Dragon’s Soul Chapter 35: Battlefield

Outside of the city Yuying and Ai moved with the eight thousand infantry. They would come in as reinforcements for the cavalry soldiers who had went inside ahead.

Being from the underworld Yuying thought very little about death. Death itself had no meaning to her because if she were to die she would be going back home. So far everything has been somewhat of a game to her. She wanted to see how long she could stay alive and how long she could stay with Zhang and Ai.

Death was inevitable but she did not fear it nor would she try to avoid it. So on a battlefield she did not pity those who were going to die.

“Every meeting must have a parting.” She thought to herself.

One day she will have to be apart from Zhang and Ai. That thought someone made her heart ache. Over the many months of being together the trio has had a very strong bond. Despite all of her reasoning and thoughts she knew if something happened to Ai or Zhang she would of course worry about them. If they died, then she would join them because they were the reason that kept her in the world of the living.

Without them she would be alone and there would be no meaning to staying here any longer.

Beside Yuying riding her horse was Ai. Over the many months Ai had grown very close to Zhang and Yuying, especially Yuying. The two of them became like sisters, eating and sleeping together. She learned many things from Yuying with the two stayed together.

At first she had been strangers to the two of them but now they were like family. They had become an important part of her life in which she did not want to lose. As she saw it besides there two everyone else had little value.

In other words, to her if thousands or hundreds of thousands of people disappeared in front of her she would not bat an eye. But if something bad were to befall on Zhang or Yuying she felt that a part inside of her would lose control and she would go mad.

“I hope he is fine inside there.” She thought as she and Yuying led the eight thousand infantry soldiers toward the city gate.

Inside the city Xi Ning’s one thousand and seven hundred soldiers stormed the wall they met little resistance. On top of the gate there were only roughly five hundred soldiers. The vast majority of Red Mist city’s soldiers were kept inside the lord’s mansion.

Red Mist city had three levels and soldiers were split up accordingly. There was the outer ring where all the slums and poor people lived. Then the middle ring where the merchants and wealthy people lived and did business. Lastly there was the inner ring where the nobility and the lords of the city lived.

Of the one hundred thousand soldiers the city had roughly five thousand was kept on rotating shifts to guard the walls. The walls of Red Mist city were built very high so they did not feel the need to have too many guards guarding it.

The outer ring housed the least number of guards roughly ten thousand. These soldiers would be split up into smaller teams and spread throughout the outer ring this was due to the city of Red Mist city. The middle ring housed roughly twenty thousand soldiers. While the inner ring housed the rest. That being said unless all of the soldiers were mobilized the city only had about roughly fifty thousand soldiers on duty.

In the lord’s mansion a huge commotion broke out as messengers from all around the city came running.

“MY LORD THE EASTERN GATE HAS FALLEN!!!” One messenger yelled.

“Bad News thousands of enemy cavalry has stormed into the city!!!” Another one yelled.

“The middle ring has been set on fire!!” Yet another messenger yelled.

It had been very late at night and Jin Sho had just went to bed but was woken up by all the screaming. Originally he was going to go outside and punish all of these people for bothering him when he was trying to sleep.

However, when he heard what they had to say his heart sank. So many things happened so quickly that his mind fell into disarray.

“What are you fools doing?! Send the soldiers from the inner ring out! Stop them!! Also alert all soldiers who are not on active duty to return to duty and help defend the city!” He yelled.

“Ri-right away my lord!” A messenger replied as he headed out.

“Now go get someone to tell me the current status of the city!” Jin Sho yelled.

Although he knew the situation outside was bad he did not comprehend the level of severity it was.

Zhang had lead his ten thousand cavalry into the city and up the walls and then took five hundred cavalry soldiers while Lu Xun lead five hundred in opposite direction. Their goal was to capture the city walls. If they didn’t there was a chance that the gate they came into might be closed from behind them and they would be trapped and surrounded.

Zhang ordered the remaining nine thousand to secure the outer ring and evacuate the people. He did not want common people to be dragged into this battle so he gave them a chance to leave.

The cavalry soldiers following Zhang galloped on top of the walls of the city and anyone they ran into would either be cut down or trampled over by their horses.

On the ground below the walls the rest of the cavalry soldiers fanned out and keep the streets clear of enemy soldiers. They needed to wait for the infantry to arrive before moving in on the middle ring of the city.

Being cavalry soldiers they were not very useful in occupying a city. Their job was mainly to charge and disperse the enemy or chase after fleeing enemies. If they stayed in one place too long they might be shot at by archers or outnumbered by spearmen. Thus they needed infantry.

In taking over a city infantry played a key role.  Unlike cavalry they could clear out buildings and weave through small alleyways which allowed them to quickly maneuver around.

However, clearing the eastern outer ring was fairly easy to begin with they had the element of surprise on their side. The soldiers guarding the outer ring of Red Mist city did not have a chance to fight back before getting killed.

Once Yuying and Ai arrived with the eight thousand infantry the push for the middle ring began. The fire that was set earlier had kept the soldiers in the middle ring busy and had caused mass panic to occur.

The infantry soldiers led the charge into the middle ring with cavalry following behind them. While moving in they screamed at the top of their lungs.

“Everyone who drops their weapons and surrenders will be spared! Those who do not will be slaughter!!” They yelled out.

“DISARM OR DIE!!” The soldiers continued to yell.

Mass panic head already broken out in the middle ring due to the large fire and the chanting of Zhang’s soldiers added more turmoil into the hearts of the soldiers of Red Mist city.

Many soldiers of Red Mist city dropped their weapons and kneeled down onto the group with their hands cupping the back of their heads. Some feared death, while others were simply displeased with their current lord and did not want to fight for him.

The vast majority of the city was oppressed by the ruling clan with high taxes and fear so a large quantity of people was unhappy with Jin Sho.

Once they surrendered the soldiers of Red Mist city were all tied up and led to outer ring.

While all of this was going on Xi Ning lead his men through the middle ring and directly to the inner ring. He knew there were fifty thousand soldiers in the inner ring and if he didn’t do anything then they would have a tough fight.

But he was confident that even if they had to face these fifty thousand soldiers they could win but with heavy casualties. The soldiers Zhang brought were elite soldiers from Aurora city. Aurora being known as the strongest influence within the warring states region meant that its soldiers were no laughing matter.

It would be a matter of time if the fifty thousand soldiers of the inner ring met the ten thousand cavalry. It is common knowledge that when fighting in an open plain ten thousand cavalry soldiers was equal to one hundred thousand infantry soldiers. Riding on horses they had high mobility and would just constantly chip away at the enemy infantry. Or if the enemy infantry when facing a charge or cavalry broke out into panic then the horsemen would simply just pick them off one by one as they ran.

Because there was no possible way for regular infantry soldiers who ran on two legs to out run cavalry soldiers who had four legs. So if the attack on the city failed they would only have to retreat outside and constantly raid Red Mist city with their cavalry until they chipped away enough soldiers.

Zhang’s forces were making amazing progress through the city. The soldiers of Red Mist city had little to no morale at all in this situation. This was the first time an enemy force of this size has ever made it into the city. In a defensive war they would be confident in winning but on an even playing field the soldiers of Red Mist city lacked the furiousness of the bandits and the cavalry of Aurora.

As Zhang’s forces advanced the soldiers of Red Mist city got slaughtered. They could not repel Zhang’s soldiers this was because if they formed formations to push back the invaders cavalry would charge in and trample them.

However, the tides of battle changed in an instant thousands of soldiers from the inner ring came to reinforce the middle ring. Roughly twenty-five thousand soldiers pushed from the inner ring out toward the middle ring.

“ARCHERS FORM UP!” A man on a horse yelled out to the soldiers of red mist city.

Thousands of archers filled the streets wearing Red Mist city’s standard armor.

“FIRE!”

Thousands of arrows shot from their bows and pierced the air.

“Fallback!! Fallback!! Take cover!” Zhang’s soldiers yelled.

Yuying and Ai were a part of this group of soldiers and some arrows flow right pass them. Some even landed and hit Yuying however thanks to hear armor they simply slide off.

“Ai lets fall back to the rear!” Yuying yelled as she whipped her Inferno Wind Walker to move. Ai soon followed and the two moved out of the distance of the archers.

They did not have heavy infantry with them to counter the archers so all they could do was run and take cover.

“ATTACK!!!” A voice rang out.

Hundreds of horsemen rode in from behind the archers and tramped them. These were horsemen who had split up to take over the wall. Once Zhang secured the Northern gate he had left fifty horsemen behind and went to meet up with the rest of his soldiers. As long as he took the northern fate and Lu Xun took the southern gate then there was no way for them to be surrounded inside Red Mist city.

Originally the army entered through the eastern gate so all of the battling was happening on the eastern side of the city. This allowed Zhang to flank the defending archers who were keeping his soldiers at bay.

The four hundred and fifty cavalry soldiers following behind Zhang charged into the rows of archers. The damage they dealt was huge. The archers had all of their attention focused on the soldiers in front of them which allowed Zhang to catch them totally off guard.

To begin with Archers did not have very much armor this allowed the cavalry soldiers to cut them down with ease.

“Join the commander!!” A soldier who had been shot at by the archers yelled.

“JOIN THE COMMANDER!!!!” The rest of the army yelled as they charged to join the fray.

The thousands of soldiers that were hiding from the onslaught of arrows ran out from their hiding places and charged.

“Brother! We are coming!” Ai Yelled and she and Yuying charged alongside the soldiers into battle.

Soon the middle ring of Red Mist city became a battlefield. The two battling armies fought neck and neck.  Although Zhang was slightly outnumbered he had cavalry soldiers which kept the enemy formations in constant chaos. Once the cavalry broke enemy lines it would be very hard for them to reform in this situation.

Hundreds of corpses lined the streets of Red Mist city and small rivers of blood flowed. Some soldiers were laying on the street heavy injured and just awaiting death.

“Brother!” Yuying yelled to Zhang as she rode up to his side.

“Take the wounded to the rear!” Zhang commanded to some soldiers.

“You two stick with me.” He said to Yuying and Ai.

Ever since Zhang joined the main army morale shot through the air. Unlike some commanders he fought on the front lines with his men and inspired them to fight harder. His men felt that instead of being his subordinates they were more like brothers in arms.

Whereas for the soldiers of Red Mist city their lord was safely at home while they were out here risking their lives to protect him. So many of these soldiers ran away or surrendered the instant an opportunity presented itself.

“Commander! The northern gate is ours and most of the civilians in the outer ring has been evacuated.” Lu Xun said to Zhang as he came on top of his horse coming from the northern gate.

“Good, now take over here I need to pay a trip to the Golden Lotus.” Zhang said as he rode off with a few hundred horsemen following behind him along with Yuying and Ai.

Once Zhang left Lu Xun began commanding the soldiers.

“Form ranks spearmen in back swords man in front! Do not fight in the large streets move to the small alleyways and secure them! Cavalry fall back and get ready to charge!” Lu Xun shouted.

Following his commands, the soldiers began falling back into the alleyways. In such tight spaces the enemy’s numbers would not matter and that would allow for Zhang’s forces to be able to fight them evenly. The alleyways were only big enough for five or so men to talk from side to side next to each other so only five enemy soldiers would be able to engage them in battle. Whereas for Zhang’s soldiers they would break into formation with five swordsmen in front with five spearmen in back.

The spearman would keep the enemy soldiers back with their spears while the swordsman moved in for the kill. Once someone was killed someone from behind would replace them.

The cavalry soldiers moved back and assembled into formations. They stayed far away from the fighting allowing the soldiers of Red Mist city to group up and try to attack the alleyways where the infantry was holed up in.

Once the enemy grouped up they would charge.  After repeating this for a few times the soldiers of Red Mist city fell into despair.

Lu Xun was extremely experienced at the art of war and know how to properly use his troops strengths against enemies.

“Surrender! And you will be spared!!” Lu Xun yelled.

Upon hearing this most dropped their swords and surrendered.

However suddenly a loud cry could be heard.

“You imbeciles! Why are you surrendering!! Get up and fight for me!”

When everyone looked toward the direction where the voice came from they could see Jin Sho leading a large number of soldiers. Sending next to him was the man who had stopped Zhang when he was trying to capture Jin Chang and use him as a hostage.

“Fight and everyone will get one hundred gold coins each! I may something but money isn’t one of those things!” Jin Sho yelled.

“Also if you don’t fight then behind me are ten thousand soldiers who will kill you all upon my orders.” Jin Sho said calmly. He had assembled all of the remaining soldiers who were ready for battle and come to repel the enemy to see that his initial forces were trying to surrender this man him very angry.

If under normal circumstances he would of most likely put all of these men to death.

“Hmph you fools watch after this I’ll execute your entire families.” He thought.

Those dishearten soldiers picked up their swords once more and stood up.

Seeing this Lu Xun decided that he needed to retreat and regroup his men. He had about four thousand infantry left and roughly eight thousand cavalries totally in twelve thousand. Xi Ning had disappeared somewhere with three hundred men and Zhang had gone somewhere with roughly four hundred horsemen. There were about two hundred horsemen left to guard the walls. So in total they had about thirteen thousand men.

But Jin Sho just showed up with ten thousand fresh soldiers and on top of that the majority of the reinforcements that he had sent out earlier to the middle ring were still alive and fit for battle.

“Everyone fallback and form lines!” Lu Xun yelled.

“You think you can run!? Kill them! Whoever brings me their commanders head I will give that person the rank of general and ten thousand gold coins!” Jin Sho yelled.

Hearing the worlds ten  thousand gold coins money signs appeared in the eyes of all the soldiers. With ten thousand gold coins they could live like kings for a while.

“How can the lord of Red Mist city which is the trading hub of the western edge of the warring states region be so stingy. Fifty thousand? You are giving them chump change.” A voice laughed.

Zhang could be seen riding sitting on top of his fiery horse a short distance away and on his side were Yuying and Ai.

“It’s you!” Jin Sho yelled. However, in his heart he cursed his son for making enemies of this man in front of him.

“Surrender to me and I’ll leave you with a complete corpse.” Zhang said.

“Surrender? Why should I surrender! I clearly have the upper hand here. You are fighting within my city! With a trivial number of soldiers at your side. Once all my forces mobilize you will be outnumbered vastly and be crushed.” Jin Sho sneered. But he was indeed correct if all of his forces were mobilized he would be able to crush Zhang.

That was when a rhythmic marching sound could be heard coming towards the battlefield.

Shortly after the rhythmic marching got louder and louder and from the corner of the street behind Zhang, rows of soldiers in golden armor wearing white scarfs with a golden lotus sewn on them appeared.

“Ha you are doomed now! Now the Golden Lotus has mobilized!” Jin Sho laughed.

“Yes! The Golden Lotus is here we are saved!” Some of his soldiers cheered.

2 Comments

  • matt.d41@gmail.com' Nonameforyou says:

    You seriously need an editor in this chapter and the previous ones. At the bottom you keep switching between ten thousand gold coins and fifty thousand gold coins in a single paragraph. Which is it? There’s lots of mistakes like that in these chapters and the ones before.

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