Chapter 3 – I am call Ma Zong Heng

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“Father, son have already grown up and become a man. In the recent years, child is always thinking of our first ancestor who is the outstanding founding minster of the Han Dynasty. At that year he is able to move unhindered in the whole of China, no one is able to defeat him, regardless of the nomadic people, the Qiang ethic group or other foreign ethnicity, when they hear the name of General FuBo, all of them without exception become timid and frighten, and is regarded as god.”

“As well as child being born as Ma Family descendant but is unable succeed his glory and to recover our ancestry name, child is unresigned in one’s heart. Thereupon decided to self-choose Zong Heng as child’s courtesy name to keep in mind and encourages myself that one day, I shall once again allow Ma Family to move unhindered in the whole world and allow our family name to shake the whole of China! This is child’s ambition. If father wants to punish, child have no complain, but begs father to grant child to use Zong Heng as courtesy name.”

Ma Zong Heng says hurriedly, every word with power and raises his head and look at Ma Teng. ‘Father and son’ their gaze meets. Ma Teng cold appearance suddenly recedes as he looks up and laugh heartily. “Hahahaha! What a good Ma Zong Heng, it is unexpected that I Ma Teng have gone through so many year but my ambitions is not as lofty as my child’s!!”

Saying finish, Ma Teng pushes his horse to the side and shouts towards the officers on the left and right: “Send down my orders, from today onwards, my son Ma Xi courtesy name shall be Zong Heng, all of you remember it, one of this days he will inherite my mantle and leads you all to conquer the world, and move unhindered throughout the universe!!”

“Ma Zong Heng!” “Ma Zong Heng!!” “Ma Zong Heng!!!”…

Ma Zong Heng might have already won these officers and soldiers respect, adding the fact that he is the eldest son of Ma Family, in an instant the surround officers raises their weapon high up in the air and raises their voice and shout Ma Zong Heng name.

Ma Zong Heng slowly stand up, experiencing the crowds fervent high spirited shouting of his name.

At this moment, he have finally accepted the identity of Ma Xi. From this moment onwards, he is Ma Xi, one of the son of FuFeng Ma Family! He shall shoulder the entire family rise and fall, and to face the destiny of his new life.

“Xu~!!” A unit of over ten men scout team charges over wearily. The commanding scout dismount and hurries over and report: “General! Han superior just send someone to report that his army have suffer some blockages when advancing and was trapped at the hills for around an hour and wasted quite some time. Hence was unable to reach west gate on time. He request general to retreat first and wait for opportunity to ripen while making another plan.”

“Heng! Han Sui that cunning old fox this Ma will definitely remember this debt! Send down my orders, recall back all of the unit and withdraw back to the camp!!” When Ma Teng hear the report, his eyes starts shooting dreadful ray of light, almost as if he is trying to push down the raging fire in his stomach. He immediately shout out orders to his surround officers and whip his horse angrily and leaves.

Ma Zong Heng follows closely behind his expression thoughtful.

“Han Sui, was, who have multifold stratagem. I remember that this guy is always fighting against my father in secret, later under Cao Cao instigation, he became sworn brothers with father to obtain benefits.”

“Later when Cao Cao kills father, second brother and Han Sui raises arms in revolt. As Western Liang have a well-trained and powerful army, with second brother ferocity, he was originally slaughtering till Cao Cao have to cut his beard and throw away his gown1. But in the end because of Han Sui changing of sides in war, Ma Family base in Western Liang was destroyed, hence was forced to escape to Hanzhong Commandery and become Zhang Lu underling. Afterwards, although he have becomes one of Liu Bei five tiger general, he is still a servant who sacrifices his life working for another. Furthermore in the latter half of his life, he is always under the suspicion of Zhuge Liang, as well as being unable to get his revenge. In the end he died depressed.”

When Ma Zong Heng remembers Ma Family fate, his eyes narrows and curses silently in his heart: “Since fate lets me return to this ear, if this is the heaven will, then I Ma Zong Heng will not let Ma Family repeat the history again, no matter if it is the ambitious and ruthless Cao Cao of the chaotic times or the leader of the Five Pecks of Rice religion Zhang Lu, or even the devil strategist Zhuge Liang, no one is allowed to step on my Ma Family head.”

As Ma Zong Heng set his goals and ambition in his heart, he have decided that he need to meet this Han Sui who is the main cause of Ma Family fall! If he have the chance to cut the weed and destroy the root, he will definitely not be lenient!!

A few days pass, during this period of time, ChangChen outskirks is guarded by Wang Guo with his forces which is nickname ‘Heaven Volunteer Army’, which unusually is able to live in harmony with official army government army from the inner city.

But if there is old soldiers with experience, they will not dare to relax, as they know that this is only the serenity before the tempest.

And the one who is guarding the ChangChen city is the currently famous general, the dynasty General of the left Huang Pu Song.

Huang Pu Song started learning the art of war when he was a child, his military tactics surpasses other and he emphasize on the intelligence side of the army. Huang Pu Song have already known in advance of the 30 thousand army commanded by Wang Guo that is advancing towards the city, and furthermore he have just found out that Han Sui forces station at the west of the city. Hence he does not dare to make a move so easily, while he is deploying his troops within the city, he is thinking of countermeasure.

ChenCang is the strategic location for Long Xi, if it is taken over, the traitor army will be able to march onwards and become a danger for ChangAn, LuoYang. Huang Pu Song usually executes prudently and deeply understands the importance of the current military campaign, hence will not take actions hurriedly. But due to the death of Wang Qiang, Lang Xi top general Dong Zhuo became infuriated and time and again suggest to Huang Pu Song to go out and battle, but was rejected resolutely by Huang Pu Song.

The situation is very grim, although Huang Pu Song is thinking of countermeasure for any situation day and night, he does not know that the villainous Dong Zhuo have already stab him in the bad and is plotting an earth-shaking plan in secret.

Today, Wang Guo have lead most of the Heaven Volunteer Army outside of ChenCang west gate and set up camp around 7 to 8li away from the city, colabrating with Ma Teng on the west and Han Sui on the North, they surrounded the city leaving only the south for the enemies to escape.

This is the plan that Han Sui have come out with. Originally during the discussion stages for attacking ChenCang, Han Sui says that ChenCang have a renown solid wall since the ancient time, if they try to forcefully claim it, the moment the war have come into an impasse, not only would they waste a lot of time, with the elapse of time, the morale of their troops will drop and loses their fighting spirit.

After all the Heaven Volunteer army have only been establish not long ago, furthermore the main forces are the private forces of the individual warlords, hence inevitably they will setup their own camps. This way, it is very for gaps to appear and gives the enemy opportunities that they can exploit.

This is the rule of not besieging walled city if it can possibly be avoided2. Using scheme to obtain the wall, is the best thing they can do in the current circumstances, hence Han Sui propose to pretend to besiege from all sides except from the south, allowing the enemies to escape, when the enemies sees that the opposing army is very large, they will become afraid. Later all they need to do is to win a few battles and frighten the enemy with loud momentum, the enemies will be thrown into disorder and loses their battle intention and abandon the walls and escape.

Han Sui’s stratagem that weakens the enemy without a battle immediately wins the unanimous approval of the people at that scene.

At this time inside the tent of Wang Guo.

“Hahahaha! This is truly a tiger father will not begot a dog son, Shou Yuan son is truly a brave man!” Only to see Wang Guo who is an approximately 40+ man, on his face is a harmless smiling expression as he praises cheerfully. He is wearing a tiger armour with a crimson cloak. He have a short moustache, wide forehead, strong and muscular body and around 2 meters in height. He can be considered a courageous and strong robust man.

“General-in-chief praises erroneous. My dog son does have a bit of strength but he is not worthy enought to be call a brave man.” Comparing to Wang Guo, Ma Teng body is very huge with bear waist and tiger back, his arms seems to possess stone crushing and rock splitting strength. His looks is imposing and stands at a height of 2.3m. He is wearing a green gown and silver armour with a huge wolf pelt coiled around his shoulders. It is recorded in history that when Ma Teng is young, he is very poor. At the age of 12 when he is substituting someone to release the cows, he have meet a pack of wolves, around 7 to 8 of them. The young Ma Teng surpringly able to chase away the pack of wolves barehanded by kill a few of the wolves, and became famous in his hometown from then on.

“Haha, Shou Yuan is to modest. Nowadays everyone in my Heaven Volunteer army knows of the bravest Ma Zong Heng.” Wang Guo waves his hand and praises again.

After Ma Teng cups his hand and gives his thanks, he glares at Ma Zong Heng who is standing at the back and shouted: “It is rare that the General-in-chief regard you so much. Unworthy son hurry up and express thanks to General-in-chief.”

When Ma Zong Heng hear, his face immediately stiffen, slowly changes from a smiling face, with a well-dispose look and wearing a hat (ancient hat) withdraw his gaze from the guy who is dressed like well-mannered and refined Confucian scholar and pushes aside the woven curtain. He walks into the main chamber and knee down on one knee.

“This lowly general Ma Zong Heng gives thanks to General-in-chief for your appreciation and will use my death to repay you.”

Wang Guo sees that Ma Zong Heng is less than 17/18 years old but is taller than Ma Teng by a bit, his strong and muscular body seem to be going to burst out of the armour. His gaze is impressively keen. When Wang Guo see him, he was secretly amazed endlessly and was staring for a while before signing: “Ma Family gives birth to so many hero since the ancient time, I Wang Guo with the support from Ma Family, how will I need to worry about not accomplishing great undertaking?”

After Wang Guo speech, he immediately pledges with Ma Teng who heads Ma Family. Ma Zong Heng nevertheless scoff and faintly incline his head to the side and turn his gaze at the slightly famous refined man at the side.

That man is Han Sui, he looks to be older than Ma Teng, although his martial arts is weaker by a lot when compare to Ma Teng, but he is eyes contains a brilliance with come from wisdom and far-sight. He seems to emit a scholarly temperament that looks down on those below his station, like everything that is happening is under his control. Instead of looking down on him, people could not help but to admire him. At year, Han Sui subordinates were convinced due to his temperament and wisdom, and becomes willing to serve under him.

But to Ma Zong Heng, Hai Sui temperament is like an empty shell, after all he have an ambitions and lofty goal so why would he have the intention of serving other people!

As long as you possess absolute and tyrannical strength, everything else will become weak and unable to withstand a single blow, ultimately collapse and surrender. This is Ma Zong Heng faith since a long time ago.

Furthermore the goal Ma Zong Heng is pursuing is the strength to sweep the world.

Although currently to each of the area active warlord and feudal vessal, Ma Zong Heng is only a weak and small ant which they can grind to dust with a point of a finger.

But as said by others, if one does not have ambition, one is unable to stand at the top, Ma Zong Heng believes that if he climbs upwards step by step, there will come a day where he will lead the Ma Family to overturn the world, making the warlords and feudal vessel fear their name.

Just as Ma Zong Heng is observing Han Sui, Han Sui is also observing him. In the eyes of Han Sui, his first impression of Ma Zong Heng is a youngster that does not how high is the sky and how thick the earth is. Of cause he realise that this youngster is not the same as others who more or less have some respect for him in their eye or timid expression. Ma Zong Heng eye contains **naked enmity, this causes Han Sui who have experience countless of wind and rain to feel unease.

This feeling is like he is being eyed by a young and inexperienced baby lion, although this baby lion claws and jaws are not sharp enough, it is like he will rush up and bite him any moment.

“Humph, when his claws and jaws are still not sharp enough he dares to display enmity towards his enemy. It looks like this son of Ma Shou Yuan other than his martial arts prowess, he is a simpleminded fool. He is not as profound as Ma Shou Yuan.” Han Sui thinks in his heart, from the past till now he have always treated Ma Teng as his confident because he knows very well that if he want to proclaim hegemon of Western Liang, his first target his not Western Liang public enemy Dong Zhuo but FuFeng most renown Ma Teng.

 

1 Occurs in the story of romance of the three kingdom, during the early stages of the Battle of Tong Pass. Basically it means feel in utter confusion.

2 This is one of rules in the Sun Tze Art of War under the section attack by stratagem.

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