Don’t Tell Me This Is The True History Of The Three Kingdoms! - Volume 10 - Chapter 11
VOLUME 10 CHAPTER 11: DON'T TELL ME THIS IS THE CALM AFTER THE BATTLE OF FAN CITY (11)
Meng De POV
She would not be... I looked about.
’’No, Xun Yu isn't here.’’ Cheng Yu said as she shook her head, ’’She has a lot of work on her end and Mao Jie and Cui Yan have gone to help her.’’
Oh, I see. Looks like there is a lot more work than I thought there was.
’’I got it. But do let me have a look over the paperwork once they're done. I can't relax when it comes to matters relating to the north.’’
’’Are you worried about Lord Yuan Shao's retainers?’’
’’I'm just worried about any changes from the Xiongnu in the north.’’ I said as I smiled stiffly. I cannot deny that what Cheng Yu said is part of the reason though.
Before long, we were in the main hall of my residence. I have not used it ever since my tirade with Kong Rong ever since and I can still smell the gunpowder from our fiery exchange back then. I was indeed rather rash back then but I was able to solidify my resolve to save the Central Plains.
Un... It should be solid by now.
’’Well then, I'll be taking my leave.’’ Cheng Yu said as she began to leave.
’’Un? No need, no need for that. Just sit here and wait.’’ I said as I directed her to sit at the second seat of one of the aisles. The 2 of them who would be coming were the key individuals for the meeting so they should take the seats at the heads of the aisles even if they had lost.
’’But...’’ Cheng Yu hesitated, probably because she was worried that there might be some topics in the discussion which she feels she should not be privy to.
’’It's fine, it's fine.’’ I said as I waved my hands dismissively, ’’Besides, it's better than having you eavesdrop from the rafters.’’
The latter half was just a joke but Cheng Yu seemed jolted by that and obediently sat down. Looks like she really did plan on doing that huh? I really must get the architect for future rooms to plan for rooms without rafters and pillars. I still need some personal space from time to time.
’’My lord, when Lords Cao Ren and Li Dian come over later, I hope that you will not punish them immediately. There is something amiss with how the Battle of Fan city and Xinye went.’’
’’Oh?’’ I smiled, ’’You think so too?’’
Cheng Yu nodded, ’’Their teamwork and ability to fight is too good for a team of strongmen without a clear, overall leader.’’
’’That was the issue I was thinking about just now and I discussed it briefly with Ben Chu earlier.’’ I said as I slapped my thigh, ’’Moreover, the enemy was able to recruit 2 generals, a Nanman warrior and a brilliant strategist who orchestrated their strategies, under these circumstances.’’
It would not be strange at all if Xuan De was still around but I really cannot tell what those 2 newcomers' motives may be for joining under present circumstances.
My initial assessment of our vanguard operations would be that Xinye would inevitably fall in our hands. In the worst case, all of Xuan De's companions would die and in the best case, some of them would be won over to my side. In the end, what happened? No one defected, we did not get Xinye city and we even lost our own Fan city. Something that I am not aware of is at play here. I can feel it.
While I was preoccupied with my 2 thoughts, 2 voices called out to me and I looked up to see Li Dian and Cao Ren standing in front of me with ashen faces, wearing armour that was caked in dirt and gore.
’’Man Cheng, Ren!’’ I exclaimed happily but quickly suppressed my emotions and got up as I ran over to Li Dian and Cao Ren who also ran over.
As we met, I first gave Cao Ren a hug and keenly felt the coldness from her armour. I did not need to take a deep breath to smell acrid smell of blood and dirt. This was a smell that I had almost forgot even though I was still rather familiar with it just a month or 2 ago.
’’Ren, are you alright?’’ I asked as I grabbed her by her shoulders and looked her over. There were wounds all over her but dirt obscured my view so I could not tell how she was right now but it does not seem like there is anything serious.
’’I have cuts all over my body. Some are shallow and some are deep, others have even reached my bones.’’ Cao Ren said as she smiled and frowned slightly, ’’But overall, I'm fine.’’
I slapped her shoulders casually and saw her involuntarily take in a deep breath and wince. Looks like she's still hurting rather badly.
’’Your injuries are not light by any means.’’ I said with worry, ’’Please be careful and rest up. Don't move around too much or your wounds will open up. Make sure you listen to the physician's instructions.’’
’’I will, if you will as well, elder sister.’’
’’Hmph, you bastard.’’ I said as I lightly hit her chest, not daring to use much strength for fear of hurting her.
I really cannot believe that Cao Ren who fought so well before has lost so badly and reduced to such a state. As her family, I am really sad to see her like this. It really is a waste for a kinder, more joyous girl like her to become a general.
It's also a waste of her healthy, speckless white skin. She will undoubtedly be scarred from the injuries borne in this battle. I had a sudden impulse to rip open her sleeve to check but did not have the heard to do so and merely put my hand down.
’’Man Cheng, how are you?’’ I asked as I turned to her and found that she looked the same as she always did, less a few things she always had on her, ’’Where is you hat?’’
’’... Lost it.’’
’’... And your sword?’’
’’Lost it as well, along with my spear.’’
’’I see.’’ I nodded and decided not to ask her any further about this and looked her over to see that she too was covered in wounds and seemed to be in worse shape than Cao Ren was, ’’Are you alright? Yue Jin has mentioned you in her letters and reports and wanted to know how you were.’’
’’Thank you, my lord for your concern. I'm fine.’’ Li Dian said vaguely with a difficult expression. I looked at Cao Ren who smiled bitterly and turned to Li Dian who seemed like she had nothing to say. It feels like they are both drained.
’’... You're not dishing out points this time?’’
It might sound like I am being sarcastic but I was asking out of genuine curiosity as Li Dian would always be dishing out points to anything and everything even if she does not speak much yet she is not even doing it now.
’’We made too many mistakes in every skirmish so I have no right to score myself.’’
Oh my. I looked at Cao Ren and saw that her smile had vanished/
’’Is that so?’’ I smiled slightly and clapped their shoulders before returning into the room, ’’Alright, have a seat everyone and don't stand on ceremony. Let's have a seat before we continue.’’
’’My lord!’’ Just as I turned around, Li Dian called out to me again and the sound of knees hitting the ground could be heard but I continued to return to my seat and ignored what she said, ’’We should be punished as the primary commanders of the vanguard which lost.’’
’’You will be punished, but not yet.’’ I quickly replied and went past Cheng Yu as I sat down but they still did not move, ’’Is there anything else?’’
’’There's no need to discuss anything about the battle which has already been detailed right here.’’ I said with some irritation as I dumped the letters they sent me from my sleeve on the table, ’’Come and tell me what you haven't written on them.’’
Li Dian and Cao Ren exchanged glances before coming over. That Cao Ren really is too much. She let herself get influenced by that overly polite Li Dian. There's no need to go that far.
’’I already reported the battle to Court this morning and the Son of Heaven has not issued any edicts or punishments.’’ I said as I picked up 4 cups and a liquor pot, ’’The only ones whom you owe a debt to are our troops who died in the battlefield. Don't come to me and ask for punishment. When everything is over and you meet with the King of the Netherworld, there will be plenty of punishment to go around for you.’’
Of course, that line applies to me as well.
’’Alright, I understand.’’ Cao Ren quickly accepted this and sat beside Cheng Yu, exchanging greetings with her as she sat down. Li Dian on the other hand was still gloomy as she sat down opposite Cao Ren.
I smiled and passed around the cups of liquor, ’’Come, let us drink. You may have lost but let us drink to your return at least.’’
’’Thanks, elder sister.’’
’’Thanks, my lord.’’
The 3 of them raised their cups as they replied me and I did so as well, ’’Let us remember this battle that we have lost and also remember the generals and soldiers who died.’’
’’’’We will remember them.’’’’ The 2 of them said when I finished.
I went ahead and downed its contents when they finished. The room was now rather quiet apart from drinking noises. Even when we finished, we did not breathe out heartily and merely spat out a small sigh as we placed our cups on the table.
’’Alright, we've mourned the loss and the dead so don't mention anything again. You will only hurt yourselves unnecessarily.’’