My Father-in-law is Lu Bu Chapter 214
Chapter 214 Diplomatic war (2)
Translated by Gamer @ endlessfantasytranslations.com
Yang Hong woke up early the next day. He did not go straight to Zhang Zhao but instead wrote calligraphy and carve tortoise shells in the courtyard. After that, he ate lunch and took a short nap. After his nap, he walked leisurely towards Zhang Zhao at a different courtyard. He knows that now is the time to leave. He also knows that both of them are going to remain silent. If he is late, it is possible for Zhang Zhao to go and find the governor. He is after all, the messenger. In the end, the Lu Bu’s Army would have no choice but to be polite. They could not make the world think that the Lu Bu’s Army are barbarians.
Now is the best time to arrive. Not late, not early. Yang Hong eventually arrived at Zhang Zhao’s mansion. Zhang Zhao on the other hand could not use such a method. This is because he is under heavy pressure. He is not only at Wan Cheng for Sun Ce but also for all the other noble families. The suffering of the noble’s children would only be longer for each day delayed. Although pressured, Zhang Zhao still remained calm as he needs to obtain the most out of the Lu Bu’s Army in the diplomatic meeting.
“Yang Hong has arrived!” Zhang Zhao who was sitting at the courtyard looked at Yang Hong. Although his heart was anxious, he gave an indifferent expression. He merely looked at Yang Hong without moving forward meaning that he would not entertain Yang Hong.
Such amazing willpower! Yang Hong raised his opinion of Zhang Zhao. If it was a normal messenger, he might have already gone to the government office or be very irritated. For this Zhang Zhao to still be indifferent, he is truly a top advisor of Jiangdong.
However, the one in control is still Yang Hong. If Zhang Zhao wants to be indifferent, Yang Hong will let him continue to be indifferent. Yang Hong also did not mind Zhang Zhao’s rudeness and said “Come, help me get a cup!” The servants had a natural understanding and after a command from Yang Hong, they immediately prepared a cup and a teapot.
This time, the tea was different. It was a tea made with longan, salt, and other seasonings. It was more of a dessert than tea. It was a kind of drink that only people with peculiar drinking habits like Yang Hong could swallow. Other people like Liu Mang would only feel nauseated.
(TN: The dessert, ‘Tong sui’, literally means ‘sugar water’. It is a collective term for any sweet, warm soup/custard.)
Yang Hong sat there and drank it. He squinted and continued to be silent like yesterday.
“This Yang Hong!” Zhang Zhao wrinkled his eyebrows without paying attention to the time. Isn’t this Yang Hong supposed to be an oaf? Why is he the one leading the discussion? What is Chen Gong thinking?
Among the people in the Lu Bu’s Army, Chen Gong is the main figure in terms of strategy. He thought that Chen Gong is guiding Yang Hong as to how to make him start the discussion. However, Zhang Zhao remained calm because he believed the guard. That guard was one of Sun Ce’s followers and was trusted by Sun Ce. Otherwise, this person would not be a guard in the first place.
“Drink tea! Drink tea!” Zhang Zhong continued to drink the tea. He does not believe that Yang Hong could endure not speaking. Time flew by quickly and the end of the day arrived. Yang Hong looked at the sky and stood up.
“Zhang Zhao, I have been a bother. This sky is dark. This Hong will take leave!” Yang Hong said and left.
*Groan* Zhang Zhao groaned loudly after he watched Yang Hong leave. This happened again. What is the Lu Bu’s Army trying to do?
(TN: Trolling you and the readers while getting more wordcount for the author.)
“Zhang Zhao, it is time to eat.” The guard reminded Zhang Zhao. The day is over and it is also time to eat.
But how could Zhang Zhao be in the mood to eat? “Not eating, not eating!” He wanted to say that but stopped himself. This is because he knew he was in a bad mood and to the extent that he did not want to eat. Isn’t it like telling his opponent his state of mind? The place he is staying at and even the courtyard was arranged by Yang Hong and the Lu Bu’s Army. It is not known if there are anybody keeping an eye on them.
“Go, go, Let us go an eat!” Zhang Zhao said as he pulled up the guard. He also wanted to eat with the guard and show Yang Hong and Chen Gong that he is not in a hurry. To tell them that he is here to pay respects to the Lu Bu’s Army and not for any other purpose.
“He can still eat! Not bad!” Zhang Zhao guessed right. There were many people observing his movements for Yang Hong in the prepared courtyard. Zhang Zhao’s every move was in Yang Hong’s control. If Zhang Zhao was demoralized, he would get angry at night. However, Zhang Zhao was a chief advisor which is equal to Chen Gong. Sun Ce really had so many talented officers compared to Lu Bu. Although Yang Hong treated Zhang Zhao politely, his behavior has shown disdain. The purpose was to enrage Zhang Zhao, so that Zhang Zhao would make a mistake and Yang Hong will be able to lead him by the nose.
But now Zhang Zhao is eating happily while chatting with the guards according to Jiangdong’s customs. Some of them even drank wine in their enemy’s city. Rather than negotiation, it was more like a vacation.
If it was any average person, they would have been tricked by Zhang Zhao.
“Still composed? I want to see how long you can keep it up!” Yang Hong sneered. He may be inferior in strategy and resourcefulness. However, in diplomatic affairs, Yang Hong considers himself the best and no one would dare say otherwise. Even the others in the Hezhong Lianheng is a joke!
(TN: Hezhong Lianheng are some kind of diplomatic strategy/school. Can’t find much because the tool translated name, Vertical and Horizontal Alliance, clashed with actual marketing strategies.)
After four days, Yang Hong continued to act this way and Zhang Zhao continued to persevere and eat with his guards. However, Zhang Zhao is starting to reach his limits and his expression is becoming more stiff. (TN: Yang Hong and Zhang Zhao. You are both fired for slacking.)
Yang Hong wanted to continue doing this but he was interrupted by Liu Mang. This is because Liu Mang is about to leave. Liu Mang was going to take Huang Zhong, Huang Xu, Gan Ning, Cheng Yu, and Xu Sheng with him to Shouchun. Huang Zhong and Huang Xu were originally by Liu Mang’s side. Xu Sheng’s Black Flag Army was already prepared. While the strength of Cheng Yu and the Urban Army was unknown, they could not avoid fighting.
Gan Ning and the navy was also leaving with Liu Mang to Shouchun and as a result, Yang Hong’s plans needed to be faster. Although Gan Ning’s navy did not receive much casualties, it was small and requires time to expand. His few thousand soldiers would not be of any use if there happen to be any large-scale fighting. Although the ballistae would help, when the Jiangdong Army gets angry and decided to send their whole army, the ballistae would not be able to save then. Even if Gan Ning soldiers destroyed 10 ships each, they would still be defeated.
Besides that, the Jingzhou Navy was also eyeing the place. That is why, Liu Mang must take Gan Ning and his navy to Shouchun. There are also 2 rivers at Shouchun that Gan Ning could use to train the navy during preparation period. But Gan Ning’s navy is currently placed at Jingzhou and Jiangxia as a deterrent for Sun Ce’s Army and to make Sun Ce worried. When Gan Ning’s navy unite together, they could capture Zhou Yu. This was one of Yang Hong’s chips and this big chip was about to disappear. This is why Yang Hong must change his plan.
On the fifth day, Zhang Zhao could no longer hold out. That is because he received a message from Jiangxia that Gan Ning’s navy and Jiangdong’s navy has come into contact. They were so near each other that the people on the boat could see each other’s face. What is this Lu Bu’s Army doing? Do they want to go for an all-out war against Jiangdong!? If Zhou Yu’s navy was also destroyed, Jiangdong would be in grave danger as their position in the river will be shaken. Now they only had 2 main forces to deal with the Jingzhou navy’s counterattack. If one of their main force disappears, they would not only lose Jiangxia but also Panyang. After that, Wuchang would also be left exposed. Although Liu Biao was not particularly ambitious, only an idiot would give away free food. This is why Zhang Zhao became anxious.
Especially one night when Zhang Zhao ate his dinner, he noticed that the amount of vegetables has decreased. It was not enough to eat. When he asked the servant, the servant said that the city does not have enough food. Although the necessities were enough to eat, having more vegetables is impossible.
Food shortage in the city? If it was during normal times, Zhang Zhao could analyze the Lu Bu’s Army. He would also be very happy about the lack of forage. Jiangdong would also be safe until the summer harvest arrives and increases their provisions. But now the food of the messenger was also reduced. If that is the case, what about the prisoners? When he went to Lu Bu’s territory, he promised that he would properly return the children to the nobles unharmed.
It would be problematic if they had starved to death. If it had happened earlier, then he would be pardoned. However, if it happened now, then it would be Zhang Zhao’s mistake. This is because Zhang Zhao delayed the discussion, the children of the noble families starved to death. Although he was influential in Jiangdong, Zhang Zhao did not want to offend the nobles.
If his Zhang family wanted to remain in Jiangdong, he would need to have a good relationship with the Jiangdong nobles. Otherwise, the nobles will plan his death. Right now, Zhang Zhao is still in the safe area but if Zhang Zhao is dead, there would be no one to continue the Zhang family.
On the sixth day, when Yang Hong walked out of the mansion, Zhang Zhao walked up to him, cupped his fist and asked. “Yang Hong! I want to ask! Do you intend to have peace talks?!” Zhang Zhao’s face showed a hint of anger. He would not beg. This is because Jiangdong is not without fighting power. As he was cornered, he was desperate. Besides that, the Lu Bu’s Army and the Sun Ce’s Army are both not allies with Liu Biao. In this world, there are no real friends and there is only shared interest. Both friends and enemies constantly change.
When Lu Bu was at Xuzhou, he was friends with Liu Bei. For the sake of obtaining Xuzhou, he sold out Liu Bei. He captured Xiapi and most of Xuzhou. He also almost killed Zhang Fei. It happened when Liu Bei visited Yuan Shu. Lu Bu betrayed Liu Bei and took Xia Pi, leaving Liu Bei with a few cities. At that time, Yuan Shu wanted to take revenge and attacked Liu Bei. Just as Liu Bei was about to be defeated, Lu Bu appeared and persuaded Yuan Shu to retreat. Instead of thanking Lu Bu, he promised to help defend Xuzhou and then contacted Chen Deng in Guangling and Cao Cao in Yanzhou. After that, they attacked Lu Bu at Xia Pi.
That is why, to benefit in these troubled times, there are no real friends or enemies. There are only interests and benefits.
“Peace talks! We are discussing peace talks! Aren’t we discussing about it the past few days?” Yang Hong laughed. Zhang Zhao finally spoke. If Zhang Zhao continued to be silent, even Yang Hong will feel troubled. This is because Gan Ning is about to leave Wan Cheng and take the navy with him. At that time, he would lose a bargaining chip. For Zhang Zhao to speak now, Yang Hong was very happy.
“Peace talks?! Hmph!” Zhang Zhao was very angry. Drinking tea for several days, sleep, carve, and write calligraphy. Is this what you call peace talks? That is called relieving boredom! Even those that go out to relax are not so carefree!
“Come, come! Now I, Yang Hong, will represent our host to have peace talks with you!” Even though it was called peace talks, the talk was anything but peaceful. Both sides represent their lords and their words and deeds are also the words and deeds of their lords. They must absolutely not lose face.
“In that case, let us start! Yang Hong!” Zhang Zhao could not do anything except to restrain her anger.
“Yang Hong! I want to ask what is the meaning of the actions of your navy!” Zhang Zhao decided to ask first. “Going into Jiangxia and then going back to Wan Cheng. Even the recent event, they came into few meters in front of our navy. Do you want to open hostilities!?”
“Open hostilities?” Yang Hong laughed at Zhang Zhao. “Since when did we even have a truce?” Sun Ce’s Army attacked Lujiang and Lu Bu’s Army defended Wan Cheng. Although the battle has ended, there was no truce. As they were still at war, how could they open hostilities.?
“N?” Zhang Zhao frowned. Yang Hong was right. They were still at war. Zhang Zhao did not expect the 100,000 soldiers to fail to capture Lujiang when Sun Ce managed captured the whole of Jiangdong with 3,000 soldiers. Now, several tens of thousands of soldiers were blocking the Yangtze River. 100,000 soldiers! If the 100,000 soldiers attacked Jiangxia, perhaps the Jiangxia structure would have changed!
In fact, Zhang Zhao was not wrong. If the 100,000 soldiers attacked Jiangxia, Jiangxia would inevitably fall. The nobles would also follow Liu Biao and at that time, another war of the nobles would appear.
These soldiers initially attack Lu Bu’s Army simply because Lu Bu did not win their hearts. Since all of them hated Lu Bu, they happily send troops to attack him.
“Even then! Since I am here right now, there should be a truce!” Zhang Zhao looked at the smiling Yang Hong and felt like punching him. His stratagem was nothing much but he is a showoff!
“Sure!” Yang Hong nodded. Lu Bu’s Army also did not want to continue the war. Although Sun Ce attacked Lujiang, it was also originally Sun Ce’s territory. The Lu Bu’s Army were originally like squatters. The one laughing right now is probably Cao Cao. He was not in a decisive battle with Yuan Shao but was afraid that while fighting Yuan Shao at the front, he would be attacked from the back. Sun Ce was ready to do that which is why Old Cao has prepared some conspirators to assassinate Sun Ce.
If it was not because of Lu Bu, Old Cao would have captured Yangzhou as well. Besides that, the Jiangdong navy could also have cross the river at any time. The only thing stopping them is Liu Biao as Liu Biao would not attack even if they had formed an alliance.
However, thanks to Lu Bu’s move, Old Cao wasted many years. It was one of the reasons Old Cao hated Lu Bu. When Lu Bu and Sun Ce started to fight, Cao Cao was the happiest. The mountain could not hold two tigers and regardless of who won, Cao Cao would be the one benefitting. If Sun Ce had won, he would still need to deal with Liu Biao and Sun Ce would also not be able to send out soldiers for a while. This would mean that Cao Cao is safe from Sun Ce.
Sun Ce would also not send out small dispatches if he wanted to wage war. This is why if Lu Bu had won, he would definitely receive heavy casualties. Not to mention that when Lu Bu escaped from Xuzhou, there are not many soldiers and horses left.
Cao Cao’s miscalculation was that Lu Bu had a major victory and send Sun Ce back home. Only 5,000 of the 100,000 soldiers escaped. Although a lot of soldiers were injured, Lu Bu managed to recruit a lot of soldiers as well. That is why, the Lu Bu’s Army’s foundation was becoming strong again.
Although Lu Bu did not want to continue the war with Sun Ce, he was still drooling at the Jiangdong territory. It has the Yangtze River as a natural barrier and the harvest is plentiful. There were a lot of provisions! Unfortunately, the Lu Bu’s Army only had Gan Ning. It was not enough. The land was also muddy and disadvantageous to cavalries. Not to mention the fact that the Wolf Cavalries were heavy cavalries.
Now the Lu Bu’s Army’s objective was to store up food and to watch their neighbors kill each other. Sun Ce and Liu Biao would fight it out. Cao Cao and Yuan Shao would also fight it out. Once they are done, it would be the Lu Bu’s Army’s turn to fight.
“Truce has no good faith?!” Zhang Zhao said while looking and Yang Hong.
“Got!” Yang Hong felt refreshed. “Since Zhang Zhao earnestly think of having a truce, then our Lu Bu’s Army must give you face. I will replace the lord and tell General Gan Ning to stop sending soldiers into Jiangxia!”
“N?!” Zhang Zhao was puzzled as Yang Hong readily agreed to the request. Was there a trap!?
Of course not! Gan Ning and the navy was just going to Shouchun and could only be used to make Zhang Zhao grateful. Now it is time to make Zhang Zhao bleed!