Outside of Kanyou, Sai (Chin: Zui) is the final garisson city between the Wei River that blocks any army from entrance into Kanyou.
During the last days of the Battle of Kankoku Pass, general Ri Boku of Zhao secretly gathered an army of more than 30,000 strong aimings to take the southern pass of Bu and reach the Qin capital, Kanyou. As a last attempt to save his kingdom, king Ei Sei took his personal guard and decided to make his last stand in the city of Sai which lies just before the path leading to Kanyou.
Ri Boku Army reinforcements: 5000 elite soldiers (1000 of each state).
- Zhao Army: Great General Ri Boku, General Shin Sei Jou †, Great General Hou Ken.
- Qin Army: No Generals available; King Ei Sei leads his army himself.
As the Ri Boku Army was approaching Kanyou, king Ei Sei felt that the only path of resistance available to them was the city of Sai, located at the end of the southern passage. The city of Sai is a very important location strategically as it is the last bastion at the end of the Bu Pass and is also in front of the Wei River and Kanyou. Thus, if an invading army were to march onto Kanyou, capturing Sai is necessary lest they wish to be ambushed while trying to cross the river. After consulting Shou Hei Kun and taking his approval, Sei took his personal army and left in secret for Sai. There, he met Shin and his army who managed to escape their chasers and reach Sai as well. Sei raised the citizens' morale with his presence and speech and managed to recruit them in his last stand to save his kingdom.
After boosting the citizens' morale, the soldiers started distributing the gear and weapons. Sei, Ten and Shin set the plans for the city's defense strategy but Ten noted that there was a lack of commanders to organize all four posts on the walls. At that point, Kai Oku arrived along with 100 cavalries, 50 of whom were capable of leading, to assist the king under orders from Shou Hei Kun himself.
Kai Oku handled the north wall, Heki was assigned to the East, Shou Bun Kun took the west and Shin was made in charge of the South wall, the frontal gate. The headquarters were placed near the frontal gate, where Ei Sei would be able to tour the four walls and raise the morale when needed. Ten and Mou Ki, who also arrived earlier, were stationed at the headquarters to act as the head strategists.
Road to KanyouEdit
The Ri Boku Army was able to siege the cities of Jinshi, Shoku, and Rou. Duke Hyou's detachment was able to catch up to Riboku Army's rear with a force numbering 5,000 men. Riboku then used the Ryuudou to split their forces. When Duke Hyou and a few dozen of his men broke through to the HQ, Riboku sent out Houken to duel him. The Duke was outmatched, but able to do some damage against him. Shin and about 100 men were able to reach them, but Duke Hyou told him to go onwards to Kanyou. In a last desperate effort, Duke Hyou sacrificed his arm and broke Houken's arm. Hou Ken then slew him.
Shin and the others withdrew, under the command of Heki. The Qin troops that had been split up by the Ryuudou were able to regroup outside. However, the 5,000 man army of Duke Hyou had been reduced to 2,000. The 3,000 losses included soldiers from the Duke's Retinue who had mounted suicidal charges upon hearing of his death. The remaining 2,000 set off for Kanyou via the southern path but would lose even more of their numbers from being harassed by Zhao pursuers.
A New HopeEditWhat was left of the Duke Hyou Army had scrambled for Kanyou while being pursued by the Ri Boku Army. Along the way, they passed by the three cities of Kan, Ri, and Rou situated before Sai. However, they had no choice but to run past all three cities which had been set ablaze by the fierce attack of Riboku's advance party. And even there, they would come under attack once again, losing even more of their numbers. Though they escaped danger, Shin and the others had become so fatigued that they slowly marched on without a word being spoken. Until at the end of the southern passage appeared a single city before them. Sai, the last city on the south path. Even Shin was exhausted and at the limit. Including Shin, the reason why everyone continued to feel so downcast was that they had lost sight of hope. But by choosing to stop at Sai, what these men saw could truly be said to be a single ray of light shining through the darkness. What they saw was their King Ei Sei.
Sei gathered the people of Sai and gave a moving speech managing to raise their morale and convince them to take up arms. After the arrival of Kai Oku, every soldier and commander took positions in their posts, awaiting the enemy army to reach their gates.
Soon afterward, Riboku and his army arrived at Sai. Riboku and his lieutenants were surprised to see the city guarded and ready for a battle, supposing that those were just peasants afraid of their lives. Riboku approached the gates and tried to convince his enemies not to fight, promising that every life would be spared if they just surrendered now.
Shin rose up and talked back to Riboku, telling him that every man on the walls was determined to fight and protect their city, a statement that was followed by cheers by all the men of Qin. Riboku, surprised with Shin's presence there and with the strange rise of moral, went back to his lieutenants and ordered the beginning of the siege of Sai.
The siege began with a barrage of arrows shooting from both sides. The Zhao soldiers attacked all four sides of the city's walls simultaneously and, taking advantage of the militia's inexperience and fear, the managed to climb the relatively small walls, using their ladders, and engage in a melee.
On the south wall, Shin and his unit managed to break the enemy's footing and drive them back, however the real problem was on the eastern wall (Heki's post). Riboku took advantage of the wind's direction, which favored his archers, who managed to provide a deeper coverage for those who climbed the wall. That same fact worked as a disadvantage for the Qin, whose arrows' speed was being reduced by the wind, thus making it difficult for them to reach their target. At this rate, the eastern wall was close to being overwhelmed.
Ten, having little knowledge of Heki's potential as a commander, devised a backup plan, to secure his foothold. She provided him with the enraged remnants of the Duke Hyou Army and advised him to use them as a reserve unit. Taking Ten's advise, Heki ordered the elite soldiers to move into the battle just when the enemies were about to overrun the militia. Having their passion boost their strength, they managed to push the Zhao back and restore the balance on the eastern walls.
Just before sunset, Ri Boku ordered his army to withdraw and start preparations for camp. The Qin, realizing that they had survived the most important part of the battle (the first day), started cheering and believed they could finally get some rest. However, the great general had thought of a plan to break the militia's high morale. Ri Boku divided his army in two and sent half to launch an attack during the night, while the other half would get a chance to rest properly. What's more, he ordered only half of the attackers to shoot arrows and the others to just stand back safely and make a ruckus in order to trick the Qin into thinking that they were being attacked by the whole army. Indeed his plan worked as, in the absence of light, Ten had no choice but to play safe and post all the units in position and have them shoot arrows blindly, depriving them of the chance to sleep and rest.
At the break of dawn, Ten figured out Ri Boku's scheme, but it was already too late. The Qin soldiers had stayed up all night shooting arrows in an area, where there weren't any Zhao soldiers and now they had to keep on fighting a fresh wave of enemies, being worn out themselves.
As the battle progressed, the Zhao continued the siege with ladders and a barrage of arrows. Noticing how the Hi Shin Unit was able to repel every attempt to set a foothold on the walls, Kaine and Fu Tei decided to take their units and enter the battle. Fu Tei climbed the ladder first and, being a skilled and extremely fast swordsman, he managed to swiftly take out two 100-man commanders, Ryuu Sen, and Den Yuu. Shin noticed the commotion and arrived at the scene just before Fu Tei managed to finish off Den Yuu.
Shin and Fu Tei engaged in a duel, with Fu Tei's speed being too much for Shin to handle. Having his training with Kyou Kai in mind, Shin realized Fu Tei was baiting him. Then, he thought of a trick to counter Fu Tei's speed, and the Zhao commander fell into Shin's own trap. Shin managed to knock him out with one strike.
Ka Ryo Ten, seeing that with the absence of the 100-Man Commanders Ryuu Sen and Den Yuu the Qin soldiers were getting pushed back by Kaine's unit, entered the battle to offer directions. Kaine saw her and instead of killing her she decided to knock her out and take her hostage. Before she could do that, Shin arrived and pushed Kaine off the walls. Ten grabbed her, saving her life, the two proceeded to have a heart to heart. Kaine then told Shin who was hanging on to Ten to let go or she would pierce Ten's throat. Shin then called Bi Hei over to stab Kaine, but Kaine let go and got caught by her subordinates without being harmed. Fu Tei witnessed the scene and charged at Shin but he was stopped halfway by Ryuu Sen who sent him flying off the wall. Ten apologized for saving the enemy's life and promised not to do that again in the future.
Despite losing their commanders due to injuries, the remnants of Fu Tei's and Kaine's units gave the defenders of the southern wall a hard time, before they were finally pushed back.
That night the troops, although they were exhausted, had a hard time sleeping due to fear and desperation as well as the ruckus created by the Zhao soldiers. Sei noticed that and decided to tour the campus and talk with his people. Speaking to them as an everyday man rather than a king, Sei managed to reach into their hearts and give them the courage to continue fighting this battle for survival with an even higher spirit. Sei also paid a visit to the remnants of the Duke Hyou Army, who stated their resolve to forsake their lives in this very battle. Instead of accepting their statement, Sei gave them a new reason to live on, in order to pass their late captain's story to the new generations.
Also that night, Shin asked Shō Bun Kun how many days the city had to hold out for, to which he responded eight days.
On the third day of battle, "The Unkown Territory" as called by Shou Bun Kun, an unexpected development began to occur on the walls of Sai. The Qin militia, thought to have been exhausted both physically and mentally, began to push the enemies back as if the soldiers' spirit within them had awakened. This phenomenon would occur equally on the walls in all four directions. Having found a second wind, Sai once again began to slowly push back the encroaching Ri Boku Army.
When the night fell, Ei Sei repeated his walks among the soldiers to boost their morale once again.
Sai was once again able to hold out until dusk without falling to the enemy. The Zhao soldiers had begun by treating the militia with ridicule, but after coming this far, they started to have an unpleasant sensation of fighting against something whose nature they could not truly grasp. Riboku himself was troubled to try to grasp what was the factor that fed the Qin extraordinary performance.
On the fourth night, Riboku, apart from the psychological attacks, ordered an actual attack on the walls as well. To the fatigued soldiers of Sai, this night attack was even more of a trial, but somehow they managed to hold out.
On the fifth day, the Qin soldiers were truly at their limit. Many of them started falling on their knees, even dropping dead, before even being attacked by their enemies. Sei saw that and made a desperate and extremely dangerous move, despite his advisers' objections; he entered the battle himself on the southern wall, yelling at his men not to give up just yet.
Witnessing a bunch of kids fighting in front of him, Sei sent his personal garrison to save them. An enemy captain, Sou, noticed a kid with a shiny armor leading the militia figured out that he must be someone important and moved to take him out. Sei moved quick and cut the attacker's arm but another soldier that followed managed to surprise the king and wound him in the neck area. Upon witnessing this, the militia of Sai cried out his title in concern and the soldiers of Zhao were able to deduce Sei's identity. Just as the Zhao soldier was about to finish the helpless Sei off, Shin arrived and killed him. In a frenzy, Shin massacred all the Zhao soldiers around Sei and secured his life.
Words of the king of Qin being present in Sai reached Ri Boku's ears, only to confirm his assumptions. Realizing that Sai was now the last step before destroying Qin, he ordered all his reserves to resume the battle and attack the city from all sides leaving absolutely no one escape. The Sai army had to use all their already worn out reserves too, with the result of having soldiers collapsing one after the other.
The battle was so fierce, that even the wall commanders had to enter the battle in order to maintain high morale. As the night approached, the side with the highest risk of falling was Sho Bun Kun's west wall. However, the enemy chose to not push any further, as Ri Boku didn't want to take the fight into the city without the light of the day.
When the night fell, the militia started to lose faith due to the king being heavily wounded. Shū Bun Kun suggested that the king should be evacuated, but Sei denied this request.
On the morning of the sixth day, the loss of their cornerstone, Sei, had turned the militia into empty husks. The will to fight had disappeared from Sai. On the other hand, the Ri Boku Army was more than ever determined to end this war. Ri Boku orders his men to go on an all-out assault on all four sides of the city and placed reserve units around any possible openings to prevent the Qin king from escaping. Their main goal was to capture Sei, dead or alive.
The attacks of the Zhao army were too much for the exhausted Qin men to handle and so every wall was being overrun little by little. Seeing that, Sei gathered all his strength and managed to stand up on his horse and tour the walls once again. When the soldiers saw their king being alive and were once again filled with courage and will to fight.
Shin, following his friend's footsteps, gave a speech about his unit by reminding them of their specialty in doing battle while outnumbered and provoked them to exceed their limits and fight even harder than they have so far. Ten set the strategy and rallied the troops as the Hi Shin Unit set out to annihilate the enemy.
The Ri Boku Army continued to mercilessly throw in troops one after another, maintaining a relentless assault from all four directions and, as a result, most of the reserves in the city were used up.
Yet, Sai still continued to hold out, thanks to two factors, the first being Sei's presence, who had been touring the walls and raising morale despite his heavy wounds, and the second Kai Oku's strategical moves. Compared to the other fronts, Kai Oku's northern wall was not attacked quite as heavily as the others, and so he was able to send what he could spare to reinforce the east and west walls as the situation demanded. The balancing of danger, for the city of Sai, was on the verge of collapsing, but Kai Oku's timely reinforcements allowed them to maintain a delicate balance. As for the south wall, Shin and his unit were going into a frenzy, with Shin fighting almost instinctively, killing half of the attackers.
Despite the pressure, Sai managed to last until the night fell, and that was when Shin collapsed. Sei and Ten went to his position on the wall to help wake him up and treat his wounds, and, along with the other members of the unit, they chatted and slept through the night.
All walls were struggling dearly, since this time the Ri Boku Army went in with everything they had, but the wall struggling the most was Shou Bun Kun's (West wall). Kai Oku, who had managed to balance the forces on the walls by sending reinforcements until then, realized this too late and he tried to send 300 men to the west wall to aid Sho Bun Kun. Alas, it was too late, and so, finally, the wall was overwhelmed and the Zhao soldiers started running down the stairs and opened the gate for the main army to rush in. Upon entering, the soldiers opened up the rest of the gates from within the city. Sai was flooded with Zhao soldiers and just as the Qin soldiers fell into despair and thought all hope had faded something unexpected showed up.
It was the Yo Tan Wa Army, numbering 30,000 strong fighters, who came to Sei's rescue. It was revealed that Sei had sent a messenger to ask for Yo Tan Wa's aid. Sei's move was kept a secret, even from the Qin strategists, in order to prevent it from leaking out to Ri Boku. The mountain queen, although she was in the middle of a campaign at the moment, decided to answer Sei's call.
Upon reaching Sai, Yo Tan Wa's men rushed on the surprised Zhao soldiers and managed to kill their way through the western part of the enemy forces. Fu Tei took his unit and rushed to stop their progress, but struggled against Yo Tan Wa's main forces.
Ri Boku was stunned by this development, as, judging by his experience, he would never expect the mountain folk to work with the state's king. As he found himself under great pressure and with the possibility of failure coming closer, Ri Boku was about to order a retreat. However, at that point, great general Hou Ken, irritated by the newly arrived enemies, started slaying them indiscriminately. Hou Ken was aiming for their leader and Yo Tan Wa was more than willing to face him, but Shin intervened and asked her to leave this opponent to him.
Shin had descended the walls, despite his comrades' objections, determined to face Hou Ken once more. As the two started charging each other, Shin's horse, Shun, attacked Hou Ken's horse and managed to bring it down, with the cost of suffering fatal injuries, thus depriving the enemy of his huge advantage in size and reach. Despite that, Hou Ken still had the upper hand as he knocked Shin several feet away with just one swing, breaking his ribs. Shin managed to get back up on his feet and realized that the only way to avoid being killed is to give all his strength in the offensive.
Shin attacked Hou Ken with everything he had, aiming for his weapon rather than his opponent, counting on his injured left hand. Hou Ken didn't expect that move and so Shin managed to push the great Bushin back. Hou Ken attempted to strike back with his spear, but Shin jumped high to avoid it, found an opening and stabbed Hou Ken in the chest. Although the wound was not that deep, Hou Ken was shaking up and Shin took advantage of it and sliced his face right where the scar from Ou Ki was. With an almost instinctive move, Hou Ken knocked his enemy back, sending him several feet away.
Back at the Zhao HQ, Shin Sei Jou finally convinced Ri Boku to sound the retreat, since the victor of this battle had already been decided. He offered to organize the retreat himself so that Ri Boku could leave for Kankoku Pass right away and set the other armies in motion as soon as possible and guide the coalition into a compromisable resolution in this fallout.
Ri Boku accepted his deputy's offer, and so general Shin Sei Jou went to convince Hou Ken to follow the army and leave this lost battlefield. Hou Ken was determined to keep on fighting, and even slew some of his own men who tried to interfere with the duel, but finally, Shin Sei Jou persuaded him to evacuate, live another day and keep following his path.
|“||Of course, we understand! However, know that we do not interfere in this out of some impulsive whim. This stems from the Alliance first forged with Duke Boku of Qin 400 years ago. An alliance that has been reaffirmed between the current Qin king and, I Yo Tan Wa. Do not babble any further, O old general of the plains. Silently accept that your names shall be etched into history as the vanquished.||”|
Shin Sei Jou's unit fought bravely and managed to fulfill their goal of providing a cover for their comrades. However, the mountain people were too much for them to handle, and Shin Sei Jou himself was easily killed by Ba Jio.
Once the Zhao soldiers were gone, the Qin men shed tears of relief. King Sei himself expressed his gratitude to Yo Tan Wa and the rest of his men bowed down to their saviors. Sei invited his ally to stay but she said she and her army would be returning to their campaign immediately. The two rulers postponed their meeting for a future date when they could spare the time to talk.