Lu Bu’s Army had already prepared their ballista when Liu Bei attacked. As, Liu Bei’s Army suffered heavy casualties as a result of the Yangzhou Army purposefully targeting them. Liu Bei would definitely dispatch people to take out the catapults or attack Lu Bu’s barracks.
Liu Bei did not know whether Lu Bu had enough rocks to use as ammunition. All he knew was that things could no longer continue this way. The city walls was mostly destroyed while the morale of his men and the citizens were low. That was why he had no choice but to send his troops to attack the catapult. Only the heavy cavalry could approach the catapults quickly enough.
Lu Bu knew that Liu Bei would come so he set an ambush. As he did not want to chase down the enemy cavalry at night, he had his men use the ballista.
The ballista was powerful enough to pierce through the heavy armor and its projectile was fast enough to strike a fleeing target.
“It’s an ambush! Retreat!” One of the Xiliang Cavalry shouted when the arrows started flying. He wanted as many of his men to escape before their losses became too disastrous. Unfortunately, it was already too late. Their horses could not outrun the arrows.
There were those that got impaled by the large arrows and the unlucky ones fell off their horses after their horses were hit before getting trampled on by their fellow men.
“Three hundred paces?” The young man guessed as he observed the might of the ballista. At three hundred paces, the arrow was able to kill its target and yet, its strength did not decrease by much. It was also within the range where his stone throwing machine could deal with safely.
However, the situation quickly changed as he started to see the ballista arrows strike targets that were further away. At four hundred paces, away, its strength barely decreased. Although the enemy wasn’t using shields, they still had the thickness of their heavy armor.
Eventually, he found out that although it was still capable of mortal injuries, it was no longer as powerful at seven hundred paces away.
The earth was dyed red with the corpses of the Xiliang Cavalry and was filled with the neighs of the surviving horses.
The young man swallowed his saliva at the scene.
“How is it?” Lu Bu’s two guards asked the young man.
“That ballista!” The young man shouted. The two guards thought that this man was frightened from watching the terrifying scene.
However, the young man was so excited his eyes seemed to glint. Even a few of the Wolf Cavalry felt like this young man was more of a wolf than them.
“That ballista!” The young man said excitedly and he ran towards the ballista. He did not care about the corpses at all. He dirtied his shoes by stepping over the blood and the trampled corpses.
“Oh no.” The guards cried out in alarm.
“Ah!” One lucky survivor from the Xiliang Cavalry saw the young man approached him. He knew he would not survive so he wanted to take down as many people as he could with him. He rushed towards the young man brandishing his sword.
“Careful!” One guard shouted but the young man did not move. Just as the sword was about to fall, something small flew out of his sleeves. The attacking soldier stopped moving and then fell to the ground.
“Are you alright?” The guards asked as they ran towards the young man.
“I am alright. There is no need to worry about me.” The young man took out his hidden weapon. It was a small crossbow.
“We are not worried about you. We are just afraid to approach the ballista! That ballista is our army’s secret weapon. Your current assignment is only to take a look at our catapult.” A few of the guards replied to the young man. Liu Mang was strict with the spreading of information regarding their ballista. He could not allow Liu Bei of Cao Cao to obtain this information.
“Alright. Alright.” The young man still looked passionate but was now also more clear-headed. He thought to himself that he should just deal with the catapults first. There was plenty of time to go back to the ballista in the future.
After dealing with the catapults, he nodded and then said to the guards. “Let’s go. Take me back to your Lord.”
“You have already solved the problem?”
“Yes.” The young man replied calmly.
“Alright. Let’s go.” A few of the guards were doubtful but they still took the young man back to Lu Bu.
“What? It’s so simple?” Lu Bu looked at the young man with a strange expression.
“Yes, it is that simple.” The young man waved his hand. Lu Bu did not know what to say as the young man’s solution was for Lu Bu’s catapult to be pulled back five hundred paces. This is because the stone throwing machines he gave Liu Bei only has a range of five hundred meters.
“What is your plan? We do not have many rocks left.” One person asked.
“Not many rocks left?” The young man furrowed his brows, not expecting this. However, he quickly realized that it wouldn’t be odd for Lu Bu to run out of rocks after a few days. “How many rocks do you have left?” He asked Lu Bu.
“We still have enough to use for half a day.” Lu Bu replied.
“It is enough!” The young man nodded. “Do you have something to write on?”
“Hm?” Lu Bu had some doubts but still provided the young man with parchment and pen
“It is like this.” The young man scribbled something on the parchment.
“What are you drawing? Tell us.”
“Wait.” Lu Bu could not understand what was drawn but he could tell that this was the some sort of frame. He would assume that this is catapult. There were also other finer details written on it.
“Just adjust it at this angle and place it at five hundred paces away. You will definitely be able to destroy the enemy’s stone throwing machine.” The young man said confidently.
Lu Bu could not understand this so he took the drawings to the officer in charge of using the catapult.
The officer thought it was strange but he saw that the young man was confident and did not say anything else.
The next day, Yangzhou attacked Runan again. Lu Bu could see Liu Bei standing at the city gate tower. Liu Bei’s expression was gloomy and his facial appearance was terrible.
Without doubt, Liu Bei was heartbroken from losing several thousand of his Xiliang Cavalry. On top of that, the Xiliang Cavalry barely managed to do anything. Although Liu Bei’s mood was terrible, he still stood up at the city gate tower to boost morale.
With Lu Bu giving the order to start the attack, the drums started to beat and the catapults were loaded with rocks.
“Milord. It is dangerous here. Leave the walls.” One of Liu Bei’s officers pleaded as there was a possibility for the rocks to hit the city gate tower.
“No need. I will stay with Runan until the end.” Liu Bei said resolutely. His expression when facing his death was so admirable that the morale of his men rose.
No one would want to stand on the city walls that day if they had a choice. Even more true for Liu Bei who was no longer young and vigorous. Liu Bei cherished his own life. Only by being alive can he compete for the world. On top of that, Liu Bei still did not have a son.
The reason Liu Bei went up the city gate tower was not only because morale was low. The other reason is because he noticed that few rocks bombarded the tower. It was also for this reason that his officers placed the stone throwing machine near the tower. It was only after guaranteeing his safety this way that Liu Bei took the lead.
It was as though Liu Bei’s presence had a magical effect. Not only did the morale of his army rose but Yangzhou’s catapults shot its rocks far into the city. It did not hit the walls at all.
“Is this your solution?” One person sneered.
“Hmph!” The young man harrumphed and personally stepped forward to calibrate the catapult. “Alright. Try it again.”
This time, the rocks from the catapults flew and struck directly at both sides of the city gate tower.
Liu Bei became startled. “What happened?” One of his soldiers quickly reported that his stone throwing machine was destroyed by the enemy’s catapult.
“Don’t worry Milord. It must be dumb luck!” The officer placated and Liu Bei nodded. This is because the other catapults had missed so terribly.
Meanwhile, the young man continued to calibrate all the other catapults.
“Boom!” At this moment, Liu Bei and the others noticed that something was wrong from the continuous rumbling.
“Not good! Milord!” One soldier shouted in a panic as he ran up the tower.
“Why are you panicking? Didn’t I say you must stay calm?” The Gate Captain angrily scolded when he saw his subordinate make a fool of himself.
“Yes General!” The soldier replied and took a deep breath. He then gave his report. “General. More than half of our stone throwing machines have been destroyed!”
“What! Say it again!” The Gate Captain was no longer calm.
“General! More than half of our stone throwing machines are destroyed! There are only a few of them left!”
“Wonderful!” Yangzhou’s men shouted from below the city. The Gate Captain quickly found out that the remaining stone throwing machines were also destroyed. He barely had the time to grieve.
“What happened?” Liu Bei panicked. The city gate tower was the only target left for the catapults.
“Milord! Quickly get down from here! This place is no longer safe!”
“Hahaha!” Lu Bu’s officers and soldiers all laughed as they watched Liu Bei stuck in a dilemma.
“Good! The stone throwing machine are no longer a threat! Fire the remaining rocks! All soldiers, attack! Capture Runan!” Lu Bu gave the order. Liu Bei’s Army no longer had any morale. They had lost their stone throwing machine and even their city gate tower was destroyed with Liu Bei missing.
Runan was almost theirs.
At this moment, a messenger suddenly ran towards Lu Bu. “Report Milord! A letter from Yangzhou!”
Lu Bu read the letter and his expression turned complicated. There was anger and worry in it.
“What’s wrong Milord?” Zhang Liao asked.
“Wenyuan. Prepare to withdraw.”