about 54,000 Soldiers
about 150,000 Soldiers
over 21,000 Soldiers
over 47,000 Soldiers
Qin conquers the Chiyoyou regions
Since Ri Boku and Shun Shin Kun could not take back Sanyou after the Coalition Invasion, Qin has started to expand across China, it borders was changing rapidly. Ahead of Sanyou, was "Chiyoyou," was then the strategically important place that blocked Qin's expansion into China. Qin sent Tou to conquer it. Wei also invested a great deal of their military strength into defending it. And so, Wei Number one General Go Hou Mei was put in command of the force numbering 70,000 to push back the Qin Army. In the face of that, the Qin Army under Tou had also been increasing their forces. And so, troops from nearby battlefields had been called in and were flocking to join the battle of Chiyoyou. The Hi Shin and Gyoku Hou Units were among those troops.
The Opening Battle
During the battle, Tou had noticed the Wei had set up a trap. Ryuu Koku who was appointed general of the left-wing noticed that if it was true that they would be in a tough spot if the enemy managed to circle around to their backs, then, but there did not seem to be any signs of such. Then a report came that 3,000 to 5,000 enemies were sighted to the rear of their left flank and appeared to be trying to hit them from behind. Ryuu Koku then ordered all the troops to have a full-speed retreat, to prevent the enemy from surrounding them. The Roku O Mi Army on the right-wing appeared to be having delays. Tou dispatched 500 archers to aid. Tou stated it was obvious that there were numerous differences in the enemy's tactics compared to the previous day. He was then informed that a man left the Wei Capital, Dairyou, to come to that front. Tou found there was no mistaking it. From that day onward, they would be going up against the state of Wei's number one general, Go Hou Mei.
Meanwhile, at the Wei HQ, Go Hou Mei was informed that the Qin forces managed to getaway. He ordered his men to keep up the chase and push them back to the Tansa Forests. Go Hou Mei being called to that war front stressed how important it was for Wei to hold the Chiyoyou Region. Also, important enough for three great generals who ravaged the plains of China along with Go Kei to be summoned too.
Meanwhile, at the Qin HQ, Ryuu Koku explained that the situation had changed explaining that they may have gathered up all the various troops in the Chiyoyou Region, but the Wei was also consolidating their forces there. Not only had Go Hou Mei joined the fray a few days prior, but three unidentified Wei Armies had also arrived on the field. He reveals they were dispatched from Dairyou, and on the way, they stopped by the Qin cities of Sou, Bidai, and Hokudai and all three cities fell to them within a single day. They did not know who the commanders of those armies were then, but they did know so far was that each of the armies was around 20,000 strong for a total of 60,000. Just the fact that the enemy had received 60,000 reinforcements already put the Qin at an overwhelming disadvantage, but what made matters even worse was the formation the Wei deployed themselves into. They had spread out their forces while considering the rivers and mountains in the area. Every single point was backed up by other garrisons, and the center was able to immediately send reinforcements to any direction should the need arise. It was as if the entire thing was one gigantic stronghold. Ten notices there were nearly no openings, but then quickly realized it was more like there was not a single weak spot at all.
Because the Wei brought in reinforcements of 60,000 troops the Tou Army was going to send a request for reinforcements from the Ou Sen Army that was positioned in the Kakuyou Region on the Qin/Zhao border. But were stop by Ou Hon who explained that if Chiyoyou was a crucial point preventing Qin from expanding out into China, then the Kakuyou Region that Ou Sen was defending was also a vital blockade that was keeping Zhao from invading Qin's eastern territories. If Kakuyou fell to Zhao, they would be able to immediately push into Kyuu, and from there, they would wind their way southwards along Tou City and Han Pass. Then they had set up Kakuyou as a new base of operations and muster even more soldiers to send south. The vanguard army would act as shields while the following army makes their way straight down south, and capture Tourei in just a single push. Zhao would then have surrounded Chiyoyou and Sanyou from the back and be able to take both away from Qin. It was also plausible that Zhao wished to capture Chiyoyou and Sanyou just so they could sell them back to Wei. Also, in the off chance that Zhao really did come that far south, then even if they had captured Chiyoyou, their forces there would be forced to engage them. And if that happened, all of Qin's Zhao and Wei fronts would become a mess.
Ou Hon's Plan
Ou Hon reveals that there was still a way for Qin to take Chiyoyou. At first glance, the Wei formation seemed flawless, but they still exist a few faints weak points. The northwest and southwest points were slightly more isolated by thick forests compared to the others. Along with the one point across the river. Ten wonders why? It would still be hard to break through the three points and even if they do, they will have to deal with reinforcements from the center or reserves. If they did not advance carefully, they might instead be surrounded and completely wiped out. Ou Hon explained that due to the terrain obstructions, there would be a slight delay in sending out messengers and receiving reinforcements for those three points. Assuming it was only one of them, it would not amount to anything. But if it were all three at the same time, then it should have some effect. Ou Hon's plan was to split their forces into several parts, but the "main offense" was to be carried out by three groups. And at the exact same time and day, those three units would annihilate the three enemy points simultaneously.
Ou Hon tells them the only ones capable of pulling it off would be the Roku O Mi Army, the Gyoku Hou Unit, and the Hi Shin Unit. To have Tou take part in the true attack would attract too much attention from the Wei. So, he was the General to act as a "decoy" for the battle plan. While the main attack is to be carried out by three groups who excel at breaking through enemy lines. Roku O Mi proposed Kan Ou is far more suitable for such a task than the Gyoku Hou or Hi Shin Units but Ou Hon explains that Kan Ou was weak when it came to adaptability. Ryuu Koku still has his doubts, seeing as to spread out their forces in such a wide area, and then commit a three-pronged attack on top of that, pulling off any coordination between the three would be difficult. Ou Hon further explains that there would be no need for it and attempting to implement any sort of coordinated maneuvers between them, would simply risk be exposing their plan to the enemy. So, all three would be acting independently but there would be just one agreement that they must abide by. On the afternoon of the third day, right when the sun had risen to its highest peak, each of the three would destroy any enemy troops or reserves that lie before them, and break right into the Go Hou Mei’s headquarters. The timing cannot be off even by the slightest margin.
Simultaneous Battle Plan
Though all three had decided on fighting independently, amazingly enough, the timing at which they began the battle matched each other perfectly.
On his end, Tou noticed the "fire dragon seal" and the character for "Rei," he quickly realized it was Rei Ou of the "Wei Fire Dragons." Tou stated that he should have died a long time ago. He then began to think if it really was the real Rei Ou, then a powerful blade would approach from his army's flank. Tou had his troops retreat and regroup themselves. Tou was then attacked by Ran Bi Haku. They exchanged a single blow. Tou left a crack in Ran Bi Haku's arm brace, while Ran Bi Haku left a cut on Tou's cheek. On the Wei side, Rei Ou took note of Tou's skill. The Tou Army was able to get away, however, the enemy was pursuing them. Tou told them to pay the Wei no heed. Because the Ran Bi Haku was a warrior of such a caliber that even Ou Ki and Kyou found him troublesome. Trying to take him on would have been playing right into Rei Ou's hands. Tou then thought if the other two armies were also being led by Wei’s Fire Dragons, then the battle would become extremely difficult.
At the Wei Army HQ, Go Hou Mei received a report that the Rei Ou Army appeared to have swiftly beaten back the Tou Army. Go Hou Mei then went on the explain why the three remaining Fire Dragons were not dead as the rumors had said. He revealed they spent the last fourteen years in prison for killing three other members of the Fire Dragons. He said that the previous King wanted them beheaded, however, Go Kei managed to convince him to stay his hand. Go Hou Mei explained that it was true that there were some flaws with their character, but there was no doubt as to their actual abilities. Not to mention, they had been imprisoned for fourteen whole years, and the only thing that could sate their "thirst," was the Qin Army that lied before them.
At the Reserve Army, Gai Mou HQ, Gai Mou is middle of having sex with his concubines. When he received a report, to his dismay that the outer army was being pushed back the Hi Shin Unit. So, they were asked for reinforcements. Jun Sou explained to him that the captain of the Hi Shin Unit dueled Hou Ken. He then explained that Hou Ken was the one who killed Kyou and Ou Ki of Qin's Six Great Generals. Also, that Hou Ken killed Duke Hyou, who in turn killed Go Kei. A bit later Jun Sou told the messengers that the reinforcement request was rejected.
Meanwhile, the Hi Shin Unit was engaged in battle. Ten recounted that there opening went down well, and just matching up the timing was going to be hard, but before even that punching through all the enemy garrisons until the HQ in three days was already extremely difficult. Against their 5,000, just the enemies in front of them were already twice their number at 10,000. Furthermore, to the left and right lied two reserve armies with another 10,000 each. And the 30,000 stationed at their HQ would also send reinforcements. If they wanted to take on those odds, then they absolutely must thoroughly wipe out the enemy's first wave that day. Ten then gave orders for Kyou Kai Unit to push even further.
Jun Sou was then seen observing the Hi Shin Unit's strength. He was then noticed by So Sui. Before he could act Gai Mou appeared before him cutting down a few of his men. Gai Mou then went on to look for Shin.
So Sui immediately notices the danger that Gai Mou possess and orders his men to surround him and take him down. In one swing Gai Mou cuts through all So Sui's men and severely injures him . On another part of the battlefield, En informed Shin that as expected there was a great number of enemies. Seeing as how they had already sent the enemy formations into disarray. En suggested they should disengage and reform themselves. However, Shin noticed something was wrong. On another part of the battlefield, Kyou Kai wondered where So Sui was. Meanwhile, Gai Mou was enjoying cutting through the Hi Shin Unit's soldiers. Jun Sou told Gai Mou that Go Hou Mei would get mad if they did not return soon. He had some of his men guard Gai Mou, for form's sake. The whole reason why their formation had no openings was due to reserve armies like theirs being placed in key positions between the outer points and the HQ. If the HQ found out they were moving around on the battlefield as they pleased, they were going to have their asses on a platter. Jun Sou asked why was he even charging into the thick of things when he said he just came to look? Having only brought 100 cavalries with them. Gai Mou was annoyed with Jun Sou's nagging. Jun Sou pointed out that the men they brought were all his subordinates, they would be pulling out. Seeing as he would rather not get hurt and all. Gai Mou then let out a loud shout challenging Shin to a duel that could be heard throughout the battlefield. Jun Sou told him that it was a waste of breath. Not everyone was such a simple and straight-forward person such as him. And normally, challenging someone to a duel when you have not even fought to reach each other, was just going to put the other guy on guard. More importantly, they were in a bad spot thanks to Gai Mou exposing their position. The worst possible scenario was the entire enemy army charging straight there. Jun Sou had his men form a defensive formation and get ready to flee at any time. Just then to Jun Sou's amazement, Shin appeared.
Gai Mou could tell that despite Shin's young age he had seen his fair share of campaigns, considering that he was not cowering even when standing before him. Gai Mou explained though he was not a slouch when it came to service records either. After all, he was a man who had dueled the likes of Ren Pa and Ou Ki to a standstill in the past. That came as a shock to much of the Hi Shin Unit. Jun Sou revealed to Shin that Gai Mou was lying. Shin began to laugh. Gai Mou asked what Shin found so funny? And asked if he believed him? Shin told him he could tell that Gai Mou obviously was not some ordinary schmuck. Shin told him that for such a big honcho like them, to just come waltzing out into the open when his troops already hold such an advantage on the field, was something to laugh at, and unlike Ren Pa and the others, he was not too bright. Gai Mou told Shin that seeing how casually Shin showed himself due to his taunt, he was not much better himself. Shin then stated that it looked like they just had to find out just which of them was the true idiot. He then charged straight for Gai Mou. Jun Sou explained the answer to that was already obvious. About Gai Mou's earlier lie, it was true Gai Mou had never dueled Ren pa or the others, even a single time. However, that was because being as clever as they were, Ren Pa and the others chose to deliberately avoid dueling with Gai Mou. That was to say, even to the likes of Ren Pa, engaging in a duel with Gai Mou would be like signing his own death warrant. To both their surprise Shin was able to hold his ground. Gai Mou then sent Shin flying. Shin quickly got to his feet and could tell from just that one blow, that Gai Mou was not some simple brute strength muscle head and carried an abnormal "weight" within him. The weight that made even Shin's bones start ringing. Which reminded him of the blows he took from Ren Pa. In other words, he was the real deal. Shin did not understand why Gai Mou was not as famous as Ren Pa and the others? Gai Mou was then interested. He had thought them all gone, but it appeared a new "tiger" had appeared. He told the spectators to go back to their own battles. He then told Shin that he would cleave him in half to mark his return to the battlefield. Shin then dared him to try and told Gai Mou that he was going to knock his head off his shoulders and decide the battle in their favor.
Meanwhile, Ten was giving out orders. She had Ryuu Sen's infantry form a call for the cavalry to rush into. She then Had Hai Rou's group, which was on the right, advance fifty paces forward. She was then informed that fighting had broken out again, and they could reach Shin's location. She was advised to have her men turn back, seeing as even the archers were targeting them. Ten explained that they could not spare the time to withdraw. She then had the left flank and spare troops move forward. Ten then reflected on how the appearance of Gai Mou had thrown the whole battlefield's shape into a mess. All their tactics had gone out of the window. If they were able to make the faster move then, they would be able to tip the odds greatly in their favor. But at the same time if Shin was to be defeated, then everything was going to be over. On the other hand, if he won, they would be able to smash the enemy lines on just the first day. That was why they were all fighting while placing their trust in Shin. She then gave orders for Kyou Kai's located on the outermost edge.
Meanwhile Jun Sou noticed the whole battle had turned into a mess of a melee, however, the Qin Army was already forming up again with clear strategical intent. And because of Gai Mou's interference, the Wei was going to lose the initiative. And not only was it fast but well-executed too. He could tell the Hi Shin Unit's strategist was as clever as the rumors said. He then scanned the battlefield for Ten's location.
Meanwhile, on the Hi Shin Unit's right flank, Kyou Kai was resting, when orders from Ten arrived. Kyou Kai then anticipated that Ten wanted her to circle around to their back. Kyou Kai's men then began to wonder how Shin's duel was going. One thought that seeing as how the fighting's started again, that meant the duel was already over. Kyou Kai told him he was wrong, and they were still going at it fiercely.
Kyou Kai was right, Shin and Gai Mou were giving it their all. Shin noticed if he blanked out, he would be killed. An older Wei soldier by the name of Tei Bi could tell that Shin was no average youngster. And even on the battlefields of the past, there was not a single opponent who could press Gai Mou that far. Gai Mou noticed that it was not because Shin was an accomplished glaive wielder. If anything, due to how shallow his technique was, you could tell he only just took it up in the last few years. But Shin possessed something that more than made up for it, his boldness. Gai Mou wondered just what Shin was carrying on his shoulder? He asked Shin just what he was? Shin told him he was the man who was going to become a great-. He was then cut off by a Wei messenger, who reported with a message from Jun Sou. Jun Sou said there were two reasons for Gai Mou to immediately retreat. The first being that one of Kyou Kai was circling around to his rear and the second was because he had managed to bring back a gift for him (Ten).
Shin was once again blown away by Gai Mou. Gai Mou looked to the distance and noticed they were out of time. Due to the huge battlefield of Chiyoyou, barely anyone had noticed that Ten was taken prisoner.
Jun Sou was informed that Gai Mou succeeded in withdrawing too. He handed Ten off to his subordinate Kou Ri, so he could stop Kyou Kai who was attacking their rear.
On Kyou Kai's end, she was advised to pull back because their sneak attack had already failed and having extended themselves that far, they were down in number, and she was almost out of breath. Kyou Kai then felt the presence of an enemy officer ahead of them.
Ten awoke in the arm of a hideous Wei soldier. She then tried to get away from his grip only to be struck in the face. She then noticed Kyou Kai's flag and let out a scream for her. Kyou Kai then understood that they were retreating because they had taken Ten prisoner. She was then caught in a trap set up by Jun Sou. His men unleashed a multitude of arrows against Kyou Kai's unit. Ten could tell there was no way for Kyou Kai to reach her. She then heard someone call Jun Sou giving orders for his men to capture Kyou Kai. Ten then screamed at Kyou Kai to capture Jun Sou. She was then struck by another Wei soldier, knocking her unconscious. Jun Sou then gave an order to take out Kyou Kai's horse then jump her all at once. When they went for her horse, she was gone. Kyou Kai then snuck up on Jun Sou, knocking them both to the ground.
That night the entire Hi Shin Unit was thrust into a deep depression due to the loss of their strategist. Kyou Kai then arrived at Shin's tent, where a multitude of personnel was gathered. Kyou Kai apologized to Shin for being able to save Ten. Shin then grabbed her in anger, and asked her why she could not save Ten when she saw she had been kidnapped? Soldiers came to her defense, saying that Kyou Kai did her best, pushing herself to the brink. But there were just too many enemy soldiers, and it would have been impossible for anyone. Ga Ro agreed that the blame should not have been placed on Kyou Kai and at the end of the day, not a single another person even noticed what had happened to Ten, everyone just kept doing their own thing. That included Shin. Kyou Kai then tried to leave to go rescue Ten. Shin explained if that were possible, they would have set out ages ago. En explained to her that Ten most likely had been taken to the HQ of the reserve army located deeper in. Reaching it would first require her to somehow get past the 10,000 troops stationed in front of them. Even if she tried to approach it stealthily, it was going to be impossible. Kyou Kai then asked Shin what he wanted her to do. He told her he was pissed off because he did not know what to do.
Ten was imprisoned in a cage on top of a hill. Ten was insulted by Wei soldiers, then the insults turned into violence as those who bared hatred against the Hi Shin Unit beat her with the back end of their spears. The onslaught was seized by Wei by a messenger with orders to bring Ten to Gai Mou.
At the Hi Shin Unit's HQ, Shin wanted to mount an all-out night strike to rescue Ten. Ga Ro explained that the idea was stupid. Even if Ten was their strategist, at the end of the day, Ten was still only one person. And it was not something you could gamble hundreds and thousands of lives on. Ga Ro then went on to explain that those of them who have only known Ten for one or two years would not easily accept sacrifice their lives. And by choosing to come to the battlefield as a woman, she should have accepted the risks that came with it if she was captured. En told Shin even though Ten may have been in danger they had to look at the big picture. Lieutenant So Sui had been gravely injured and would not be able to take to the field again for the rest of the operation. And on top of that, they had also lost their strategist. En relieved that it was impossible for them to defeat the Gai Mou Army and reach the Go Hou Mei HQ in two days under those conditions. Then on the third day, the Gyoku Hou Unit and Roku O Mi Army would be in a very difficult position. Not only that, but it might also even lead to the defeat of the entire Qin force in the region. En wanted them to send a request to halt the operation to Tou. Gaku Rai agreed with him. Kyou Kai told them there was still one option available that was worth trying, a prisoner exchange. Ten for Jun Sou who she had captured earlier.
At Gai Mou's tent, Ten was kneeling before him. Gai Mou pointed out that Ten was making a strange face. At first glance, she appeared to have steeled her resolve towards being violated and killed, but the truth was she had not. He then asked her why does she stand on the battlefield? He told her a women's greatest joy should be dressing up in beautiful finery and being bedded by strong men such as himself. He then assumed that Ten was Shin's women. She then responded that that was not the case. He then pointed out that it was the first time she had spoken.
At the Hi Shin Unit HQ, Shin gave orders to send out a messenger to negotiate an exchange. Ga Ro told him to think it through before he went ahead with it. If they just brainlessly asked them for an exchange, then who knew what sort of ridiculous terms the Wei would ask. Not to mention, there was a distinct chance of them falling for a trap. This angered Den Ei. Ga Ro explained that he wanted them to know there was risk involved too. He did not have anything against Shin having them sortie because of his own personal reason. After all Duke Hyou basically made his moves depending on his mood. It was just that he wanted to take the chance to ask how deep Shin's motives went. Since it seemed to be a subject that everyone avoided touching on, he asked if Ten was Shin's women or not? Ga Ro explained if Shin made it clear, then the troops would be able to accept it too. Shin told the story of how he met Ten and Sei, and ever since then, she had been by his side. And he thought of her as part of his family, like his one and only sister. Even though it was reckless, there was no way in hell he was going to sit there and throw Ten to the wolves. Ga Ro finally understood Shin. And they proceeded with the plan for a prisoner exchange.
In Gai Mou's tent, Gai Mou asked Ten where her desires lie? For a girl like her to take to the battlefield must have meant she possessed an extraordinary desire completely different from the average woman. Gai Mou could appreciate someone who did not let themselves be bound by convention and instead, pursue their own wishes. He asked if she desired to see tens of thousands of men slaughter in war. She told him no. Gai Mou then concluded it must be related to Shin. That made him even more intrigued by Shin. He wondered just what caliber of a man was Shin to draw a girl as young as Ten to the battlefield? He then recounted his brief exchange with Shin that afternoon, and how he swung such heavy blows at such a young age. And it was not something that could be achieved by accumulating experience in the war zone alone. He then asked just who Shin was? As well as what Ten thought of Shin herself? And what it was she hoped to achieve with him? He told her he would have her spit out all the desires that would make a woman like her risk her life on the battlefield as a strategist. And depending on her answers, he would decide whether to kill her or give her back. He then had one woman from his harem bring him his sword to behead Ten. But Ten told him to wait. She told him she did not know about desires or whatever, she just wanted to help Shin fulfill his dream. And to achieve happiness together with him. Gai Mou told her if that was the case, she should immediately leave the Hi Shin Unit and go back home. In the end, her desire was the same as any other woman. If she was hoping to achieve some sort of happy ending by accompanying the man she loved to the battlefield, then she was being far too naive. Keeping that up the only thing that would be awaiting her was the worst possible end. If she was a woman, then she should hurry and leave. Ten flats out refused. She told him that she chooses to stay and keep fighting, and she will find her own happiness. Gai Mou told her that her dream was quite greedy. Greed is unfitting of a woman. Gai Mou explained he was in a difficult spot because Jun Sou had been captured. he later decides to return Ten back to Shin.
That night the Hi Shin Unit received a message that Gai Mou had agreed on the exchange. And both sides would proceed to the center of the field in the morning. Also Seeing as how the Hi Shin Unit numbered 5,000, they would also bring 5,000 troops in kind.
The next day at the exchange, almost 20,000 soldiers of the Gai Mou Army were stationed. Seeing as the Wei were breaking the terms right out the gate, the Hi Shin Unit had their doubts. Ga Ro gave orders to prepare for fighting to break out at any time. Kyou Kai gave orders to keep an eye on the left and right edges.
Jun Sou told Shin he had risk too much. He asked if Shin had considered that it might be a setup? If the Wei were to hit them now, they would be caught completely off guard and be annihilated. Gai Mou then screamed to Shin that he would be releasing Ten at that time, so they should release Jun Sou as well.
Shin asked if Gai Mou was trying to pull something Jun Sou told him he was not, and at any rate that meant his gamble on the exchange had worked out. When Ten reached Shin he asked her if she was alright? She told him yes. On the Wei end, Jun Sou told Gai Mou he was back. Gai Mou punched him and told him that it was all because of his screwing around with trying to kidnap people that things had gotten to be such a pain in the ass. Jun Sou responded that it was his bad. Gai Mou told him at any rate he got to hear about various things form the girl too. He stated that the Hi Shin Unit was rather interesting opponents to be matched up with. On the Hi Shin Unit's end, Ten told Shin to have the Hi Hyou take the center and split the enemy into two halves. He and Kyou Kai would then take one side each and thoroughly annihilate the enemy ranks. She told him that the plan might sound a bit forceful, but he could leave the details to her. She told him they had no choice but to rely on tactics to make up for the lost time. The Hi Shin Unit rejoiced over Ten's return. Ten then told Shin they absolutely must win the battle. Shin agreed. Ten then told Shin that they did not do anything to her. He told her he could could tell just by her face.
Having concluded the exchange, the Hi Shin Unit and Gai Mou Army separated and returned to their respective positions to begin the second days’ worth of combat. Gai Mou himself returned to his reserve army's camp located deeper. While the Hi Shin Unit once again focused their attention on breaking through the 10,000 Wei soldiers before them.
On the front located directly opposite of the Hi Shin Unit and Go Hou Mei's
HQ, having demonstrated their overwhelming might by breaking through the enemy's front line troops on the first day, the Gyoku Hou Unit was swiftly closing in on the Wei reserve army.
Earl Shi was then seen receiving word that the Gyoku Hou Unit had passed the Ei Forest and were heading his way.
The Gyoku Hou Unit was making explosive progress. The current Gyoku Hou Unit boasted a level of strength that was unthinkable for a 5,000 Man Unit. It was revealed there were three reasons for why they had grown so strong. The first being growth of Ou Hon himself. The second was how well trained the unit had become. Lastly because of the existence of 1000-man Commander Kan Jou, a member of the Ou Sen Army who had been assigned to the Gyoku Hou Unit half a year ago. Kan Jou was placed in charge of the Gyoku Hou's right-wing. The right-wing had quickly returned after clearing out the enemies in the southern forest. It was stated by a soldier that it still looked as if Kan Jou had not shown his full strength. No one knew why this 1000 Man Unit was assigned to the Gyoku Hou Unit. Ban You revealed that he had asked him, however, he always evaded the question. He then said he might have been a shady sort of character who they could not fully trust. But there was no doubt that at the very least, his strength was something they could rely on.
In contrast to the Hi Shin Unit that had stumbled on only the first step, the Gyoku Hou Unit was able to smash through the enemy front line troops on the very first day, coming out virtually unscathed. Following that, on the second day, they had even managed to defeat the enemy reserve army's first wave.
At the Wei Army Main Head Quarters, Go Hou Mei was informed that the Gyoku Hou Unit had broken through their northern defense lines and had already engaged their reserves in combat. Go Hou Mei informed this adviser there was not a single reason for them to be worried. The whole purpose of the formation they had taken up was so that no matter what direction the enemy struck them from, one of their reserve armies would always be able to intercept them. It was only after the enemy had managed to break through their first line of defense and come into their formation that their battle truly began. Furthermore, the region the Gyoku Hou Unit attacked was under the command, of a man who possessed both military knowledge and martial valor, Earl Shi of the Wei Fire Dragons. Go Hou Mei told them it was only a matter of time before the Gyoku Hou Unit was ground into dust.
Meanwhile on the Gyoku Hou's side, Koku Kin mocked Wei's defenses. And how it did not seem like there was any sign of Earl Shi. Ban You told him not to get complacent. If the fire dragons were present, then the second day would not go as easily. They then received a report that signs of dust being kicked up near the forests to their left. Ban You then noticed it was a battalion of the Wei army's vaunted armored war chariots. They were heading for the Gyoku Hou's left-wing. Ou Hon had 800 cavalries follow him, target their rear. Ban You had the rest of them take up defensive formations around the infantry and hold the position.
Inside the armored chariot battalion, a soldier noticed how the Gyoku
Hou's center cavalry was making their way around to them. He revealed that they had fallen right for their trap. The Wei cavalry was heading straight for the infantry they just left behind. Ou Hon realized the chariots were just a decoy. Ban You noticed the flag of the Wei fire dragons. While attacking the Gyoku Hou's center, a Wei soldier recounted how the Gyoku Hou's center did not even notice that they had been struck. And far from growing rusty in the last decade, Earl Shi surpassed his form from the old days. Another soldier stated that the power of hatred would have that much of an effect. He was told not to mention any words that might remind Earl Shi of what happened fourteen years ago. Earl Shi was then informed there was another group of enemy cavalries circling around to their rear.
The Ou Hon and Kan Jou cavalry units were attacking Earl Shi's rear.
At Earl Shi's position, the commanders noticed the two enemy units attacking their rears were foolishly aiming for them.
Kan Jou noticed more troops from Wei's additional reserves were moving to cut off the Gyoku Hou's path of retreat. And ordered the troops to halt. At the meeting Kan Jou explained, whether it was the war chariot's sudden attack, or the charge mounted by the cavalry, all of it was done to keep them occupied there. By getting worked up and reacting to their attack as they did, they played right into the Wei's hand. Ou Hon stated that the enemy's defensive line should have been further in. Kan Jou explained that it meant the enemy chose to ride out and meet them there. Kan Jou then told Ou Hon it was still possible for them to avoid the encirclement. So, he proposed Ou Hon order the men to disengage and sound the retreat. Ou Hon refused, saying they would proceed onward and take the enemy's commander's head. Ou Hon explained that the defensive formations that protected the enemy's rear had been pushed aside t the left and right. And if they assumed a wedge formation and charged into their ranks, it would be possible for them to reach the enemy commander. From there, all Ou Hon needed to do was slay him within three thrusts and they should still have plenty of time to escape the encirclement. Kan Jou thought Ou Hon's plan was impossible. He explained going that far into the clash with the enemy would make disengaging extremely difficult. Not to mention, they had no guarantee that Ou Hon would be able to slay him in such a short time span. Seeing as it was far too large of a gamble, Kan Jou advised Ou Hon to pull out immediately. Ou Hon frustrated by arguing, ignored Kan Jou. As he was about to charge the enemy, Kan Jou told him that Ou Sen would never attempt something so risky. Ou Hon asked his point? Kan Jou told him he was being too reckless with his life, and as the next in line of the Ou Family, he should be more prudent with his decisions. Ou Hon told him the battlefield was not a place for personal sentiments such as those. And in any case, his decision had considered how much time they had to spare, as well as the strength of their cavalry. Ou Hon then went on to tell him to rest assure that he was not being reckless. And not to make light of the Gyoku Hou's strength. Kan Jou told Ou Hon the right-wing would not be able to accompany him. Ou Hon told him to do as he liked, then made a charge for the enemy. Kan Jou was asked by one of his subordinates if his decision was, okay? Kan Jou told him it was not as if Ou Sen sent him to the Gyoku Hou to safeguard Ou Hon. Ou Hon reflected on Ou Hon's earlier statement. Then had his men disengage.
Ou Hon's cavalry unit was pushing forward with the enemy commander Earl Shi as their target. He ordered his men to pay no heed to the enemies along the way, and just focus on moving forward. Ban You told Ou Hon if there really was one of the Wei Fire Dragon's up ahead. Then the flag bared the character "Shi." Ban You pointed out that the commander must have been the man rumored to have died long ago. Ou Hon knew what he was getting at because there was not a single practitioner of the spear who did not know the name of Earl Shi of Wei. Just then Earl Shi charged into Ou Hon's formation cutting down a multitude of his men. Ou Hon then used the dragon finger technique against him. Which he easily deflects using a dragon finger of his own. Ou Hon then used the dragon's nest technique, however, Earl Shi managed to block every blow.
Ou Hon was dealt a powerful blow by Earl Shi destroying his shoulder pad and two of his decorative swords. Ou Hon then launched back with a mighty thrust. Which Earl Shi easily deflected the attacked. Then launched back with one of his own damaging the side of his armor.
When a large number of the Gyoku Hou charged Earl Shi who proceed to decimate one after the other. Ou Hon was urged by Ban You to retreat, given if they tarried any longer, they would no longer be able to break through the encirclement behind them. Ban You then noticed that much less slaying him their soldiers were all being swept aside one after the other. While being attacked by a Wei solder, Ban You began to think. If they did not leave soon, they would be trapped, and their center unit that served as the core of the Gyoku Hou would be completely wiped out. The Wei soldier was then slain by Ou Hon.
Ou Hon then ordered all his troops to disengage. In an about-turn and withdraw at full speed, doing whatever it took to break through the enemy encirclement. He had Chou Jin and Chou Koku fan out to the left and right to make them a path. Ban You would oversee the actual retreat. Knowing that Earl Shi was not an opponent who would simply sit there and let them retreat uncontested. Ou Hon would be bringing up the rear. Ban You was against Ou Hon acting as the rear guard, especially with these wounds. He proposed they retreat together. Ou Hon explained that it was for the next day's sake. For the sake of slaying Earl Shi the next day, Ou Hon needed to witness his technique for just a bit more.
When Ou Hon went back to engage Earl Shi he was barely to block his blows. Ou Hon was able to tell there was not even the slightest opening for a counter. Whether it was "speed" or "power," he was outclassed in both aspects. But most of all, it was difficult to instinctively predict what movements he would make. Ou Hon then sensed a strange sensation.
Mid-retreat the Gyoku Hou's center Ban You realized they were not fast enough, and the Wei's encirclement was nearly complete. Ban You had them clump up to break through a single point. Even if they managed to push through using brute force, they would most likely lose half of their numbers.
As the Wei were bracing their defenses, they were hit from behind by the Gyoku Hou's right-wing that pulled out prior. Kan Jou revealed that rather than fighting to keep an escape path open, it was easier to let them complete the encirclement then collapse it from behind.
With the return of Ten on the second day, the Hi Shin Unit was able to break through the enemy's outer defense line and make up for their blunder on the previous day.
As the Wei troops withdrew, Ten had their forces withdraw slightly as well and get ready to make camp. And had her subordinates quickly and thoroughly count their causalities.
Meanwhile, the Gyoku Hou Unit had ended the second day in defeat to the Earl Shi Army. Ou Hon who had been bringing up the rear was somehow able to make it out alive thanks to Kan Jou but had been heavily wounded by Earl Shi.
While the third strike force, the Roku O Mi Army, was in an even worse position, having yet to break through the enemy's first lines. However, it could be said that this was due to their desire to protect the Tou Army's flank, as they were at the time under attack by the Rei Ou Army.
That night Tou went over to Roku O Mi's base camp and asks if the reason he had not moved yet was due to him? Roku O Mi explained that going out to fight while having to worry about what progress Tou made each day was not his sort of thing. And the moment his army moved out, there would be no stopping them until they arrived at the Wei's HQ. He told Tou his plan for the next day was to smash his way to the Wei HQ in a single push, given how there was not a Fire Dragon blocking him. Tou told him going in by himself would be walking headlong into a deathtrap. Roku O Mi then asked if Shin and Ou Hon were still having trouble. Tou responded, "greatly so." Roku O Mi asked Tou if the battle was meant to be his time to shine? He told Tou that the battle had come under even more attention than Tou had anticipated. Tou told him he was wrong more than Roku O Mi himself had anticipated.
Tou revealed that if you summarized the generals who took part in the Coalition War, then you could say it was a war which unveiled to the whole of China the existence of two exceptional generals who had up until then, remained unknown. Ka Rin of Chu and Go Hou Mei of Wei. And now that the battle had become a clash between Go Hou Mei and himself, their battlefield would have grabbed the attention of all the various prominent figures throughout the entirety of China. All of them, curious to know, just who is the stronger of the two.
That made Roku O Mi ask why Tou went with Ou Hon's plan? Also, if the battle was supposed to be the perfect opportunity to showcase to China the strength of Tou of Qin. Tou revealed that Ou Ki did not intend on conquering China together with Ei Sei. Tou then asked Roku O Mi, how many people in the Qin Army hold the talent to achieve such a feat? Tou revealed that he did not consider the battle to be a showdown between Go Hou Mei and himself. Rather as an opportunity for the talented youths of Qin, who would shoulder the prestige of the Qin Army in the future, to challenge the renowned Go Hou Mei and have their names and strength resound throughout all of China. And the more he desired to see that come into fruition, the more he realized just how clever Ou Hon's plan was. He saw the era as where those with talent would gather, like the Six Generals of the past. Roku O Mi had his doubt as to whether their youth could go that far. Tou could not be certain, which was why he asked them to prove themselves. Starting with the Battle of Chiyoyou.
Shin and Kyou Kai were sitting off a cliff overlooking their camp. Shin apologized to Kyou Kai for getting mad and hitting her last night. Kyou Kai revealed that even she had a limit as to what she could achieve. Kyou Kai told Shin that if Kyou Shou had been kidnapped in the same way, then she was sure she would have lost her composure even more than Shin did. Shin still admitted it was his bad. Kyou Kai then had so joked at Shin's expense. They then began to talk about the next day. Shin told her tomorrow they would fight against Gai Mou's main troops. Kyou Kai told him it was going to be tough. The Wei would have ten to twenty thousand reserve soldiers that are completely fresh, on the other hand, after the toll from death and desertion, they could barely scrape together 4,000 worn-out soldiers. So if the enemy didn't completely fall for their ploy, then they would have no chance of victory. That was exactly why Ten was, at the time, running around somewhere far away from their campgrounds. Kyou Kai stated that Ou Hon tended to take risks. She admitted that his plan was the only shot they had, but it was asking too much of all their soldiers. She called it too hasty. Shin strongly disagreed. He believed that if there was a chance of victory, then they should jump for it. The longer they screwed around sitting on their asses, the more needless deaths they would suffer. Kyou Kai pointed out it was rear for Shin to stand up for Ou Hon. Shin told her that Ou Hon was an irritating bastard, but he thought it was amazing that the huge Battle of Chiyoyou was moving according to the plan Ou Hon came up with. Shin was interested to see whether Wei's number one general Go Hou Mei, the man who almost broke Kankoku Pass would be brought down by Ou Hon's plan or not. He then recanted his early statement. Instead, he wanted to show China the sight of Go Hou Mei being defeated by Qin's younger generation. Kyou Kai told him that at best they had about a one in ten chance of winning. She thought that perhaps the battle would prove to be the first "true" step towards becoming a great general of the heavens. Shin agreed. However, she was speaking for herself. To which Shin angrily told her it was his.
At Ryuu Koku's command tent, Ten requested for Ryuu Koku to send reinforcements. She informed him that the Hi Shin Unit would be using Shin as a decoy to draw the enemy's attention, thereby allowing Kyou Kai to lead a detachment to assault Go Hou Mei's HQ. Once Kyou Kai had departed, Ten wished for the Ryuu Koku Army to ride to Shin's aid as he would be surrounded on all sides by enemy forces. So Ryuu Koku would have to take his timing into account. Coming too early would result in catching Go Hou Mei's attention, it could only be after Kyou Kai was gone. But tarrying too long and would cause Shin to fall instead. This angered Ryuu Koku's subordinates, given they had their hands full with their own battles. Ryuu Koku informed Ten that they would still need to bypass a mountain, so getting the timing right was easier said than done. Ten told him that if it was him, she believed it should be a simple task. Ryuu Koku agreed. Ryuu Koku explained that since they had already invested so much of their resources into the plan. Having come that far, the Qin Army absolutely could not allow any failure. Ten told him everything was for the sake of taking Chiyoyou. He told Ten not to get carried away with herself. He knew that it was shameful to have to ask others for help in warfare. And in exchange for his help Ten owed him one.
On the morning of the third day, Ou Hon awoke to see Ban You outside his tent. Ban You asked how his wounds were? Ou Hon told him he was fine. Ou Hon told him to summon Kan Jou. Because Ou Hon would be outlining that day's plan. Ou Hon told him that with just half a day, they would push their way to Go Hou Mei's doorstep.
Ou Hon informed Kan Jou that his unit was to take the center and serve as the main attack force. Due to his unit having the most men to spare, his 1000-man unit would assault the enemy's 5,000 strong center. Kan Jou asked if that was the case, Ou Hon should have taken up that role himself? Kan Jou explained that his unit was a group that excelled at mobility, it was only when they were placed at the outer wings that they were able to demonstrate their true potential. Ou Hon explains to him there was no need for mobility in a battle with Earl Shi's Army. Kan Jou then asked where Ou Hon would be during the battle? Ou Hon told him until the moment Earl Shi showed himself, he intended to hide right behind him.
Kan Jou told Ou Hon that his plan would only lead to a repeat of yesterday's failures. It was true that the only way for them to break through the enemy forces in half a day was to slay Earl Shi himself, however, that was impossible for Ou Hon. After what happened to him yesterday. He was sure Ou Hon was aware of that himself. And so long as they had no means to defeat the Earl, the best course of action would be to alert general Tou and request a halt to the operation. That they then should then regroup and reform themselves and send a request for reinforcements to the Ou Sen Army stationed to their north.
Ban You was frazzled. Kan Jou then told him it was for Ou Hon's sake as well. Their Qin forces still have yet to take too many losses. but if the operation were to continue on ahead and end itself in failure, their side would suffer massive casualties from any subsequent Wei counterattacks. And as the man responsible for such a disastrous defeat, Ou Hon's name would be greatly tarnished. Ou Hon told him that it was precisely through emerging victorious against such impossible odds that one was able to achieve fame and prestige. And not to simply decide that he was not a match for Earl Shi. Kan Jou then asked why Ou Hon was in such a hurry. Ou Hon did not reply.
Kan Jou told Ban You that he had been negligent in his duties, as Ou Hon's adjutant. And that reining in Ou Hon and keeping him in check was his job. Ban You asked how could he stop him? He informed Kan Jou that Ou Hon's perception had at long last reached a territory that far surpassed Ban You's own talents. Just like how he was the one to come up with their current plan. In which case, all that was left for Ban You was to believe in Ou Hon and continue supporting him from behind. Kan Jou asked how he could call himself Ou Hon right hand?
On the Hi Shin Unit's front, Shin, Ten, Kyou Kai, Ga Ro, En, and Gaku Rai were gathered outlining Ten's plan.
Ten plan involved leaving Shin and his 2,000 men right in the middle of the Gai Mou Army's 13,000 troops. Ga Ro was very objective. Ten told him that they had no choice. If they wished to allow the right-wing to make their way to Go Hou Mei, then it was essential for Shin to stay behind and keep Gai Mou and Jun Sou occupied there. En wondered how exactly they were meant to pull out after the right-wing broke through. Ten told Shin that she honestly did not believe they'd be able to break out with their own strength once they were caught inside, even if they did somehow manage to actually kill Gai Mou. So, she told him not to worry about trying to escape and to keep on fighting. So long as they kept fighting, she was sure, help would come.
Ga Ro was infuriated, he told Ten if they went along with her plan, there was no way in hell Shin was going to be able to hold out, and things could take a turn for the worst. Shin asked if the plan was their only shot? Ten told him that it was not a battle where they could take their time and defeat the enemy troops one by one. They absolutely had to reach Go Hou Mei's HQ by that afternoon. In that respect, the plan offered the best possible odds. In that case, Shin decided to go with it, and end the meeting.
Shin asked if Ten could scrounge up anything? She revealed that she expected the meeting to run on for longer, so she prepared their breakfast beforehand. He then asked who wanted some? Kyou Kai wanted a large serving, En asked for the same, Gaku Rai asked for an extra-large serving. Shin then noticed the sun was coming up. He told them that night they would drink the wine of victory.
That morning the various commanders of the battle began to awake. Then the third day of combat began.
In Kanyou, various officials were complaining of receiving hardly any reports from the field. And the only message they received simply stated "struggling on all fronts." Kai Oku then asked Shou Hei Kun what Tou was thinking? Shou Hei Kun imagined that Tou simply meant for them to wait for further news. All Sei could think about was Shin.
During the battle, Shin was targeted by multiple Wei soldiers. Before they could reach him Kyou Kai intervened. Did Shin ask her reason for being there, Kyou Kai revealed it was still too early for the right side to make its move, they were waiting for the field to settle down first. Until then, she would tag along with Shin, so that he did not wear himself out before his fight with Gai Mou. Shin told her she was not needed. Kyou Kai told Shin not to get himself killed. Ten told her the same for her.
On the Jou Sou's front, Jou Sou was informed that Gai Mou was getting impatient, and asked if it was time yet. He told them it was not time.
On Ten's front, one of her subordinates noticed next to none of their positions were wavering. Ten knew they would be formidable. Ten remembered that Gai Mou what Gai Mou told her back during the hostage exchange that even if the terms were a thousand gold pieces on top of releasing her, he would have gladly accepted. Ten was able to tell that Jun Sou's opening deployment had no openings, and the way he carried on the battle was not too light nor was it too heavy. He simply took his time to carefully observe whatever movements the Hi Shin Unit made. And in a way, it was also a battle between Jun Sou and Ten. Ten then gave the signal for Kyou Kai, Gaku Rai, and Ga Ro to start the shift.
Jun Sou noticed the Hi Shin Unit's forces had moved over to the right. And wondered if they were coming? He then remembered the other dangerous person apart from Shin, Kyou Kai who captured him last time had also joined they are right-wing. Which meant that Shin was the only one directly in front of them right now. He then gave the order to bolster the defenses on their left. He then ordered his men to raise the fire dragon banner. He then ordered his men to call out to Gai Mou as well. And to make sure the enemy was clearly aware of his location.
On Gai Mou's front, he ordered his men to fortify the front with their veteran cavalry squads. And send Shin's rolling when he was drawn into their fold. Gai Mou quickly realized Jun Sou intended to use him as bait.
En the Hi Shin Unit began the attack. En noticed the cavalry soldiers were abnormally strong. Bi Hei told his men they could not take them on with five-man squads. So, he had them form into ten. Shin had figured, they were not going to let him reach Gai Mou so easily. Then went into the fold.
On Gai Mou side of the field, while watching the battle, he wanted Shin to hurry to his location.
Rei Ou noticed the Tou Army was up to something. but when he returned to their HQ yesterday and looked at the field there did not seem to be anything suspicious. He then sent outran Bi Haku.
On the Qin front, Tou was notified that Ran Bi Haku was approaching with 1,000 men, the same as yesterday. Tou realized Rei Ou was probing them, and already deduced that there was something off with their movements. Tou's men worried if their plan was exposed. Tou told them no, and he imagined Rei Ou was hoping to discover some hints by investigating them, but he did not have a concrete idea of what they were up to. But most of all, even Tou had no idea just how Shin, Ou Hon, and Roku O Mi intended on closing in on the Wei HQ. Tou them stated that it truly was just like being a spectator.
On the Gyoku Hou's front, Kan Jou Unit was acting as the center for the Gyoku Hou Unit. Kyuu Kou and Shou Taku pointed out that an all-out brawl was not their forte. Given the Kan Jou Unit's tactics had always been "hit and run." Kan Jou told them to quit complaining because it was the Gyoku Hou's way of doing things. Kyuu Kou asked if he meant letting themselves take it easy at the back?
On the Wei front, Earl Shi was informed their center was having difficulty and requested reinforcements. One of his subordinates was surprised, since they outnumbered them, and wondered what their men were doing? Earl Shi had all his cavalry move out and told them not to leave a single enemy alive.
On the Qin front, Kan Jou was informed that Earl Shi was making a beeline right for them. Kan Jou stated that it did not take very long for the climax to come. Kan Jou told his men not to fear them, and reform their formations. They would receive Earl Shi's Unit head-on and stop their advance right there.
On the Hi Shin Unit's front, they were in a heated with the Gai Mou Army. Suu Gen ordered his men to target Gai Mou's foot soldiers. En ordered the men to keep the enemy away from Shin. Shin watched as his men gave up their lives to push their way towards Go Hou Mei's HQ. He wondered if the Gyoku Hou Unit was going to come too? Just then Gai Mou rushed towards Shin.
On Roku O Mi's front, he was in a bad mood, because the battle was going to make Shin and Ou Hon famous. He asked the heavens to have mercy on their asses if Ou Hon and Shin did not show up in time because he knew he will not. The Roku O Mi Army then began its advance.
On Kan Jou's front, Kan Jou watched as the soldiers he painstakingly raised were being killed one after another. Then Ou Hon made a beeline into the thick of the battle. He told Earl Shi he saw that his name was no idle exaggeration, he had his utmost respect. However, he would fall by his spear.
Ou Hon and Earl Shi began to exchange fierce blows. Even though his injuries from the prior day had not recovered. His eyes had gotten somewhat used to Earl Shi's "speed," but his "power" was another fact. There was a difference in the "nature" of their spears, unlike his which emphasizes "accuracy" to be able to punch through at a single point, Earl Shi's spear sought the "power" to bring down a foe with only a single blow. Ou Hon recanted that Earl Shi of the spear was widely considered to be the best in China. And it was said that he was sent to brutal battlefields from a young age. He wondered if his "strength" was obtained by mowing down countless masses of enemies in the past?
Then, one of Earl Shi's subordinates launched at Ou Hon. Given that Earl Shi never said anything about it being a duel. So, then a couple of Ou Hon's subordinates followed suit, only to be cut down by Earl Shi. One of the Gyoku Hou's commanders told the soldiers not to approach Earl Shi without a plan, because they could not afford to lose any more men. Ou Hon was then dealt a heavy blow by Earl Shi.
Kan Jou remembers the conversation they had that morning.
Ou Hon had a stab to the chest from Earl Shi, and we able to block the rest of the blow. The Gyoku Hou screams his name in shock. A couple of his men launched at Earl Shi only to meet the same fate as though before them.
Kan Jou saw that Ou Hon was at his limit and told Ban You to have Ou Hon pull back. Ban You did not respond at first. Ban You was just about to order all the troops to fallback. When Ou Hon told him not yet, then order all the troops to continue fighting. Kan Jou wondered if Ou Hon was planning on fighting to the death. So did a Wei soldier. Ou Hon told them not to be absurd. He had only just started on his path, no matter what he had to be the one to slay the great general of Wei, "Earl Shi of the spear" with his own hands and take Chiyoyou in the name of Qin. As well as everything else that came after. Ou Hon told them that he did not have the time to spare a retreat. Cheap victories from pissant battles were not enough. If he did not continue to achieve great victories one after another, then he would never become a great general whose name was etched into China’s history. It was not some fickle or naive dream, it was as the rightful heir of the "Ou" Family, his duty and obligation.
Kan Jou was then able to figure out Ou Hon.
Earl Shi then rushed at Ou Hon. Ou Hon was able to parry the blow, leaving a cut on the man's forearm.
As Earl Shi went to retaliate, Ou Hon was able to push his spear to the side and land a slash to Earl Shi cheek. The whole surrounding area was in awe. Kan Jou wondered if Ou Hon could see through Earl Shi's spear technique.
Ban You realized that Ou Hon had managed to catch Earl Shi with his "form." Unlike Earl Shi whose techniques were self-taught through actual combat, Ou Hon was trained from the foundation up in the orthodox spear technique. And in that spear technique, there exist countless different "forms" to be used against their opponents. "Defense, counter, offense" forms devised for different effects. And if, in combat, Ou Hon was able to utilize those forms...
Ou Hon revealed to Earl Shi the reason he would fall by his hand was that he had let him observe his technique for too long, which got incredulous responses from Earl Shi's men. One of them told him that those "forms" were nothing but theories that exist only on paper, and what use was swinging around a spear in a place that wasn't the battlefield?
Ban You knew that was right. To properly utilize those "forms" in actual combat would require extraordinary amounts of training and experience. Especially when up against an opponent like Earl Shi, but that was exactly what Ou Hon was demonstrating. Ou Hon's days upon days of exercise and training had finally borne fruit.
Thinking back, Ban You realized he was the only one who knew about it because he remembered seeing Ou Sen giving Ou Hon attention when he was first taking up the spear. From that day forward that Ou Hon's training began. And it was through that steady effort that he was now having the upper hand dueling Earl Shi.
Ou Hon was to destroy one of the Earl's shoulder pads slitting his ear.
On the Hi Shin Unit's front, Shin and Gai Mou were going at it head-to-head.
Back on Ou Hon's front, Ou Hon was blocking Earl Shi's blows. Earl Shi's plan was to break through Ou Hon's form with just brute strength. Shou Taku saw that Ou Hon used up all his strength.
Ou Hon told Earl Shi that he possessed a weakness, and that was the fact that he was a human being who had rejected the notion of "living." Earl Shi then delivered Ou Hon more blows.
Ou Hon recalled that the thing that felt off to him yesterday was due to how he lacks the instinct of self-preservation. All humans, by nature, would protect their own vitals out of reflex. But Earl Shi, for whatever reason, does not. The actual reason matters not to Ou Hon, but against his ability to penetrate a single point, that would be a fatal weakness. If he were able to push inside by using his "form," make it through a walking corpse like him.
As Ou Hon went to deliver the final blow, Earl Shi deals a heavy blow to Ou Hon's shoulder. Ou Hon, calling Earl Shi a bastard and rebuking him for trying to block his path, delivered a crushing blow directly into Earl Shi's heart.
In his final moments, Earl Shi thought back to his times spent with Shi Kika and how at long last, he can return to her. As Earl Shi fell, the Gyoku Hou broke into cheers. Kan Jou ordered Ki Kou, Ki Kai, Sou Man, and Sou Shin to spread the word that Ou Hon has slain Earl Shi.
Ban You caught Ou Hon as he was about to fall and congratulated him on his win. Seeing as they did not have much time before noon. Ban You wanted to have Ou Hon's wounds treated and then hurry towards the Go Hou Mei HQ. Ou Hon told him there was not a need for that, and they headed for the Go Hou Mei HQ.
Meanwhile, at the time, Shin was in a heated duel against Gai Mou.
On Jun Sou's front, he assumed that there was no special trick behind the Hi Shin Unit's strategy. And that the Hi Shin Unit's plan was to have their right-wing charge into the fray from the sides, pinching Gai Mou between them and Shin's personal unit. Which was why they are bolstering their right-wing with their best fighters. However, so long as the Hi Shin Unit knew that they were coming, defending against them was not hard. They simply needed to shift Gai Mou's battleground towards the left and fill the vacated space with defensive troops that were ready to receive the enemy. And on top of that, Jun Sou's troops had always excelled at defense. If the right-wing did not reach them, Shin and the others in the center would remain isolated without aid. He wondered if that was all Ten had?
On Ten's front, she recalled that morning. And that the plan was the sole purpose of allowing the Hi Shin Unit to reach Go Hou Mei's HQ by noon. And to achieve that, it was necessary for Shin and his men to step headfirst into a "deathtrap."
It was revealed that Ten was waiting for Gai Mou and Shin to drift far enough towards the left. She then had her men send out a signal.
Hearing the signal, Kyou Kai had all the troops in the right-wing halt. And swiftly disengage from combat and reassume their formations. Because they were turning right, and thereby making a direct line straight for the Go Hou Mei HQ.
Jun Sou was surprised, and wondered if it was a feint? And if they intended on looping around to his rear. But after watching, he was sure they were clearly heading past them. He wondered if they were aiming for Go Hou Mei's HQ?
But if that were the case, then they would be failing to consider the actual field. Even if they were to bypass the Wei troops there, Go Hou Mei's HQ was still guarded by several more reserve armies working in tandem. In total they numbered 30,000 men, charging in when they did not have 1,000 soldiers with them would only result in being caught.
He sent 500 cavalries after them as a precaution. He was sure Ten was aware that with the departure of their right-wing, the blades which they had gathered in the left against them, would all be turned towards Shin. He then ordered all his soldiers in left towards the center, to butcher every Hi Shin Unit soldier left in their midst.
Ten's subordinates were stunted by the enemy swarming the center. Given that they were already surrounded, to begin with, but with those numbers...
In the center, En gave orders to tighten up with the shields. As he was encouraging the troops, he was struck by a Wei soldier with a glaive. He was knocked off his horse, however, his soldier pad shielded most of the blow.
Shin who saw this ordered his men to move slowly to left while fighting the Wei off. He then ordered Den Yuu and Ryuu Sen, to do all they could to stop the enemies coming from the right. And Suu Gen and Ryuu Sen to make them a path to the left.
Gai Mou told Shin that he had thought he would have some sort of miraculous plan, but it appeared that had ended in failure. And as he thought, there was a difference in the level of their strategists.
Ten then again thought back to that morning.
In the center, Den Yuu took a stab to his side as well as his horse. And Taku took a stab to his shoulder.
Just then as the Hi Shin Unit was giving up hope. An allied army was coming from the distant right.
It was General Ryuu Koku of the Tou Army. He was surprised that the Hi Shin Unit was in such trouble.
Ten stunned that he made it in time.
Shin informed Gai Mou that it was the Ryuu Koku Army from the next battlefield past the mountains and that they were not the only ones who could work together with other armies. And asked him who was the better strategist?
Jun Sou saw the allied reinforcements and saw that the Wei soldiers were not the only ones who could call on other units for support. However, he was impressed they managed to creep their way there without them noticing. He admitted that he had been outplayed.
Ten's subordinates were relieved that Ryuu Koku made it.
Ryuu Koku admitting that Gai Mou was one of Ou Ki's loose ends. He had Ben and Tei fan out to the left and right and hit the Wei's flank. Their target was the "Raging Bull" Gai Mou.
Gai Mou was surprised and asked Shin what was going on? And if he purposely set himself up as bait to trick him? Shin told him it was not just to trick him; they were doing it to pull one over the entire Wei Army.
Gai Mou was informed by messengers that Jun Sou gave word to fall back. This reminded Gai Mou of Ou Ki and the others because Shin too denied him a proper conclusion to a duel. Shin told him that if he were willing to stay there and keep fighting, he would gladly play along. Shin then admitted to Gai Mou that something was bugging him. He told him that he had heard from Jun Sou that Ou Ki and Ren Pa avoided his duels. He asked him if the truth was not that they were avoiding him, so much as they did not consider him a worthy opponent? This reminded him of an encounter with Ou Ki. And Shin was saying the same thing as Ou Ki. Gai Mou saw Ou Ki and the others as fools who tried to dress up warfare as some romantic struggle with their words of "dreams" and "sentiments." And Shin had been poisoned by their teachings. He began to tell Shin that there was no such "luster" in warfare. "Significance of battles" or "dreams," those were nothing but honeyed words to lure in those ignorant people who did not know any better. War was simply a slaughterhouse for the strong to butcher the week however they please, nothing more, nothing less. Shin told him he was wrong. Gai Mou disagreed. Just then Shin was attacked by one of Gai Mou's men. Gai Mou told Shin in that case, he would give him until their next meeting to prepare a satisfactory answer for him, as a man who was following in Ou Ki's footsteps. He then charged into the Ryuu Koku Army.
Ryuu Koku noticed Gai Mou's charge. As did Jun Sou.
Shin thought of Gai Mou and was attacked by a Wei soldier. However, he easily slew him.
Shin's men were barely managing to hold out when Shin gave the order to follow him, and breakthrough the right. He told them they might have gotten delayed a fair bit, but now they were heading off to Go Hou Mei's HQ too.
The Gyoku Hou Unit and Roku O Mi Army, with 3,000 and 8,000 men respectively, were engaging the Wei. The 2,000 men Hi Shin Unit detachment force led by Kyou Kai was heading straight for Go Hou Mei's HQ, cutting down any foe in sight.
At the HQ, Go Hou Mei received multiple reports. The first being the enemies approaching front of the south could not be stopped. The second on their western defensive line being pushed back. The third that their forces to the north were struggling against the enemy. Both Gian and Gi Chou had fallen. The last that they broke through the first line in the west. The command tent was in a frenzy. Given that there should have been that may foes. One of Go Hou Mei's commanders gave orders to focus on crushing one of the forces first, which would give them time to reform their defenses. They were stunned those three enemy forces were able to hit them at once, and if it were two, they would have men able to manage. And that their reserve armies still had not completed the defensive encirclement. One commander mentioned that it would be better to call them back and bulk up their defenses there, and wondered if they were to send the order, would it make it in time?
They began to realize that it was no simple coincidence, and the three Qin forces planned to hit them at the same time all along. Go Hou Mei agreed. He admitted it was his mistake to have assumed that the Tou Army would be the main attacker of the Qin Army just because his army numbered the greatest out of the enemy forces. And right from the start, Qin's true offense was to be conducted by those three strike forces. One of Go Hou Mei's subordinates asked if that was true Roku O Mi had over 10,000 men while the other two should have been 5000-man units, and wondered if they really have tasked the attack to such weak units? Go Hou Mei admitted their greatest calculation was the fact that those two 5000-man units would manage to bypass the Fire Dragons, Earl Shi, and Gai Mou. One of his subordinates told Hou Mei that he had heard that both the Gyoku Hou and Hi Shin Units were led by relatively young commanders. Go Hou Mei called their plan itself also "youthful." The fact they did not catch on to their plan must have meant that the only thing they decided on was to hit Go Hou Mei's HQ at the same time. However, that plan was a double-edged sword that carried the risk of causing the entire Qin Army's collapse if even one of their strike teams failed. Tou would never would had considered a gamble as risky as it. His men realized that the plan was thought up by either the Gyoku Hou or Hi Shin Unit. Go Hou Mei told them that the era of the Six Great Generals and Fire Dragons had passed. It had now fallen to himself and Ri Boku's generation to steer the rudder of China's battles. Hence, he believed that Kan Ki would be his destined rival in Qin, seeing as they were of the same generation. However, what was surprising was that the next generation of Qin's youths who were destined for greatness could very possibly be already rising to prominence. They then received a report that the Qin forces had broken thought their second line. The HQ was baffled, one commander wanted to send all the men they had and keep the enemies away from the HQ. Go Hou Mei told them that it was useless. Tou had sent the three "blades" in which he held absolute confidence in. Now that they had reached their throat, they could not be stopped. He then called for Kan Toku. Kan Toku was to don Go Hou Mei clothing as a body double, while Go Hou Mei fled.
In Shin's charge they could hear the cheering ahead was getting louder. That meant a battle must had broken out around Go Hou Mei's HQ. Shin and some of his other subordinates realized that they had managed to successfully pull off the three-pronged attack. Which meant all that was left was a contest to see who could take Go Hou Mei's head.
As a matter of fact, both the Gyoku Hou Unit that had arrived first, and the Roku O Mi Army that followed knew that their roles in that fight was to be the diversion. Go Hou Mei's HQ would only fall via an opening created by attacking it form multiple directions and forcing the defensive garrisons to shift directions and leave their rear exposed. In other words, it was the duty of the Hi Shin Unit who had arrived last to strike the decisive blow against Go Hou Mei HQ.
Ga Ro was encouraging his men to hold out a little longer as the HQ was right before their eyes. In the thicket of the skirmish, Kyou Kai left the rest to Gaku Rai and Ga Ro, and charged single-handedly for the HQ. When she reached the final wave of defense, she jumped off her horse and dodged all the men protecting that wave.
At the HQ they received a report that a portion of the Roku O Mi Army was about to break through their second line. And the west requested reinforcements. One of the commanders told the messenger that it was not the time to worry about it.
Just then Kyou Kai was charging for the HQ, slaughtering any soldier that got in her way. She then made her way up the way up the steps. Out the corner of her eye she noticed a mysterious man being moving away from the HQ, escorted by guards. However, when she got in the tent see cut down every commander, till Go Hou Mei was the only one left. He unsheathed his sword and charged for Kyou Kai only to have his head chopped cleanly off. The head was sent flying out of the tent. Every soldier whether Wei or Qin was mystified. The Hi Shin Unit let out a loud cheer.
In the tent Kyou Kai realized that Go Hou Mei was a fake. She admitted she had no idea what Go Hou Mei looked like. But it was obvious given the attendants reaction. She asked the man where Go Hou Mei went. He told her to go to hell. She then realized that Go Hou Mei was the mysterious man see saw earlier. However, he had abandoned his HQ. She then ordered Ga Ro to set fire to the surrounding region and raise high a smoke signal to alert the entire battlefield of the fall of Wei's HQ and the Qin Army's victory. Which delighted Ga Ro and his men.
To the various Qin soldiers still struggling in battle, the sight of that pillar of smoke, was like the long-awaited beacon signifying their turnaround victory. Roku O Mi was jealous of the Hi Shin Unit's glory. He then ordered his men to clean up the remnants of the Wei Army.
On Shin's front his men were cheerful to see the smoke signal. However, not too far from them they heard the rumble of horses. And saw that a small force was running in the opposite direction.
On the Tou Army vs. Rei Ou Army battle ground, both sides saw the smoke signal. Tou saw that both the Hi Shin and Gyoku Hou Units had admirably fulfilled their task. One of his subordinates reminded him that Roku O Mi also played a part.
In Go Hou Mei charge his men begged him to let them take the lead. However, he was too taken in thought. With the loss of their HQ and command chain, their various scattered forces were left completely isolated from each other. furthermore, their morale would also have been robbed by the sight of that smoke plume, making reforming them a difficult proposition. However, there still lied one flaw with the enemy's stratagem, and if they were able to capitalize on it-. Then Rei Ou came from the opposite direction. Both surprised to see each other. Rei Ou asked Go Hou Mei what happened. Go Hou Mei gave him his sincerest apologies and told him that their HQ was lost to a simultaneous attack carried out by three enemy units. Rei Ou asked how they were able to bypass Earl Shi and Gai Mou. Go Hou Mei told him that Earl Shi had been slain. Rei Ou and his men were surprised. He would never have expected there to be someone other than Tou amongst the Qin forces capable of defeating Earl Shi. Go Hou Mei agreed. Rei Ou then told Go Hou Mei all that was left was for them to exploit the weakness in the enemy's plan at that very moment. Though their HQ may had fallen to the enemy's hands, it also meant that because they had concentrated all their strength at a single point, their "heart" had become utterly exposed. By heart he meant Tou himself.
Rei Ou revealed that in the last three days of combat, his troops had shrunk the distance between them and Tou by down to a mere fifth of what it originally was. And if they could be certain that there would be no reinforcements riding to Tou's aid, all he needed to do was consolidate all his forces, then give the signal to Ran Bi Haku to lead an all-out attack using everything they had, and Tou would fall in but a few moments. By slaying Tou they would cease the pulse of the Qin Army, swaying the scales back to a single strike. Rei Ou reminded Go Hou Mei that the Battle of Chiyoyou was not yet over.
Then out nowhere a berserk Shin slashes his way to Go Hou Mei and Rei Ou. However, given that had never seen Go Hou Mei, he had no idea which one to cut down. Go Hou Mei noticed this and sacrifices his old teacher by calling him Go Hou Mei and telling him to escape. Rei Ou's last words to her student was calling him a son of a-. However, Shin instantly sliced him in two, before he could finish.
The massive swing sent Shin flying off his horse. He quickly regained his footing and is attacked by the remaining soldiers. The Hi Shin Unit calls out his name and rushes to assist him. Go Hou Mei withdrew, but not before hearing Shin's name, and realized he was Shin of the Hi Shin Unit.
While fleeing one of Rei Ou's angered vassals asked what the meaning of Go Hou Mei’s betrayal was. He responded by telling him it was for the sake of Wei. Which confused the man. Go Hou Mei told him the strength of the master tactician Rei Ou had stagnated in the past 14 years. While he, on the other hand, would draw level with him in one year, and completely surpass him in the next. He then told him if the strong were not allowed to survive then the state of Wei would have no hope of lasting through the wars to come. His response made everyone feel unsettled. Go Hou Mei then asked his name? To which he responded Shuu Kou. He told him to mind his tongue, because he stood as the highest-ranking officer in the Wei Military. And from then on, would be acting as his "master." He then had orders for a retreat sent to Ran Bi Haku. Beginning with the Berserk, Ran Bi Haku, Go Hou Mei would be taking over all of Rei Ou's assets.
And so, the Wei Army withdrew. Having judged that reforming their troops was out of the question Go Hou Mei's retreat signal was followed by all the various Wei forces that were spread across the battlefield pulling back deeper into Wei's lands. In other words, it was the Qin Army's victory.
On Roku O Mi's front, he mistook the signal for "do not chase!" For the signal to chase after the enemy. Luckily, he was corrected by one of his subordinates. On the other various fronts, the Qin troops were in an uproar.
From this victory Qin was able to snatch the key territory of "Chiyoyou" from the hands of Wei.
When Roku O Mi heard that Shin mistook who Go Hou Mei was and killed Rei Ou instead, he was enraged. Ryuu Koku brought up how not only did they win, they even brought down Earl Shi. Those two things would have been plenty by themselves. Then Tou said that right in the final moments, they scored another sizable bonus. Kan Ou then asked a gloomy Shin what was the matter, given Rei Ou's head was on par with a great generals. Shin explained that seeing how he wasn't able to defeat Gai Mou, Rei Ou's head felt like something he got lucky on and tripped over, But he wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Roku O Mi was furious, Rei Ou the man who even his lord Ou Ki and lady Kyou themselves acknowledged, was brought down by Shin, and to have done it on accident too!
Shin then asked where Ou Hon was. Ryuu Koku told him Ban You came a moment ago, saying that due to the ferocious clash with Earl Shi, Ou Hon was currently not in any condition to be walking. Shin then thought of how Ou Hon was able to defeat Earl Shi, a Fire Dragon like Gai Mou.
Ryuu Koku then pointed out that Wei suffered quite the stinging blow, losing Chiyoyou, Rei Ou, and Earl Shi. Roku O Mi then asked what the plan was? And if they were going to set up an outpost there and use it to start invading deeper into Wei's lands? Tou told him no, it was too early for that. He revealed that he received orders personally from Shou Hei Kun before they set out. From there on they were to set up a base and utilize the natural terrain to construct a giant fortress. Everyone was shocked by the plan. Roku O Mi told Tou that something like that would, and then Tou finished his sentence, by saying an entire year. Roku O Mi then pointed out that the Wei weren't just going to sit there and watch them build it. Tou then told them that Shou Hei Kun told him if attacked, they must repel them by any means. And he would send as many workers as necessary. Everyone gathered except Shin given there long years of service, realized that Shou Hei Kun truly intended on starting it in earnest. By setting up such a firm stronghold on the front line region of Chiyoyou, Shou Hei Kun planned to begin the process of thoroughly weakening the state of Wei. Shin was confused. Tou explained that the Seven Warring States, what once numbered over a hundred squabbling factions coalesced into seven giant states after two hundred years of conflict. The time for that delicate balance to be upset was finally approaching. And with it, the destruction of kingdoms. Roku O Mi told them that naturally they would be the ones doing the destroying. Shin then thought in his head, the destruction of kingdoms.