Don't Tell Me This Is the True History of the Three Kingdoms! Volume 9 Chapter 87
Li Dian POV
“Yes.” I replied as I shrugged, “If I hadn’t seen it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
From what I saw, Zhang Fei did not move at all and merely took blow after blow.
“I don’t know any further details but it’s clear that Zhang Fei’s condition is far from optimal. This means that she is unlikely to take the field in future battles.”
“Un… Zhang Fei not taking the field is a boon for us. From what I know, in actual battles and in duels, Zhang Fei has always been a great boost to troop morale.”
I did meet with Zhang Fei back in Xu state. Back then, she was able to force her way through our multi-layered surround with just a small number of troops. All 3 sworn siblings faced very different circumstances back then but were able to make it out and reunite nonetheless.
“Un…” Cao Ren nodded and began considering future measures, it seemed, and her expression lightened up a little.
“But don’t get too happy, Lord Cao Ren. My last point relates to a barbarian I found amongst enemy ranks.”
Cao Ren’s expression darkened once again when she heard this, “Barbarian troops? Did Liu Bei ally himself with the southern barbarians? Is it Wuling Man?”
“No, it’s not a battalion but a single individual. He wore a barbarian hat that covered his face and seemed very odd.” I said as I thought back to what I saw back then. Because it was only a glimpse, I do not remember much in the way of details.
“It’s a relief that it’s not a battalion.” Cao Ren said as she heaved a sigh of relief. The barbarian troops are no easy foe after all. This is something all of us personally experienced when we suppressed Liaodong.
“But that person is rather strong, much like any barbarian troop.” I said, afraid that Cao Ren might underestimate him, “Though it’s just an individual, I’ve probably never met him before.”
“Could he be a warrior general who came to join Lei Bei’s faction?”
I nodded at Cao Ren’s guess, “That’s not impossible. Especially at a time when Liu Bei is still missing, it’s possible that the unity of Guan Yu and the rest is related to this barbarian.”
“That barbarian could have been the mastermind behind the pincer strategy for example.”
“Oh, on.” Cao Ren nodded approvingly and then pressed her temple as she closed her eyes and engraved this in her memory like an elderly person.
“I understand.” Cao Ren nodded and sighed after a while, “In short, there is still much to do from here on out. Though we lost, we managed to learn much. Many thanks, Lord Li Dian.”
“What are you thanking me for?” I smiled stiffly, “My survival is shameful enough now that we lost.”
“Haha, how could that be?” Cao Ren chuckled when she heard me say so and pointed to the back, “If you had died, they would be dead as well.”
I reflexively turned back and looked at the less than 2,000 men who survived. Indeed, as Cao Ren said, if I had died in battle back then, they would all be dead by now.
“And besides, elder sister and I still need you.” Cao Ren said as she patted my shoulder. She did not use much strength but I could the weight from her grasp.
“… Ahem.” My nose began to flare up and I turned away as I covered my mouth and feigned a few coughs.
— Man Cheng, it’s great that you’re here.
This made me think back to the time when I brought many mercenaries to join my lord. These were the words she said to me back then and the feeling of being needed was truly wonderful.
“I know, I will live on to win more battles in future.” I said as I turned back and reflexively reached up to pull down my hat only to remember that it was gone and decided against turning back.
“Lord Li Dian…” Cao Ren called and it seemed like she was smiling now as well. I know even if I am not looking at her because she resembles my lord a lot in uncanny ways.
“But now that your spear is gone, what will you do?” Cao Ren asked from behind, “Are you going to switch to a sword now?”
I gripped my sword when I heard this, “Though this sword is available, it’s only a standard issue military sword that I received along with my armour. I’m not really used to this.”
And besides, the sword has become a little blunt from just this battle. It’s poor quality steel as expected.
“No need to worry,” I said to Cao Ren, “I am accept with any mid-range weapons. Even if I don’t use a spear, I can use many others. I’ll go and get a new weapon made after we return to Fan city.”
A mid-range weapon huh…
— Hei! In my mind, the scene where Guan Yu struck down powerfully played back. To be honest, the gap between our skills was obvious. In various aspects of martial prowess, she is clearly superior to me. However…
“I’ll get a glaive made this time.”
“Eh? You know how to use a glaive?”
“Why not? I’m actually quite good at it too.” I said as I nodded and thought for a moment before I continued, “But the blade of this glaive will have to be a lot more solid.”
I did not bother to explain to her why it had to be so, as it’s nothing nice to discuss anyway. All I did after that was merely make the resolve in my heart to be able to withstand at least 5 attacks by Guan Yu after she becomes serious.
And for me to be able to withstand those attacks, my weapon will have to be resilient enough as well.
Yes, in the next battle.
Liu Bei POV
Though the first battle had just concluded, we did not have any time to rest at all. Meng De’s second wave of troops came attacking in no time at all and we have prepared a new strategy to deal with them and are now getting ready to meet them in battle outside the city.
— If only that was the truth.
“My lord, you’re zoning out again.”
Wu! Zi Zhong’s abacus made rather crisp and loud sounds that made me regain my senses. I lowered my head in shame and looked over at her.
“Don’t look ay me, look at your books.”
Wu! I hurriedly buried my head into the 2 bamboo scrolls and tried to read the books on governance and politics that were in front of me written in the official script.
As everyone has seen, I have been cooped up in the room for 3 days since the battle ended. Lessons have been ongoing non-stop by the Xu state 3 who seem to be trying to make up for my 1 month absence within days.
Hai… Why are the battles not continuous 1 after another like in the stories I read? Battles are dangerous but it’s much better than slow-acting suicide like this.
And why am I reading books on governance and politics? Can I start with books on easier subjects and written in regular script? The people who wrote this, why do they have to write it in such a roundabout way?
“Ah, Xuan De is still busy with lessons huh?” A voice came from behind me but I did not dare to look up. Zi Zhong is the strictest of the 3 and any small action could invite her wrath.
“Ah, it’s Lord Zhao Yun huh?” Zi Zhong could look over unlike me and called out to the person who came.
Un? Zi Long?! The embers of hope came to life in my heart. If it’s Zi Long, she should sympathise with me when she sees all these bamboo scrolls.
“Good afternoon, Zi Long.” I greeted her calmly as I continued to look at the bamboo scrolls.
“Good afternoon.” Zi Long said as she walked over to my left, “Un… Looking at bamboo scrolls huh? Ah, they’re quite a lot huh?”
I saw Zi Long pick up a scroll from the stack and begin looking at it. Even if it’s Zi Long, she should feel that this is too much.
— This is too much, I was thinking of practicing martial arts with Xuan De too.
Please say this. I would rather learn something I will use in a few days’ time than this.
“Un…” Zi Long grunted as she continued looking at the scroll. She then began to speak up and I held my breath expectantly–
“Alright, Xuan De will be studying here for now then. It’s not urgent on my side anyway.” Zi Long said words that dashed my hopes and continued with more words that replaced my hope with despair, “If it gets really tight, I’ll just have to use time for sleeping to practice martial arts. It’s cooler at night anyway and the cold air should help Xuan De’s empty brain absorb stuff better during his studies.”
Wu! What is that Zi Long saying! Y, you… Do you want me to die of exhaustion?!
But I could not protest as I was fearful of angering Zi Zhong.
“Hahaha~ Keep working hard, Xuan De~” Zi Long laughed out loud from her heart and patted my back, which further fanned the flames of my rage.
“Alright, I’ll be leaving first then. I have to go and see my troops.”
“Un? You weren’t there earlier? It’s already– Almost noon now.” Zi Zhong asked after approximating the time.
“Ah, it’s fine. Chen Dao is over there.”
Is it really alright for you to use her like this?
“Honestly, Chen Dao has been a really great aide ever since I promoted her.”
She has helped you do a lot of your work right… I complained inside on behalf of Chen Dao.
Zi Long then saluted us before leaving. Soon, her footsteps grew softer and softer until they were gone.
“Hai…” Zi Zhong sighed when she left. I looked at her from my periphery vision and saw that she was busy at work with 3-4 account books opened up and an abacus. Looks like she’s busy at work with Xinye’s budget.
I initially thought that Zi Zhong’s sigh was my misconception but her sighs came repeatedly.
“This isn’t good for yourself, my lord. You still have martial arts practice tonight too.”