Chapter 77: Buried Alive

“It’s only been a day and my lively friend from home is already dead somewhere.”

“The same happened to my neighbor. He had a 61 year old mother to support. Having not married and neither did he have a son. Now he is dead.”

“These men of Shu don’t even see us from Nanjiang as men, 30,000 of 80,000 just died in one day. It’ll be a miracle if even 20,000 survive at the end.”

“Quiet, those Sichuan savages are coming. Don’t let them hear you or they’ll cut you down.”

In Wang Fang’s commanding tent, he was deliberating with other generals.

“Commander, I lost 30,000 men yesterday. At this rate, the regional city will take all our cannon fodder before we can capture it.” A general in charge of a cannon fodder legion.

“That is troubling. So we will let those cannon fodder fight until nothing is left, then use those from Sichuan until they’re only 20,000 left. The rest are veterans and can’t just throw their lives away.” Wang Fang gave his orders without remorse.

With the plan set, all that remained was its execution. The generals went to their camp and men, to round them up for battle.

“Listen up, you’ll only have to go on the battlefield two times and you’ll be exempt for further wars.” a supervisor of the cannon fodder shouted.

“You mean we only need to participate twice and be free of these cruel bloodsheds?”

“It can’t be a lie, right? They have no compassion, but I’ll take it either way, as long as it keeps me alive.”

“Mom, I’ll be home soon. I miss your coking.”

The supervisors called for silence and had them do their armors for another attack on the regional city.

Though this time, these people had hope replacing the bottomless despair from before.

“Charge! For home, for survival! Kill the savages and we can go gome!” At the urging of their leader, these recruits burned with a thirst for battle.

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Ladders upon ladders landed on the walls and the people scurried about like ants, trying to climb it.

‘We may have lost 30,000 yesterday, but the enemy can’t be better off. They must be at least 10,000 men short. There’s still a chance!’

Bloodshed and cries were in spades on this cruel field of battle, followed closely by corpses. As the one of yesterday had not been removed, they reached ten meter tall piles. 

As it was winter time, plague and decay were slowed, spearing these recruits of one gruesome danger.

As a cannon fodder group retreated, it only had 500 of its 1,000.

Theymet with friendly fire since no retreat order had been given. After killing a tenth, the rest were driven back to the other slaughter.

Looking behind them, the supervisors sighed. ‘How many times does this make it, the 11th or 12th? So many lives lost.’

The day passed with 20,000 losses, leaving only 30,000 cannon fodder. They just had to get 10,000 of them to find their endless rest on these killing fields for the rest to go home.

On the morrow, the cannon fodder were sent in 10,000 men waves, until only half remained. At the end of it all, Wang Fang would have his 15,000 elites.

“Attack!”

Bang~

Some climbers found their grip slack on the ladder as rock crunched into their faces.

The ones below hesitated. They just had to finish this attack and they’d be home free. None wanted to risk it.

The supervisor’s reaction? Lifting their bows and firing upon them.

The arrows landed just shy of their target, as a warning. And since half of the cannon fodder would be their equals in later wars.

Hearing the whistling of the arrows, the cannon fodder was gripped with fear.

Only to find the arrows, at their feet.

The recruits felt uplifted. ‘Those cruel guys do care about us and let us live.’

“Fight, don’t cower! This was your last warning. You think the general will let you go acting like this? Attack now, or no one here will return. Attack and the general will be pleased to let you live!”

The recruits understood their folly. ‘We need merit to have the general spare us.’

Their ruthlessness ignited and turned their cold gazes to the savages on hte wall. ‘There lies our survival!’

The morning passed and the losses soon became 5,000, replaced by another group. They calmed down, knowing they would serve as veterans of Wang Fang and wouldn’t go in just any battle again.

At this time, the Shu Region’s cannon fodders were pushed into the battle to serve as the second round.

The retreating recruits were thankful to be relieved, even filled with pride of having someone take the brunt of it while they were safe in the back.

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183 A.D.

Mid-December.

Yuegui Regional city fell, the magistrate killed himself, with Wang Fang burying the savages’ chieftains alive. He then had all his men scour the city to root out any other savages that participated in the defense.

On new year’s eve, 300,000 savages were captured, of which the chiefs, elders and shamans killed on the spot. 100,000 men were conscripted, the 100,000 made of old and children killed while the rest were slaves to satisfy the army or sent to Zhong Yu. 

The surrounding regions shook and the savages heard of Wang Fang’s cruelty. The men paled, the children cried.

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