My Father-in-law is Lu Bu Chapter 213
Chapter 213 Diplomatic war
Translated by Gamer @ endlessfantasytranslations.com
Gan Ning gave his first-class merits to Su Fei without hesitation. However, Su Fei was already dead and Lu Bu did not know how to reward him. Finally, at the suggestion of Liu Mang and Chen Gong, Lu Bu and Liu Mang signed their name and praised Su Fei. Su Fei was also given a title of Marquis.
Since ages ago, those with titles were worshipped. Lu Bu and Liu Mang gave them the East and South General position. Although Lu Bu and Liu Mang were very ordinary, they managed to obtain Gan Ning’s loyalty. (TN: Ranking type titles and Noble type titles.)
As Gan Ning was very rebellious, he initially joined Lu Bu’s Army for a better stage and now he ended up in the world of heroes. If the Lu Bu’s Army could not give him this stage, Gan Ning will not hesitate to leave. Now these two cases made Gan Ning feel moved. This is because the ancestors are concerned about the title of Marquis and although it was just a small title, Gan Ning pledged his allegiance to Lu Bu’s Army.
Although Gan Ning refused the first-class merit, Lu Bu did not treat Gan Ning harshly as Gan Ning was a good general for naval battles. Although Lu Bu was not supposed to be able to give positions like East General, Liu Mang was the Prince of Shu. For Liu Mang, giving titles was easy.
During the battle at the Wan Cheng river. The Wan Cheng navy was wiped out and a lot of soldiers were captured. Lu Bu has picked a great amount of these soldiers to add into his army, increasing the number of soldiers in Gan Ning’s navy to reach 12,000.
Huang Zhong became courageous general that is an expert marksman and is also capable in every other category. Lu Bu recruited 3,000 soldiers and offered Huang Zhong to become their general but Huang Zhong refused. Huang Zhong wanted to stay beside Liu Mang and protect him. Lu Bu, who was also worried about Liu Mang’s safety, agreed.
(TN: Something like a promotion with a ‘title’. However, Chinese words made it sound more like a title compared to English.)
Xu Sheng became a fierce general and was still in charge of the Black Flag Army. The Black Flag Army had 1,500 troops remaining and so Lu Bu gave Xu Sheng another 2,000 soldiers. Although the Black Flag Army were mostly killed, their armor is still around. After half a year of training, they would become a proper army again.
As for the Urban Army, it received another 2,000 soldiers from the captured Danyang soldiers. The 2,000 Danyang soldiers were strong and brave. Unfortunately, they lack military discipline. To be precise, it is difficult for anyone to restrain them. But now, the Third Master is around. As a result, Chu Zi Ying did not dare to go out of line. While the other Danyang troops dared to do it, they did not as Chu Zi Ying is their leader. After receiving the armor and shield from the Urban Army, the Danyang soldiers became even more imposing.
Cheng Yu also received a promotion. Even though he did not join the defense of Wan Cheng, he was the one who notified Lu Bu and the Bingzhou Wolf Cavalry. Besides that, Cheng Yu has the capability to lead the soldiers. Liu Mang just gave the command of the Urban Army to Cheng Yu. Now, Cheng Yu is no longer a deputy but a general.
Zhang Fan and Gaoshun, although their number of soldiers did not change, also received a promotion in their governmental post. Gao Shun became the ‘Strong Morals General’ and Zhang Fan became the Suiyuan general.
(TN: Hou de = strong morals/virtue. Suiyuan is a place)
As for Liu Kai and his son, Liu Kai was appointed as the governer for Wan Cheng. Liu Neng was originally supposed to stay behind as well but Liu Neng insisted on following Liu Mang.
Huang Xu replaced Cheng Yu’s original position and became the deputy of the Urban Army.
Chen Deng who was almost killed in Shucheng, was appeased by Lu Bu by being made South General.
Zhang Liao and Zang Ba that was still in Shucheng was given the title Wolf Cavalry General and Mount Tai General.
Chen Gong’s position did not change. He is the military advisor of the Lu Bu’s Army. He does not need a different position as his presence in the army was difficult to replace.
As for Liu Mang, the only thing Lu Bu could reward him with is the marriage with his daughter in Wan Cheng, after 10 days.
After rewarding and giving titles to the capable people, it was time to figure out how to treat some of the prisoners. Gan Ning has caught a really big fish this time. Jiangdong’s Army’s Lu Su Lu Zijing. Jiang Qin was already turned into minced meat by Gan Ning while Lu Su was captured and placed in jail. It was impossible to capitulate Lu Su, not only because of different ideals, but also because Lu Bu was a Slave with Three Surnames. In this world, only Chen Gong did not look at him without minding this name.
Lu Su is now a big bargaining chip to use against the Sun Ce’s Army. A messenger was already dispatched.
“Old man Chen. Is this Yang Hong reliable?” Liu Mang was a bit anxious. This is because the person that was dispatched by the Sun Ce’s Army was Zhang Hong. He not a person with a small post, but an advisor. He was an advisor capable of seeing the trends of the world and was not inferior to top class advisors like Chen Gong, Guo Jia and Xu Shu.
At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Zhang Zhao avoided the war and fled to Yangzhou. After that, Sun Ce recruited him and Zhang Zhao became one of Sun Ce’s top advisors. Although Liu Mang did not know much about Zhang Zhao, he knows that Sun Ce entrusted Sun Quan with Zhang Zhao and said that the internal affairs could be left to Zhang Zhao.
This meant that if Sun Quan could not do it, he should let Zhang Zhao manage Jiangdong. Even Big Eared Liu said the same thing on his deathbed. He told his son to let Zhuge Liang handle everything.
Zhang Zhao’s only fault was that he told Sun Quan to ask for peace during the battle at Chibi. However, he was silenced when Zhuge Liang won the battle. However, this was also part of Zhang Zhao’s plan. It is a fact that Liu Bei was loved during the 3 Kingdoms era and Zhuge Liang also ended up in the limelight. Zhang Zhao knew that Sun Quan was a patient person. In other words, Sun Quan is a stable person that has ambitions but did not want to take risks. He noticed this from the time Sun Quan merely ignored Wei’s proclaim of emperor. Zhang Zhao decided that instead of persuading Sun Quan, he should do the opposite and let other people persuade Sun Quan. In the end, Sun Quan’s Army and Liu Bei’s Army, allied together to defeat Cao Cao at Chibi. This was Zhang Zhao’s successful stratagem that he secretly used in the background. Liu Mang has impacted Zhang Zhao during the wedding and Zhang Zhao is now trying to repair the damage in the relationships of the nobles.
Now that Jiangdong has sent out such a great person, Liu Mang would choose to send out Chen Gong to counter Zhang Zhao. These two people are closer to rivals compared to Yang Hong. Yang Hong was really silent in the Lu Bu’s Army and was really not advisor material. Although he managed to give Yuan Shu a few good proposals, some of them were superfluous, such as his plan to attack Liu Bei. Xuzhou was occupied by Lu Bu at that time and Liu Bei only had several cities. If he had a proper strategy, it would be to ally with Liu Bei to fight with Lu Bu, and then capture the mountains to obtain their benefit. However, Yuan Shu ended up attacking Liu Bei, while Lu Bu continued to gain a stronger foundation.
Chen Gong smiled as he stroked his beard. It is true that Yang Hong is not suited to be an advisor and his strategies were inferior. However, in terms of diplomacy even Chen Gong have to admit defeat.
Chen Gong found out about Yang Hong’s ability as a result of Yang Hong’s long history with Yuan Shu. At that time, Yuan Shu and Lu Bu were still on their honeymoon period. At that time, Yang Hong, who was Yuan Shu’s chief diplomat, raised the issue of pairing Lu Bu’s daughter and Yuan Shu’s son, Yuan Yao, together for marriage. The issue was forced out by Yang Hong. He used that as a bargaining chip when Lu Bu wanted an alliance with Yuan Shu. If they had managed to obtain Lu Bu’s daughter, it could be considered obtaining Lu Bu’s territory. Chen Rui also did the same thing by requesting Lu Bu to marry off his daughter to his lord. However, Chen Rui was killed instead.
The same words by two different people caused two different results. When Yang Hong said it, Lu Bu was quite ready to marry off his daughter. When Chen Rui said it, he was killed and caused the war in Lujiang.
“That guy was so amazing!?” Liu Mang really could not understand. That fatty did not speak all day. He either sitting inside his government office or reading at the study area. He never expected Yang Hong to obtain the respect of Chen Gong.
“Wait for good news!” Chen Gong smiled and left.
(TN: From here onwards, all conversations in diplomatic discussions are done in a polite manner and as it is difficult to translate politeness, you would need to use your imagination.)
Inside the large courtyard of Wan Cheng city, two middle-aged scribes are drinking.
One scribe was dressed more formally while the other was dressed more casually.
These scribes were Zhang Zhao and Yang Hong. When Zhang Zhao arrived in the city, the first thing that should happen was that he should be greeted by Lu Bu. However, as a result of Yang Hong’s suggestion, Zhang Zhao did not manage to meet Lu Bu or even set foot in the government office. Yang Hong led Zhang Zhao into his mansion to drink.
Zhang Zhao seemed calm on the surface but his heart was anxious. It was the first time Zhang Zhao could not guess the other party’s thoughts and it was the first time that he must not get a terrible offer.
His initial purpose of being in Wan Cheng was to have peace talks with the Lu Bu’s Army. He never expected his lord’s army of 100,000 to lose and only 5,000 soldiers came back. Even their elite Jiangdong Navy and the 5,000 Yuzhou Cavalry was lost. Only General Taishi Ci managed to flee while General Zhou Tai, General Chen Wu, General Jiang Qin and General Dong Xi have perished. He last saw these people a few months ago, but now they are separated by the heavens.
The defeat of the army made things more difficult for Zhang Zhao. This is because the Lu Bu’s Army have captured Lu Su, and also many of the successors of the small noble families. The release of these people were Zhang Zhao’s first objective. His second objective was to request for Lu Bu’s navy to back away from the river. After the destruction of Sun Ce’s Army, the Jiangdong Navy was now split in two. One navy was guarding Sun Quan while the other is at Jiangxia with Zhou Yu. If the Lu Bu’s Army were to ally themselves with Liu Biao, even Zhou Yu would not be able to handle them. Even if the Lu Bu’s Army were not cooperating with Liu Biao, the position of their army would also affect the morale of the Jiangdong Navy. Zhang Zhao’s third objective was to probe the new weapon that destroyed the Jiangdong navy of 30,000.
Based on the reports of the soldiers that escaped, the weapon could fire arrows from 100 steps away. Each shot could destroy a warship. It could even be used without pulling the bowstring.
Without speaking, Zhang Zhao calmly looked at Yang Hong. Yang Hong narrowed his eyes and smiled as he repeatedly drank from his cup. Each enjoyed it so much that each sip filled him with emotion. It was as if it were a delicacy, even though it was just fresh water! (TN: Apparently, negotiation starts by repeatedly drinking small cups of beverage to the point of tears without saying anything! Go to work! Lazy people!)
Zhang Zhao and Yang Hong did not speak. They both knew that whoever starts the conversation would lose the first half of the battle. This is because by opening their mouths, it is possible to reveal their worries or objectives and will eventually be led around by the opponent.
(TN: Or Yang Hong could just ask ‘What brings you to Wan Cheng?’ and get it over with. He is slacking. Boss. Fire him.)
One hour, two hours, three hours, and eventually half a day later passed. Those two still did not say anything. The guards standing at the side started to feel tired and the beverage was served again.
(TN: Bladders of steel.)
The sun gradually went down and Zhang Zhao started to feel impatient when Yang Hong suddenly stood up.
“There is a way!” Zhang Zhao felt happy. Yang Hong could not bear it and finally decided to talk! However, Zhang Zhao did not have the chance to enjoy his happiness when Yang Hong cupped his fist and bowed. “It is now late. I will not trouble you any longer. This one will rest and take leave.” Yang Hong did not wait for Zhang Zhao’s reaction and turned his body.
“What situation is this!?” Zhang Zhao was dumbfounded. It wasn’t about the discussion! He looked at Yang Hong’s retreating back. Zhang Zhao could only smile. He was sent to Wan Cheng for the discussion and expected to go against Chen Gong. However, Yang Hong was the one who appeared instead. Yang Hong had a long history with Yuan Shu. Since Yuan Shu is already destroyed, how much capability could this person have? This is why Zhang Zhao was initially happy. This is because if such a person was the one in charge of the peace talks, he would have the upper hand. Although they lost on the battlefield, Zhang Zhao resolved to humiliate Yang Hong in the discussion and maximize the profits for the Jiangdong Army.
However, other than the initial pleasantries, the two men did not speak. Even the courtyard was prepared by Yang Hong and all they did was drink.
Zhang Zhao has really underestimated him! “Yang Hong, Yan Hong!” Zhang Zhao could not remember what Yang Hong was like. The guard beside him suddenly spoke. “Gentleman, do you want to know more about Yang Hong?”
“Yang Hong’s history!” Zhang Zhao suddenly turned around. “Do you know him? Yang Hong?”
“Yes!” The bodyguard nodded. He was assigned as Zhang Zhao’s bodyguard to protect him. Zhang Zhao is important for the management of Jiangdong and so a bodyguard was needed to set Sun Ce’s mind at ease. The bodyguard was someone that was around even when Sun jian was still alive. He has followed Sun Ce when Sun Ce was serving Yuan Shu and was Sun Ce’s bodyguard. As a result, he knows about Yang Hong and has a better understanding of him.
“Come and tell me! What kind of person is this Yang Hong?” Zhang Zhao disregarded respect, dignity and etiquette. He greeted for the guard to sit down and even personally poured him a cup of the drink. Knowing your enemy and you shall not fear a hundred battles. What he wants was for a way to open the mouth of the Lu Bu’s Army.
“ Yang Hong, was the old lord’s.. No. No.” The guard subconsciously referred to Yuan Shu as his lord. “It should be the late Master Yuan. The late Master Yuan placed Yang Hong in important positions.”
“Important position!?” Zhang Zhao was lost in thought. Even though Yuan Shu was defeated, it was possible that Yang Hong was the only person defending. If not, why else would Yuan Shu value him? There is no other way to have a long history in that kind of position. Zhang Zhao himself understood the value of this kind of position and history. Yuan Shu was also dead. As a result, Yang Hong’s survival would not be something simple.
“Haha, Zhang Zhao. You have guessed wrongly!” The guard smiled. “Yuan Shu valued Yang Hong because Yang Hong knows how to speak.
The guard remembered at that time, Yang Hong was always beside Yuan Shu. Anyone who wants a promotion would need to go through Yang Hong. This is because Yuan Shu would agree to anything Yang Hong says. Yang Hong was a very powerful person at that time. The guard could still remember Sun Ce giving Yang Hong a present during the year Sun Ce left.
“Know how to speak!?” What is the meaning of that? Zhang Zhao looked at the guard with a puzzled expression. There are several ways to interpret that. Which interpretation was the guard using? Was it the same as the one Zhang Zhao is thinking of?
“Yes. Knows how to speak!” The guard continued. “Yuan Shu likes to listen to what Yang Hong says. Even when Yuan Shu is angry, Yang Hong would be able to calm him down in a short while.” He could remember the time when Yan Xiang said something wrong and angered Yuan Shu to the point where Yuan Shu wanted to draw his weapon. Yang Hong opened his mouth and calmed the situation down. “That is why…” The guard stopped talking and suddenly became embarrassed.
“Just speak!” Zhang Zhao wants a complete understanding without missing out any details as that may determine the outcome of future discussions.
The guard drank some of the water. Either way, he is no longer serving Yuan Shu so there is nothing to be afraid of. “At that time, some of the generals said that Yang Hong was the lord.”
“Flattering?” Zhang Zhao now understood what the guard meant by ‘knows how to speak.’ It was flattering. Unless Zhang Zhao judged the person wrongly and this Yang Hong was a fake. Yan Hong was actually an oaf! But he looked so calm.
“Perhaps it is an empty show of strength?” Zhang Zhao laughed again. If the guard is right. That Yang Hong is just a flatterer and would be really easy to handle. Zhang Zhao was filled with confidence. Yang Hong. Wait for tomorrow! I will definitely make you lose until you even lose your pants!
Somewhere else in the courtyard, in the shadows, Yang Hong could not help but feel distressed while thinking of his children.
“Wait for me! My children! I promised Milord, that I will give you the sky!” If he wanted a promotion or a better position, the first thing he must do was win the negotiations.
Zhang Zhao right!? Wait for me!