“Hahahaha. Yan Ming you don’t need to be anxious. You does not know that before our cooperation, Don Zhuo actually wanted to cooperate with Ma Yuan Shou to deal with me and obtain Eastern Liang. But instead of joining hands, Ma Yuan Shou insulted Dong Zhuo in front of the messenger that Dong Zhuo have send over. When Dong Zhuo learns about it, he became angry and from then on they are completely incompatible like water and fire. Thus even if Dong Zhuo knows that I am playing tricks in the dark, he will not do anything to me. Because he is too much like a jackal, he does not wish to waste too much effort to defeat Ma Yuan Shou thus he want to make use of me to defeat him.”
“As for Ma Zong Heng that little fellow, I sees that he is arrogant and unruly, with his recent merits, he will definitely be over his head with his victory and purse any retreating enemy to gain more merits. If my expectation is not unmistaken, he will definitely ask Ma Yuan Shou to allow him to sally out. He is in a hurry to become famous, hence he will not be Zhang Ji this old general match. Furthermore Zhang Ji is a ruthless person and Wang Qiang is his nephew, hence if he sees a chance, he will definitely chop Ma Zong Heng into pieces.”
After Yan Xing listen to Han Sui part by part analyses, his heart is filled with awe and praises immediately: “Your Highness foresight in incredible, this general can only prostrate in admiration!”
On the other side, the Ma father and son are unaware of Han Sui’s plot. During the night, Ma Teng have already finish allocating the task to individual officers and commanded all of his officers to sleep earlier to prepare of tomorrow’s battle.
Thus a night passes.
Early next morning before the sun have risen, Ma Teng’s army officers and soldiers have already eaten their breakfast. Not long after, the sun rises, brighten up the heaven and earth as well as giving a clear view of a thousand miles. From Ma Teng’s camp comes the sound of gong and bugle horn, Ma Teng is riding his Rushing Thunder Beast. With a command, his officers leads their individual units and marches towards ChenCang East gate.
Ma Teng did not allow Ma Zong Heng to lead his own unit because his experience is too little, instead he temporary retain him at his side. Ma Zong Heng is also not in a hurry as he realise the cruelty in war in these few days. As a general he will be the spirit of the army, but if he made some mistakes certain units will be annihilated.
Although Ma Zong Heng believes in this overpowering body of his, but he does not believe that all of his subordinates have the same overpowering body like him.
Furthermore Ma Zong Heng is a kind-hearted person, but his kindness is only limited to his relatives, fellow soldiers, brothers and those that he cares about. Hence he does not wish that his fellow brothers-in-arm get injured or dies due to his mistakes.
In the distance, ChenCang is like a gigantic beast as imposing and majestic as before. A while later, from the city walls came peals after peals of thunderous drum beats and the roars of kill came like waves, one after another until it becomes a thousand meter tall wave crashing towards the Ma army.
There is two reason why Dong Zhuo is called a jackal. First is because of his cruel and ruthless nature which does not seems to be restrain by benevolence or righteousness, if he see something that he wants to obtain, he does not care if he obtain it by fair or foul or be devoid of emotions. Second is because of his hundreds of talented subordinates, who like their master are jackals and trains their own troops to be the same. Especially his crack cavalry which is famous throughout the whole of China. In this entire world, the only units that are able to stand shoulder to shoulder with them are Ma family Flying Feather Army and Dragon Horse Cavalry of Gongsun Zan also known as White Horse General who is defending BeiPing (current BeiJing) from the northern nomads.
Zhang Ji leads a unit of over thousands of man and sally out of ChenCang. By the time Ma Teng’s army reaches around a thousand meters away from ChenCang, Zhang Ji’s troops are already in their formations. The left and rights wings are archers while the vanguard is personally commanded by Zhang Ji. Of which the front is shield infantry while the sides are pikemen. Zhang Ji’s is at the back which only consist of cavalries. The three groups forms a ‘品’formation.
“Heng! This kind of formation can be easily crushed by our cavalries, once we pincer them from the two wings, we can annihilate them! General this one is willing to lead a unit of light cavalry and attack them!” One of Ma Teng’s officer, Cheng Feng, seeing the formation that Zhang Ji have form is immediately happy and seeks Ma Teng permission to sally forth.
Ma Teng only narrows his eyes before raising his arm with an open hand and rejected Cheng Feng request: “No! Although cavalries are the nemesis of archers but you did not notice that the centre army that Zhang Ji is commanding consist of pikemen at the sides which are prepared to move out any moments. The moment our cavalries moves out, Zhang Ji will command the pikemen to defend the two wings. The moment the pikemen lays out their anti-cavalry pike array, with the archers attack from the back, our cavalry will be annihilated.
The anti-cavalry pike array is the pikemen forming a square formation with them pointing their pikes in all four directions. If a cavalry unit does not avoid this array, most of them will be either dead or heavily injured.
As usual those who knows how to attack will know how to defend. Dong Zhuo’s army is famous for their cavalry, thus they are familiar with the countermeasures for cavalries.
But Ma Teng is no ordinary elderly, like Han Sui have said, although Ma Teng looks to be boorish he is actually very careful. Otherwise with Han Sui influence in JinCheng he would have already annihilate the Ma family.
Ma Teng is able to instantly sees through in the opposing formation, making Cheng Feng expression to immediately change and become shock.
“Xi-er, since you are new to warfare, there will be many unfamiliar things. The art of war is a very maraculaus art, it cannot be easily gleam from reading the scrolls. Only by experiencing it yourself will you be able to master it quickly.” Ma Teng turns around and says to Ma Zong Heng. Afterwards, Ma Teng also give Ma Zong Heng pointers.
Ma Zong Heng complexion turns solemn and nods heavily. In his heart he is thanking god that when he was reborn into this chaotic era, he have a ‘father’ who is familiar with war, otherwise he have no idea how many wrong steps he would have taken before he truly understood the art of war or how many wrong steps till he finally falls in the battlefield.
With Ma Zong Heng’s nature, when he came to the last years of the Eastern Han that he have been dreaming of, in this era where the warlords are contending for hegemony, he will not be willing to be an ordinary citizen. No matter what, he will definitely enlist into an army and enjoy the hot blooded wars.
Because to Ma Zong Heng this chaotic era is considered as men heaven. Irregardless od success or failure he will never regret. As long as he have put in his best that is enough.
Ma Zong Heng exhales. War is not as simple as he thought, the era of cold weapon is more complex when compare to the era of planes and explosive. Futhermore, an individual brute strength will not be able to ensure victory. Stratagem, troops’ formation, experience of troops, decisions of the general and many more, all of this are able to affect the direction of who will be victorious in the battle.
“Father, child understands! But if we want to deal with this Zhang Ji what should we do?” Ma Zong Heng eyes brighten up, within his eyes burns a fiery desire, this is the desire for victory.
Ma Teng sees Ma Zong Heng eye expression and laugh silently in his heart. He also had this kind of eye expression in the past, all youngster are always curious and wishes to take part in war. All of them wish to become famous in the war, wish that they are able to gain merits and get rewards. Thus even if they are facing an endless blades and spear forest they does not hesitate even if it means that they will die horribly.
His blood that have not boiled for a long time like ocean waves starts to surge within his body. Ma Zong Heng’s fighting spirit apparently have arouse Ma Teng’s desire for victory.
Ma Teng smiles faintly and looks towards Zhang Ji units before saying confidently and calmly: “When two army are about to face off, the decision made by the general is the most crucial point. Zhang Ji purposely uses his two wings of archers as bait but I will not fall into his trap. Send down my orders, the shield bearers in the vanguard move forward gradually and from three rows, the two cavalry wings are not allowed without my command!”
The moment Ma Teng’s command is given, several flagbearers immediately accept the order and urges their horses to their position and start to signal with their flags. Within moments, all of the officers within Ma Teng’s army have receive his commands. The shield bearers continues to walk ahead and soon forms into three rows and takes the shape of three defensive line.
On the other side, within Zhang Ji’s army, Zhang Ji is wearing a suit of bronze armour with wolf design on it, he is holding a red tassel lance and is riding a yellow horse.
“Oh? This Ma barbarian have some abilities. Looks like he have seen through my stratagem and deploy a counter array to incite me into attacking. Heng, this Ma barbarian troops are very brave and does not seems to loss to my troops, if I clashes with him head on I will not gain any advantage. Furthermore I heard that the damn child that killed Wang Qiang have some abilities. If there is a chaotic melee, it will be very hard to avenge Wang Qiang.” Zhang Ji thinks for a moment before coming out with a plan and says something to a gate commander at his side.
When the gate commander hears the command, his complex stiffen before he raises his hatchet and urges his horse out of the array shouting: “You this Ma Family traitor listen up. I am imperial court General Dong subordinate gate commander Wu Yan who dare to battle with me!!”
“Oh, Zhang Ji this fox actually dares to have a general duel with my army, he really does not know his limits. It have been such a long time since I went out of the formation to have a duel, just nice I can loosen my muscle and bones!” When Ma Teng hears traitor this word, his expression immediately changes and his killing intent starts to rush forth but was restrain. Although he is smiling, but his face looks extremely dreadful and terrifying.
“Father please wait a moment! We don’t need to use a chopper to kill an ant! Father is the leader of our Ma family, if you personally go forth and deal with this insignificant scoundrel, wouldn’t you be lowering yourself to his status? Since this fellow dares to insult my Ma Family let this child claim his head for you!!” Ma Teng was about to raise his reins when Ma Zong Heng urges his horse forward to blocks Ma Teng while cupping his hands to ask for permission.
When Ma Teng hears him, his expression turn sluggish for a moment before he withdrew his rage and smiles: “Good! If you want to forth, you much be careful of Zhang Ji trickery. This person have a vile style and he never pay attention to logic or righteousness.”
“Yes!” Ma Zong Heng obeys happily, when he receives permission, he immediately urges his horse and rushes out.
That gate commander who is call Wu Yan is standing in front of Ma family army formation and continuously scolding until the Ma family army are very angry and each of them wish to rush up and cut him into a thousand pieces.
“Hahaha!! Didn’t this Ma family person claims that he is the descendent of Fubo General Ma Yuan!? I didn’t expect that they are a bunch of tortoise that hides in their shell, they have truly thrown away the face of their ancestor!!”
The moment Wu Yan finish scolding this sentence, loud roars suddenly came from Ma army and the vanguard are raising their arms in the air, their impetus astonishing. Before Wu Yan could comprehend what is happening, he sees a person and a horse rushing towards him. The person looks to be around seventeen to eighteen years old but his terrifying physique is far from any ordinary person, it is more like a bear or tiger’s body.
“Where did this non-Han dog comes from. How dare you curse my ancestor give me your life as punishment.”
Only to see Ma Zong Heng gazing at him like a tiger eyeing his prey and his expression ominous as he charges towards him. The horse that Ma Zong Heng is riding seems to feel his boiling anger as it strive to gallop faster.
Wu Yan expression changes and immediately raises his vigour and swing his hatchet forward. As fast as lightning, the two of them have their first clash. Ma Zong Heng raises his spear and pointing it upwards before smashing it downwards. Wu Yan hurridly raises his hatchet to welcome the blow and ‘ding’ a large clash happen. Wu Yan cries out in pain feeling that he have just smash his hatchet against a meteor and the web between his thumb and index finger immediate split open. Before he is able to react, Ma Zong Heng raises his spear and thrust the spear through his throat, his other tiger-like arm like a snake exiting its den grabs onto Wu Yan armour. With a loud shout, Ma Zong Heng pulls Wu Yan corpse off the horse onto the ground.
A dust cloud rises as Wu Yan’s corpse lies on the ground not moving while the blood continues to flow out and dye the ground red.
In a split second, the battleground is silent, everyone gaze is fixed onto Ma Zong Heng. The gazes from Ma family army is that of a fervent gaze while the gazes from Zhang Ji troops are filled with horror.