fu are not withdrawing!”
“My fool brother is letting Lü
Meng rob him of his sense!” Sun Ben fretted.
“But the arrows are being fired upward, and your brother advances under the arc… so perhaps he is not so much of a fool,” Qin Song said.
“But a line of infantry protects the archers!” Sun Ben cried.
“And they’re flinching!” Dong Xi noted. “It’s time for me to go and add my own spear to the fray!”
Huang Zu fumed as his men buckled under the series of unexpected attacks: he punched the air and said, “My sons have the better men: all I am left with is fools and cowards!”
Liu Pan realised that Dong Xi was quickly carving his way through the Jing front lines, and his approach was only moments away.
“We have to retreat!” Liu Pan suggested.
“I know, I know, I…! …Damn them all!” Huang Zu replied as he signalled to his men and turned his horse to flee the field.
“Come back, Huang Zu!” Dong Xi shouted through laughter. “When will we know your face?”
Zhang Shuo was the last to realise that his lord had fled: he fought his way out of the pincer that he was now trapped within and returned to the camp.
“Now we destroy his camp!” Sun Ben declared.